Description of Historic Place
Eatonia Heritage Park is a Municipal Heritage Property occupying a .6 ha lot on a former railway siding at the south end of Main Street in the Town of Eatonia. The property features a train caboose, a two-storey, wood-frame railway station built in 1924, and a two-storey, wood-frame house built in 1917.
The heritage value of the Eatonia Heritage Park lies in its association with the settlement and development of Eatonia. Situated prominently at the head of Main Street, the caboose and station speak to the central role of the railroad in Eatonia’s history. In 1918, the Canadian Northern Railway Company selected what would become the Eatonia townsite as a divisional point on its recently constructed Macrorie Subdivision. Canadian Northern’s land company acquired the site in the same year, subsequently subdividing it and selling town lots. With a combination freight and passenger station, a five-stall engine house, locomotive turntable and related facilities, the railroad was, for many years, a mainstay of Eatonia’s economy and its principal means of access for goods and people. Acquired by the town in 1975 and still located on its original site, the station now houses Eatonia’s library in its former freight room, and remains a valued landmark that commemorates the community’s railroad heritage.
The Heritage Park’s relocated house, constructed by a local farming family in 1917, represents the community’s agricultural heritage. This “pattern-book” house, which, according to community tradition, was purchased from a T. Eaton Company mail-order catalogue, is also valued for its association with the town’s namesake, the Eaton family. Originally, named “Eaton,” the town’s name was changed in 1921 to “Eatonia” because of confusion in the postal system with the nearby settlement of Eston.
Heritage value also resides in the railway station’s architecture. Typical of Third Class stations built by Canadian National Railways (CNR) during the 1920s, the Eatonia station incorporates design elements from CNR’s predecessor companies. The long rectangular building plan and track-side awning were architectural trademarks of the Canadian Northern Railway Company. The low-slope hip roof is reminiscent of National Transcontinental Railway stations, while the v-joint wainscot combined with horizontal siding on the exterior were derived from Grand Trunk Pacific designs. The Eatonia station is one of few survivors of its type in Saskatchewan remaining on its original location and retaining a such a high degree of historical integrity.
Town of Eatonia Bylaws No. 8/04 and 8/04A.
The heritage value of the Eatonia Heritage Park resides in the following character-defining elements:
-elements that reflect the railway’s prominent role in the community, including the station’s location on its original site at the head of the town’s principal commercial street, the open grounds around the station that allow unobstructed sight lines from the street, and the form, equipment and red and black CNR paint scheme of the caboose;
-elements of the Eaton house that are typical of its period, including its form and massing with sloping roof and dormers, front verandah, rear porch, clapboard siding and shake shingles; and interior features such as the floor plan, wood flooring, mouldings, doors and their original hardware, wood banister on the upper level staircase, original heating and lighting fixtures, plaster and lath walls and ceilings, window pattern with multi-paned windows in their wooden casings, and the leaded-glass windows with frosted panes in the front room of the main floor;
-elements that are representative of 1920s CNR Third Class train station design, including the rectangular building plan that incorporates freight and express rooms at one end of the structure and the waiting room, office and agent’s living quarters at the other; the bracket-supported overhang on the track side of the building; the exterior treatment of wood siding painted in CNR’s corporate maroon colour, wood shingles, window and door locations and multi-paned double hung windows; and interior features, such as plaster and lath interior walls and ceilings, wood flooring and mouldings; the high-ceilinged waiting room with ticket window, railway schedule board and pendant light fixtures; the footprint of the rooms in the living quarters; and features of the office reflecting the agent’s duties, such as the window bay that allows a view up and down the railroad tracks, the agent’s desk, and train signalling apparatus.