China Collection

When you visit the Station this summer for a tour, be sure to stop by the Lunch Counter and explore the early to mid-century dishes that were used by the Hotel at McAdam Railway Station.

The featured broken and damaged Canadian Pacific Railway dishes below, were recovered from local area scuba divers from the pond behind the McAdam Railway Station (the pond was originally created to provide water for the steam engines). The scuba divers recovered numerous artifacts and provided these to the Station’s Historical Restoration Commission. Most of these artifacts were thought to be used by the Station during its operation. In addition to the dishes below, were multiple soft drink bottles, porcelain food containers and even a flask (also located at the Lunch Counter).

In the early 1940’s, the girls working at the Lunch Counter at the Station asked the manager, Miss Quinn, if they could go to a dance in Harvey Station. Miss Quinn replied, “when the dishes are done!” There was no way the dishes would be done in time to catch a drive to Harvey Station, so the girls waited for Miss Quinn to go upstairs to her room in the Hotel. They then gathered up all the dishes and threw them into the pond behind the Station. They did this a few times the same summer until a train carrying prisoners stopped at the Station. It was so hot that day that the prisoners convinced the guards to let them get into the water to cool off. And they found the dishes!

Dishes were sent to McAdam Railway Station almost weekly by the Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

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Canadian Pacific Railway Teacup, William Guerin Company, circa 1910 to 1932

The pattern on the teacup appears to have been a multipurpose pattern, seeing service on ships and trains and in hotels. It is CPR's longest running pattern, spanning 43 years by various manufacturers.

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This white china platter features the Black Crest pattern which is marked with a black garter containing superimposed letters “CPR”. “Canadian Pacific Railway” forms an arch inside the garter and two small birds are perched on a roost under the garter.

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Canadian Pacific Railway Platter, Charles Ahrenfeldt, circa 1900 to 1930