Description of Historic Place
The Otterville Railway Station is located at 225422 Main Street West, on the south side of Main Street West, east of Middletown Line, at the west end of the Village of Otterville, in the Township of Norwich. The single-storey wood railway station was constructed in circa 1875.
The property was designated, in 1990, by the Township of Norwich, for its historic and architectural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 18-90).
The Otterville Railway Station was constructed in circa 1875 as the Otterville station of the Port Dover Lake Huron railway line, which linked Port Dover with Woodstock. The construction of this line in 1875, three years after the Port Dover Lake Huron Railway Charter was granted in 1872, marked the completion of a hard fought battle for railroad transportation for the area.
The Port Dover Lake Huron Railway line served as an important social and economic linkage for the communities it serviced, providing access to the world of commerce, education, entertainment and communication. One could send a letter in the morning and have a reply by night, a true accomplishment for rural townships such as Norwich.
In 1881, the Grand Trunk railway assumed control over the line, followed by the Canadian National Railway, in 1923. The last passenger train left Port Dover for Woodstock in 1935, ending a much used service. The station was relocated in 1989 to its current site on Main Street West from its original site on North Street.
The Otterville Railway Station is a rare example of a village railroad station, relatively few of which remain in Ontario. Built in circa 1875, the station is of post and beam construction, with board-and-batten siding. Characteristic of railway station architecture, it features a side gable roof with wide overhanging eaves, supported by prominent eave brackets. The station agent's office, distinguished by a nine foot bay on the façade, is flanked by a waiting room, at the east end of the station, and a freight shed, on the west. Also of note are the eared pediment architraves located above the waiting room doors and windows, and the freight doors, which feature transom lights and an apron of horizontal tongue and groove boards.
Source: Township of Norwich By-law 18-90.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Railway Station include its:
- one storey post and beam construction
- side gable roof
- wide overhanging eaves supported by prominent eave brackets
- board and batten siding
- nine-foot station agent's bay, including the three-foot by four-foot double sash, 6 over 6 main window, and the double-sash, two-paned windows at each end of the bay
- eared pedimented architraves over the waiting room windows on the east and south elevations, and the waiting room door on the rail-line facade
- two freight doors on the facade featuring transom lights and an apron of horizontal tongue and groove boards
- two four-paned windows of the west elevation
- windows and freight door on the south elevation