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McAdam on track for change - Jun. 11, 2014


Chris Roberts/Courier
McAdam mayor Frank Carroll points to the village’s new logo, which was unveiled by the Courier’s Vern Faulkner and Kerry Little, chair of the McAdam Community Action Group.

Chris Roberts
McAdam
Sunday afternoon provided a great opportunity to take heed to McAdam’s new slogan – “discover our history, delight in our nature.”
Under a blanket of blue sky and sunlight, roughly 50 community members showed up at the McAdam Railway Station for the unveiling of the town’s new logo and slogan, and had the opportunity to visit the past with a couple of new exhibits created at the station.
The logo, which was designed and unveiled by the Courier’s Vern Faulkner as part of the newspaper’s commitment to the “Rural Redefined” efforts to revitalize local communities, is a clean, simple graphic of the railway station with trees to the right, water below and McAdam written in the train tracks.
Mayor Frank Carroll, who spoke during Sunday’s event, said the village is very much focused on the future, but aware of its celebrated past.
“We have a new goal, a new ambition, to be presenting things that are valuable and necessary to make our community what it is.
“We want to showcase what we are, and that showcase has to do with this icon, which is a national treasure in our country,” said Carroll, pointing to the railway station.
The village’s old slogan, or tagline – (Carroll admits he doesn’t know where – or when – it originated) was “The Lakeland of New Brunswick.” The tagline for the new logo, “Discover our history, delight in our nature,” marked a significant shift in how McAdam will attempt to market itself to outsiders, and it was only fitting that the unveiling take place at the railway station.
The addition of two new exhibits – the news stand and auxiliary train – at the station celebrates the village’s past reputation as a railway centre.
“That logo fits well into with what’s happening here, because we’re going forward with more displays, more exhibits, and today’s exhibits are even focused on what that logo is telling us,” said Carroll.
“It’s the heritage of those people that worked in this community to give it the fabric that it has, because those people worked in that newsstand, they were part of the way of life here, and this exhibit is all about that auxiliary train where hundreds of employees worked to run the rail lines.”
Gail Swan is the president of the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission. She joined the commission six years ago, when revitalization efforts on the railway station began. Since then, and now with the addition of the newsstand and auxiliary train display, she has noticed a significant change.
“Almost the entire main floor has had some fix up done,” she said. “The second floor we haven’t really done much. It’ll take major money to do that.”
Most of the money for building and labour costs was covered by government grants, but the artifacts and antiques on display were acquired largely through donation. Everything tangible that has been placed in the rejuvenated station, Swan stressed, was done so with the help of individual contributors.
It is very much a project the people of McAdam can take pride in, Carroll added.
“The research of these displays has been a phenomenal amount of work,” he said. “And then we have almost every artifact on display here which has been sponsored by families or groups who wanted to see this display go; it’s been a big, big task.”
The station is already the town’s greatest source of pride, having recently won the People’s Choice Award for Great Public Space in the Great Places in Canada competition. Built in 1900, it is now a designated heritage railway station, but renovations have allowed the village to get the most out of the building.
Last week McAdam hosted its first national conference and will later this summer be hosting the group that recognized the station as one of the best places to visit in Canada.
“We’re surviving on our history,” said Swan.
The station’s second floor, which is comprised of 17 rooms, all constructed before 1911, has yet to see much in the way of renovations, but Carroll believes it’s only a matter of time before they’re restored.
“We get tremendous support, that’s why we’re going to someday see it all finished,” he said. “It’s going to happen.”