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Benalto train station to be returned to original site


After being hauled away from Benalto more than 40 years ago, the hamlet’s former train station is about to move back home.

Garett and Brenda Cupples and family have donated the station, which now sits on their property in Red Deer County, back to its hometown.

And just in time for Benalto’s centennial celebration, which will take place in 2014.

Dave More, Benalto Booster Club and Centennial Committee chair, said the plan is to move it back to the hamlet and put it on some donated land, near its former location.

They plan on moving the station back to the town and working on getting it ready and in place in time to be the centrepiece of their centennial celebrations.

Built in 1928, the former Canadian Pacific Railway station will become an information centre, gallery of the hamlet’s history and a gathering place.

The station has been on the Cupples’ property just west of Red Deer since 1980, being used as a house on an acreage. Garett Cupples said his brother had been living in it but recently moved out.

“We got hold of a lady and said we really don’t want to sell this to someone else to just move it to another location and we don’t want to tear it down because it is a historic building,” said Cupples. “We just said we’d really like it to go back home. After we got talking, we just said we’ll donate it.”

Cupples said they have a shop on the property and were looking at expanding it. But the station didn’t really fit in with their planned expansion.

The only cost to Benalto would be the transporting the building back to the hamlet.

“I don’t know what it is worth, I didn’t really ask,” said Cupples. “It doesn’t really matter, it wasn’t the reason we did it.”

The land where it is headed has also been donated. Bill and Dale Speight and families owned the area where the station once stood and have donated some green space for the station to sit.

The move is scheduled to occur from March 25 to 29.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

 

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