Hectanooga, Nova Scotia and Flower, Ontario are rural communities of a few homes nestled in forests beside long abandoned railway tracks. They appear on road maps today, but are not noted as destinations to be visited, but rather as points on back-roads, inconveniently reached, if visited at all. In the late nineteenth century, both of these places, and many others like them, were busy stops on the railways that were built through them and they were prominently marked on railway maps that attracted visitors to them. During this time railways and trains made it possible to quickly travel to many more locations in Canada, but it was the railway map that built demand for passenger service and the tourist industry that railways came to rely on. This paper will discuss the maps of two regional Canadian railroads made during 1890's and how these maps helped open rural areas up to tourism by train.
The Yarmouth and Annapolis Railway (Y&A) connected Halifax to Yarmouth while the Kingston and Pembroke Railway (K&P) connected Kingston only as far as Renfrew. Both railways shared the trait of connecting a relatively important city with a town that had a booming economy at the time. Renfrew had a strong lumber industry while Yarmouth was a busy shipping centre, and so both railways moved freight. The K&P competed with other rail lines to the east of it and the Y&A also faced competition from a rail line along Nova Scotia's South Shore as well as ships that traveled the coast of the province.
Just like other North American railways who operated in a competitive environment, the K&P and Y&A promoted travel for sightseeing at this time using passenger maps.1 These maps are grouped into what Jerry Musich refers to as the third phase of passenger railway maps, the “first active promotion of rail travel for site seeing.”2 Also, both railways were built with passenger traffic in mind. However is it evident in the railway maps that the Y&A's marketing to passenger traffic differed significantly from the K&P. The Y&A's maps focused on passengers travelling from outside of the province, while the K&P's map had a more local focus.
Yarmouth & Annapolis Railway (Y&A) Map, 1893
Y&A railway map, 1893, front
The design of the Y&A railway map. (Above)
The design of the Y&A map orients Nova Scotia so that Boston is connected to Yarmouth by a straight horizontal line. This line figuratively points directly to the importance of Americans to tourism in Nova Scotia during what James H Morrison describes as the province's “elite sports tourist” period during 1871-1940.1 Its cover is directed to Americans. This is a railway map, but ocean routes are also prominent, and necessary, to bring in more tourists from New England. The map has connections to other railroads that link to many of the province's principal ports, but more importantly for sports tourists, the maps lists inland destinations where lodges and hunting are accessible. The map is foldable in three sections and portable for a tourist. Its cover also features descriptions of popular resorts and a scenic picture of a trestle over a river to entice people to make the trip.2
1 James H. Morrison, "American Tourism in Nova Scotia, 1871-1940," in Nova Scotia Historical Review, Vol.2, No. 2 (1982), pp. 40-51.
2 The author is unable to confirm the name of the river the trestle crosses in this picture. It is likely either the Sissiboo, Bear or Moose Rivers.
Kingston & Pembroke Railway (K&P) Map, 1899
K&P Railway Map, 1899, cover
The design of the K&P railway map. (Above)
The K&P map uses almost all of the surface to show the railway connection between Kingston and Renfrew. The detail of the destinations between the railway's termini, along with the names of many lakes and townships indicate the audience for this map is more local. Sailing routes to other parts of Canada and the United States are visible, but are of secondary importance. Larger cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and New York are not visible, nor is the location of Pembroke!1 The province of Quebec is displayed as an empty space. Yet, connections with the Canadian Pacific Railway are prominent both on the map and the cover. The cover of this map also features an unlabelled picture of the train station as well as a scenic picture of a lake.2 Like the Y&A map, this map is also portable and folds out with four panes.
1 The Canadian Pacific routes are labelled at the edge of the map, but the text is indecipherable. This small text may say, for example, "To Pembroke", but the author can't confirm this.
2 The picture of the railway station appears to be Kingston's. The author is unable to confirm the name of the lake in the photo on the cover of the map. It is likely either Calabogie or Sharbot Lake.
Both of these passenger railway maps have been designed and published by railway companies to attract travelers to visit destinations served by their railroad. They are both examples of the type of passenger maps published by many North American railroads in the late nineteenth century to actively grow passenger traffic. However, each map served a different type of audience. The Y&A map shows a much wider geographic area than the railway itself and elements to attract passengers from the Boston area are prominent in the publication. The scope of the K&P map is the local area the railway serves. The map itself is more detailed and has many more local geographic features named and drawn than the Y&A map. The photographs of the two landmarks featured on the K&P map are not named, perhaps because they would have been so well known to the local users of the map that a label would be superfluous.
Both of these maps were foldable, portable and also reusable. They may have been preserved by people who used the maps repeatedly to plan trips until the demise of passenger service along these railways.
Canada By Train
This is an archived website hosted by Library and Archives Canada that has a collection of digitized railway publications, including maps of the two railways discussed in this paper.
Railroad maps of Canada
The David Rumsey Map Collection contains maps of Canadian railroads. These maps are useful for analysis of competing routes.
Dominion Atlantic Railway Digital Preservation Initiative Wiki Project.
The Dominion Atlantic Railway (DAR) is the company that succeeded the Yarmouth and Annapolis Railway (Y&A). The evolution of this railway route and technical information is available.
The Halifax & South Western Railway Digital Preservation Initiative Wiki Project
The Y&A competed with the Coast Railway which became the southern portion of the Halifax & South Western. The Halifax & South Western (H.S.W. also known as Hellish, Slow and Wobbly) ran along Nova Scotia's South Shore from Yarmouth to Halifax and competed with the Dominion Atlantic Railway. This wiki describes the evolution of railway route along Nova Scotia's South Shore as well as technical information.
- Adraea, Christopher ; Matthews, Geoffrey. Lines of country, an atlas of railway and waterway history of Canada. Erin, Ontario : Boston Mills Press, 1997
- Banks, Herbert R. "The Coast Railway : 'Tom Robertson's Wheelbarrow Railroad'". Nova Scotia historical review. Vol. 6, no. 2 (1986): 11-16.
- Bennett, Carol, and McCuaig, D. W. In search of the K&P. Renfrew, Ont: Renfrew Advance, 1981. Available in the MacOdrum Library HE2810.K5B46, Floor 4 Books.
- Modelski, Andrew M., and Library of Congress. Railroad Maps of North America: The first hundred years. Washington: Library of Congress, 1984. Available in the MacOdrum Library G1106 P3M6 1984, Floor 1 Maps and Atlases (MPF).
- Ovenden, Mark. Railway maps of the world. New York: Viking, 2011. Available in the MacOdrum Library G1046.P3 O94 2011, Floor 1 Maps and Atlases (MPA).
- Woodworth, Marguerite. History of the Dominion Atlantic Railway. Kentville, N.S: Printed by the Kentville pub. co., ltd., 1936. Available in the MacOdrum Library HE2810.D7W87, Floor 4 Books
- Choi, Tina. “The Railway Guide’s Experiments in Cartography: Narrative, Information, Advertising.” Victorian Studies 57, no. 2 (2015): 251–83.
- Cram, George Franklin. "Cram's Standard American Atlas Of The World." David Rumsey Map Collection. Last Modified 2016. http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/s/2v4d79
- Morrison, James H. "American Tourism in Nova Scotia, 1871-1940." in Nova Scotia Historical Review, Vol.2, No. 2 (1982): 40-51.
- Musich, Jerry. “Mapping a Transcontinental Nation: nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American rail travel cartography.” In Cartographies of Travel and Navigation, edited by James R. Akerman, 97–150. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.
- "Canada By Train." Library and Archives Canada. Last Modified 2003. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/trains/021006-2100.01-e.html
"Dominion Atlantic Railway." Dominion Atlantic Railway Digital Preservation Initiative Wiki Project. Last Modified 2014.
"Halifax & South Western Railway." Halifax & South Western Railway Digital Preservation Initiative Wiki Project. Last Modified 2013. http://hswdpi.ca/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page