Glanbrook Heritage Society
From material in “Glanford Recollections and Reflections” ref. Derwyn and Leon Young
Glanford Station was located on Miles Road where it crosses the rail line to Caledonia. The land on the west side of Miles Road, Lot 10, Con. 6, Township of Glanford, was granted to Martha Trainer in 1802, and Lot 11, Con. 6, on the east side, to Rachel Reynolds that same year. In 1816, Trainer sold her grant to Jabez Clark, whose descendants farmed the land until recent years. In 1832, Frederick Ashbaugh purchased the Reynolds’ holdings, and although the property has since changed hands, a map of Glanford in 1903 shows his son, David Ashbaugh, as the owner of the land at that time.
The hamlet originated in 1873, when a station house was built, and was known at that time as Renton or Rentonville. In 1887, it was renamed Glanford Station and became a flagstop when the Grand Trunk Railway took over the line. Although the growth of the settlement was not as extensive as might have been expected, it was a busy place and extremely important to the development of Glanford. It was here that freight and mail arrived and departed along with passengers bound for Caledonia and Hamilton. Among area residents who made daily use of the passenger service in the 1920's were Babe Martin, whose father, David, was the C.N.R. section foreman, Walker Weylie, Annie Reed, Jean and Bernice Smith and Gladys, Jean and Harold Reed. Their parents were all Glanford farmers and transported them to and from the station each weekday.
All of the freight arriving and leaving was stored in a room adjoining the platform. Although this room was never locked and no one was responsible for security, there were no reported incidents of theft. Worthy of mention was the time Irwin Clark carved his name on one of the station windows with his diamond ring. The window pane remained there until the building was demolished some years ago.
About the turn of the century, a cattle pen was built adjacent to the station for holding cattle awaiting shipment. One of the more frequent users of this service was the Goodman family, who were very active in the butcher and cattle trade. The station was also the location of a coal shed and weigh scales operated by Henry Clark. In more recent years, it was taken over by Edward Smith, who started a delivery service using a team and wagon.
In the late 1920’s, many of the clay roads in Glanford were stoned. Area residents would shovel the stone from designated rail cars into their farm wagons and spread it by hand on the roads chosen by council.
Although it remained a small settlement, it was well known as the hub of transportation in the township. At one time, it had rural mail routes totalling 80 miles and serving some five hundred families. The first post office, known as Renton Station, was established in 1874 and located on Chippewa Road, just east of the rail tracks, with Thomas Wilkinson the first postmaster. He resigned in 1885 and was succeeded by Henry Clark, who served until 1918. It was during his time that the name was changed to Glanford Station and the post office moved to Mr. Clark's home west of the tracks on Chippewa Road. Philip Atkinson followed Mr. Clark as postmaster, but resigned after a short time and was replaced by Leon Young in 1919. By this time, the post office had been relocated on railway property just south of the station. Mr. Young held this position until his death in 1940, when his wife, Alma, continued as postmistress until the office was closed in 1964. The mail routes were then transferred to the post office in Mount Hope.
The Young family were mail contractors since rural mail service was established in 1912. Other contractors during this period were Mr. Bolton, Jessie Carver, Jack Bates and Charles Ashbaugh.
One of the oldest and best known families was that of Charles Ashbaugh, a direct descendant of Frederick, one of the first settlers in Glanford. They moved from the old family farm to a house, built by Leon Young, just south of the station. They planned to open a general store in the house, but this never materialized. In the early 1920’s, Mr. Ashbaugh took over the mail delivery on R.R. 4, and for many years was popular and respected by everyone on the route.
Although Mr. Ashbaugh’s store never became a reality, Mr. E. W. Dartnall and his sister, Ada, operated one here in the 1880’s. A cash book, dated 1886 for the Glanford Station store, was kept by Mr. Dartnall and is now (1984) in the possession of his granddaughter, Mrs. Nancy Wills. This book, with neatly written entries showing sales for each day of the year, leaves no doubt of the store's existence in that year at least.
With the withdrawal of rail service in the last part of the 20th century, the tracks were abandoned and the right-of-way is now a walking “rail trail” through the former Township of Glanford.
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© Glanbrook Heritage Society 2007
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