Westfield is launching a new fundraising opportunity and we know that you will want to help. At 65 feet long and 102. 25 tons the TH&B Locomotive #103 is not only Westfield’s largest artifact, it is quite possibly its most popular. An epic landmark in the historic landscape, it is anchored by the Jerseyville Station, the first building acquired for what would become the living history museum, Westfield Heritage Village. Built in 1910 by the Montreal Locomotive Works, this coal powered steam locomotive is one of only two remaining in Canada. The locomotive was retired from active duty in 1952 and with a brief stop in Hamilton’s Gage Park, made its way to Westfield in 1977. The Locomotive and coal tender both need some work in order to be able to keep this steel work horse on display for generations to come and to continue to be a part of Westfield’s story and the surrounding community’s.
For decades, visitors have been almost magnetically drawn to the 103. It has been admired, studied and enjoyed by thousands and has provided a powerful backdrop to countless photos, movie shoots and presentations. Anecdotally, it is the first place one looks if a small child has wandered off. Most importantly, the 103 has been a key artifact for interpretive programming, providing a bold and unique example of early 20th century transportation and engineering. The locomotive is also a testament to the close connection Westfield has with its local community, best exemplified by the dedicated twenty-five-member strong crew who put their hearts and smarts into restoring the locomotive over a fifteen-year period, bringing the locomotive back to its former glory.
That restoration work needs to continue so that the locomotive can still be a part of Westfield’s and the local community’s history. So, that it lives on telling the compelling stories of the distant past, but also the stories of the volunteers of today. Volunteers who demonstrated true grit and determination when they moved 102 tons of metal up the Claremount Access in Hamilton. To tell the story of their ingenuity and creativity when they turned a stainless steel salad bowl into the reflector on the headlight. A generation ago decided that it was better to save the 103 and we can do the same.
If you wish to donate check out this link https://hamiltonconservationfoundation.ca/donations/westfield/