The inscription on the outside of the former Michigan Railroad Station reads 1892. Research indicates that construction
began in the fall of 1895. The first train left the Amherstburg station in January, 1896 and the official opening took place
in March, 1896.
The charter of the Canada Southern Railroad was granted in 1832. It eventually extended from Niagara
to Detroit. The first train into Anderdon's Gordon Station (near Brunner-Mond Bridge) arrived from St. Thomas in November
1872. From the Gordon Station, the train then crossed the lower Detroit River by a combination of ferry and bridges to Slocum
Junction (near Trenton, Michigan) and then on to Detroit. By 1873, the Canadian Southern Railroad, by linking up with
the Michigan Central, provided through service to Chicago. A more direct route was desired and in 1883 a cut-off was constructed
from Essex to Windsor. Trains then crossed by ferry to Detroit.
In 1883, the Gordon Station was destroyed by fire. A new frame station was built and it too was destroyed
by fire in 1892. After this, Amherstburg residents sought to erect a new station nearer the centre of town. In 1894, a connecting
line was granted to the Michigan Central Railroad and the railroad line was extended into Amherstburg from the Gordon Station.
Work on the new railroad station and
a freight warehouse began in the fall of 1895. By the end of November the outside structure was complete. Offices were moved
from the Gordon Station in January 1896. The freight shed housed the offices of the Amherstburg station until the new facility
was completed and furnished in March of 1896.
station is a one-storey red-brick building approximately 72 feet long and 27 feet at its widest point. Romanesque in style,
it features beveled glass panes and fan-lights above the windows. Its window sills are of dressed stone and decorative trim
The station has three main
divisions: men's waiting room/ticket office, baggage room, and ladies waiting room. The railroad management of the time was
giving attention to architectural detail and had appointed qualified architects to its staff. Prior to this, stations, unless
in a city, were plain affairs. They were often built of vertical siding, as was the Gordon Station.
The station remained a busy place for many years until the advent
of the electric railway into Amherstburg. Roads and the automobile eventually caused the demise of the railroad. Through changes
in ownership, the Canada Southern Railroad has operated under a number of names: Michigan Central, New York Central, Pennsylvannia
Central, Canadian National.
In 1969, the building was purchased by Florence Gibson and donated to the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts,
who continue to own and operate the building as an art gallery and crafts centre.