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                  The Historic Gibson Gallery

Please Click to the Side to View a Short Historic Video Presentation

CLICK HERE to view the VIDEO of The History The Michigan Central Railroad Station & The Gibson Gallery

A Special Thanks to Microbiz Card and the Ontario Trillium Foundation
for the Gibson Gallery Flash Movie.

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.

The 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 is featured.

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.

To the Right:

Past and present photos of the building including our Essex Terminal Railway Caboose which has been completely restored, and now serves as a railway museum that reflects the railroad past of our area.

Michigan Central Railroad Station

Gibson Gallery © 2008 Chad Riley

Essex Terminal 55 Caboose © 2008 Chad Riley

Interior of Essex Terminal 55 Caboose Museum

The Inscription Plaque

Florence Gibson Plaque