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Prize winning Railway Gardens 1925

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Posted 6 years ago

(167 items)

Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Keyes, Manitoba.
The image is 6" X 10", on 10" X 14" card stock.
Railway gardens began in the early 1860's in Britain, by the late 1860's they were being copied in Canada. When the CPR established its cross country connection, the railway garden began to creep along the line. Western railway companies, especially the CPR, were well aware of the need to “fill up” the west. Immigration, would certainly benefit their financial position. Revenue would be generated by increased passenger rail traffic, by the sale of railway land to settlers, by shipping manufactured goods from eastern to western settlements, and by shipping western agricultural produce all over Canada. To set this process in motion, the CPR, in particular, invested heavily in a campaign (through the media, excursion trains, and an active immigration policy) to promote the richness of prairie land. Station gardens, characterized as effective advertisements for prairie fertility, were a prominent part of these campaigns. The station, especially in the west, was often the focus of the community and a major link with the outside world. Civic boosters said the only evidence of a town’s worth immediately seen by a prospective settler was the condition of town’s railway station.


  1. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
    Now that is a nice railway station. I would have worked there with all the flowers :-) Great share David !
  2. mikielikesigns2 mikielikesigns2, 6 years ago
    looks like home. nice!
  3. bratjdd bratjdd, 6 years ago
    That is a wonderful railway station. Thanks for sharing walksoftly
  4. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    Thanks for the love & the great comments Mani, mikie, & bratjdd.
    They must have spent long hours in the upkeep of these gardens.
    I was lucky to pick this up at auction this weekend, I was the only bidder, I guess no one else appreciated it's beauty!
    Link to more info the the CPR Gardens;
  5. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    Thanks for the Love, Trunkman.
  6. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    Thanks Bellin for the love & the comment.
    Most times we are left wondering what an old photo has to say, we imagine what the story behind it is, but once in a while it tells us a lot more than we expected, that's what I love about old photo's.
  7. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    Hi Phil, as far as I can tell there is nothing left of the station, & yes it would have been a real beauty when it was in full bloom.
    The image is 6" X 10", on 10" X 14" card stock.
    Thanks for the love & the comment, Phil.
    Thanks for the love, gargoyle.
  8. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    Hi Phil, thanks for the info.
    When did the use of glass negatives end?
    Do you still have the PC from the B.C. garden?
  9. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    @Phil, the gardens continued in to the fifties & ended in the sixties.

    Some interesting stats.

    In 1930, it took twelve cars to deliver the 200,000 annuals and 2,000 shrubs and trees to 650 stations in the Central Region. In 1940, the CNR Winnipeg greenhouse shipped 100,000 annuals across the Manitoba District. Statistics for the different regions were lovingly recorded up into the early 1940s: how much earth was carried in to make a station lawn, how many annuals were shipped, how many prizes were won by gardening employees in local shows.

    The CPR also continued to support between eight and twelve greenhouses—two of which were in Manitoba. Winnipeg was the location of the largest establishment. The CPR kept score with its own set of statistics: in 1940 alone 10,000 packets of flower seeds were distributed to over 1,250 employee gardeners.

    Link to a good article;
  10. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    Thanks for the love, ho2.

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