TATAMAGOUCHE - A local landmark and unique destination is once again finding itself in the television spotlight.
An American TV production company arrived at the Train Station Inn on Thursday morning and will spend the next two days filming footage about the unusual residence.
"They are highlighting things where the stationmaster used to live upstairs, because it is a residence and that's what they are focusing on, residences in unusual buildings," said Jimmie LeFresne, owner of the inn and stationmaster.
AMS Pictures, based in Dallas, TX, is filming the footage for an episode of the HGTV series, You live in What?, which started airing on the HGTV Canada network the first week of January.
The show features homes, which were once another type of commercial structure and have been converted into residences.
According to the HGTV website, a converted missile silo, corset factory, schoolhouse, ferry and ice cream factory were featured in recent episodes.
In the past, the rural inn has been featured in documentaries, at least two music videos, two reality TV series, a cooking show and movie.
The Train Station was built in 1887 and operated until 1973. LeFresne, then age 18, and his wife Shelley purchased the building the following year, saving it from demolition.
The young couple began the restoration process in 1987 and opened the inn with three bedrooms in 1989. Since that time the internationally recognized unique accommodation has expanded to also include nine caboose sleeping quarters, a dining car, lounge car, café and gift shop.
"I'm just a guy who loves to play with trains," said the stationmaster. He added the support of his wife as enabled him to share his passion with the community and visitors to the train station, along with TV audiences.
"They (the film company) called about three weeks ago to ask if we would be interested in something like this," said LeFresne.
He hadn't expected production would begin so soon, during the business' off-season when the facility is winterized. But with the help of friends, everything was ready when the film crew rolled into the station Thursday morning.
"I think anytime that we hear the word Tatamagouche on an international TV show, it's going to bring even more people to our community," he said. "There's no question, it's going to benefit me, but it's going to benefit the entire community because they will be showing aspects of the community as well and I think that's what really attracts people."
He said the station and a home in Avondale, a former mission believed to be one of the oldest homes in Nova Scotia, were two places in the province where filming for the show took place this week.
For confidentiality reasons, an official with AMS Pictures was unable to provide information about other film locations and the site selection process, but did say in an email to the Truro Daily News the date the footage from the station will air has not yet determined, as the home has not yet been assigned to a specific episode.
A spokesperson with HGTV could not be reached.
At a glance:
One of the North Shore's most unique attractions, the Train Station Inn, has been featured in television and film productions a number of times during its more than 30 years in operation. Following are a few of them:
- The Week the Women Went, 2008, Paperny Films
- Road Hockey Rumble, 2008, Outdoor Life Network
- New Waterford Girl, 1999, comedy movie
- Christina Martin, music video, 2012
- Jim Dorie, music video, 2012
- It has also been featured on a cooking show, Buffet on the Run, and a documentary by an Austrialian film company exploring rural development.