Inspiration happens when you allow yourself to “see” things through a different lens. Just when you think you know a place…
Vision is sticking to the dream to make it a goal, then a reality, and a triumph over the long term. There is no overnight success…
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, a little village of less than 700 on the Northumberland Strait features one of the top five draws in the world for “unique places to stay”.
In 1887, the Intercolonial Railway built a “short line” through Tatamagouche, which was merged into Canadian National in 1918. In the 1950’s the village and station were a going concern, but that dwindled over the next decade with the rise of automobiles and the construction of the TransCanada Highway. Then in 1974 the station was set for demolition.
Jimmie LeFresne grew up next door to the station. He received his first toy train at the age of 5 and at 18, when the station was set to be destroyed, Jimmie purchased the building for $500, envisioning the day when others could share in his love of trains.
Staying on Track
For 14-years, as the train continued to operate, carrying supplies, Jimmie could do nothing with the property. Biding his time, the Train Station Inn opened for a new generation of travelers in 1989 as a bed and breakfast. But that was just the beginning. Collecting old box cars, Jimmie has been putting the yard back to the way he remembered it as a youth.
In 1994 the first wooden caboose arrived and was transformed into a first-class suit hotel room. Now, the Inn features the largest collection of Cabooses in Canada, each meticulously detailed to wow even those who think they don’t even like trains.
The 5th most unique hotel in the world
For more than 33-years now, the Inn has steadily grown both in features and notoriety. A draw, even if you haven’t booked well enough in advance to stay in a Caboose, is the dining car—Jitney Café—almost 100-years young is a step back in time, with not just terrifically engaged staff, but some of the best food of the area.
On the platform is the Café for drinks and live music and an eclectic gift shop to find something for even the fussiest. A walking trail, gardens, and children’s play area meets the needs for all travelers.
Embodying the workplace leadership culture
When others, having seen the success of their passions come to fruition, may step away, Jimmie is still an on-going smiling presence in the everyday operation of the business. While claiming to take a back seat, even during my stay he was quick to have a chat and tell me a little about himself and his on-going vision for the Inn.
Case in point, upon arrival, a visitor isn’t just checked in, the Station Master proceeds to take you on a quick tour, ensuring you know your way around, provide a brief history and settles you into your accommodation. It had been FAR TOO long since someone took an interest in whether my room met with my expectations; I was speechless.
Leaving the legacy
· In 1991, the station was visited by Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn.
· In 2008, CBC filmed “The week The Women Went” using the Inn as a location.
· The Dining Car was used in the movie “New Waterford Girl”.
· In 1994, Jimmie and his spouse Shelley LeFresne, were presented to Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Halifax.
Known for the Entrepreneurial Talent.
In addition to Jimmie LeFresne, little may you know that Ron Joyce, co-founder of Tim Hortons was born in 1930 in Tatamagouche.
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Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and employment, taxation, legal vary accordingly. Please seek legal, accounting and human resources counsel from qualified professionals to make certain your legal/accounting/compliance interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.