Orangedale Station in the 1970s
When the station
was built in 1886, it was used initially as a home before the track was laid and the first
trains began arriving in 1891. The first
floor of the building consisted of the mens waiting room, the agents office,
and the womens waiting room.
The entire second floor was a
large apartment which provided a home for the Station Master and his family the
MacFarlane Family of Mull River and Orangedale were resident there for two generations
with Jim MacFarlane being the first station agent for the Orangedale Station.
Except for a few
internal and roofline changes, the building is today much the same as it was originally
constructed in Railway Queen Anne style with a bold statement of the hopeful
nature of Cape Bretoners and Nova Scotians in the 1880s when it seemed that
the economy in a new industrial age would be strong.
The stations basic
structure was built of large, well squared, stacked timbers (rather than the more
traditional frame structure), sawn at a local mill and dragged by horse teams to their
destination. The construction reminds one of
older log houses that had timber placed on timber. The
building has modified turrets and a number of very intricate features such as the winding
staircase leading to the first floor and the scalloped shingles, applied directly onto the
timbers and painted in Intercolonial Red typical of many stations of
Most of the obvious
architectural features were also typical dormers with triangular pediments above
the windows, a bay window, very tall windows (many of them still with their original
glass), and decorative work under the eaves.
During restoration much
research has gone into the colour of the paint and the trim, and the design of the canopy
covering the station platform. With
countless hours of voluntary work by the local residents of the area the building has been
carefully returned to something quite similar to its original condition and is now a
treasure in the collection of historic Inverness County Architecture.
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