1917 Map of Willits

Thanks to club member Mike Aplet we have learned quite a lot about the town of Northwestern (now Brooktrails near Willits) and the Northwestern Mill there.

Fairly recently we were given access to Sanborn maps of Fort Bragg and Willits. Sanborn Maps is an American publisher of historical and current maps of US cities and towns. The maps were initially created to estimate fire insurance risks. The company’s maps are frequently used for historical research, and for preservation and restoration efforts. The maps themselves are large-scale lithographed street plans at a scale of 50 feet to one inch (1:600) on 21 by 25 inches sheets of paper. The maps contain an enormous amount of information.

The map we have of Willits is dated 1917 and much to my surprise shows a yard labelled “Northwestern Redwood Cos Planing Mill and Lumber Yard”.

1917 Sanborn Map of Willits

1917 Sanborn Map of Willits

The section of the map in the right hand corner is of particular interest:

Detail of Planing Mill and Stations

Detail of Planing Mill and Stations

The location of the planing mill is the current site of modern day Mendo Mill building supply store in Willits. The building next to the main tracks and across Commercial St. from the planing mill (approx. center of second map) still stands today. It is a beautiful redwood building built in the Craftsman style.

The three rail lines in the foreground are the main line from Tiburon. What is not on the map is the wye which I think would be to the left off of the the map.

You can’t xerox maps like these and the only reason I can show them to you is because of the efforts of our website guru and camera man extraordinaire, Roger Thornburn. Thanks Roger.

Posted in Mendocino Coast, CA , Local History | 1 Comment

Locomotive made from popsicle sticks

Club member Mike Aplet was kind enough to e-mail me this one.

“Hi Tony,
I thought that you might appreciate this. I found it on a slot car site of all places. The narrative that went with the photo was this:
 
“Great idea – I love the modellers eye – other people see things one way modellers see them another – not a car I know but this train engine is made out of a glue stick tube a fluorescent light starter and some plastic nuts from a children’s toy + matchsticks, basswood and other odds and ends”
Popcicle Stick Loco

Popcicle Stick Loco

I thought this was really neat. Thanks Mike.

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A visit to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park – Part 3

My previous two blogs have been about the enormous HO layout at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park. In addition to the HO layout there is a very large O scale layout, an O Scale Lionel layout and a large N scale layout.

The N scale layout had not changed from my first visit many, many years ago. Daughter Holly who was with me asked if the shark was still in the swimming pool. It was.

The shark in the swimming pool.

The shark in the swimming pool.

The O scale layout was under construction. The track was in place and trains were running. An idea of the size of the layout can be seen in this photo.

Look at the size of the room

Look at the size of the room

A couple of mini scenes caught my eye and camera.

Accident

Accident

Beautifully modelled ship and quayside

Beautifully modeled ship and quayside

Note the lights on the top of the chimneys and on the truck backing up

Note the lights on the top of the chimneys and on the truck backing up

The last layout was a large Lionel 3 Rail layout totally dressed up for Halloween. The train had open freight cars which contained sweets and if you pressed a button the train stopped in front of you and you got to take a sweet.

Best Halloween layout ever?

Best Halloween layout ever?

Spooky

Spooky

I liked how the post had been painted to make it part of the sky

I liked how the post had been painted to make it part of the sky

If you are a model train nut and you are in San Diego you just have to visit here.

Posted in Train Visits - Model Layouts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A visit to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park – Part 2

In the previous blog I marveled at the incredible scenery on the absolutely massive HO scale layout. The trestles on the HO layout and how they fitted into the scenery was mind boggling. My pictures, alas, do not really do the modelling justice. Perhaps these few pics will encourage you to visit to see for yourself.

Trestle in the desert

Trestle in the desert

Trestle at the head of a five foot deep gorge with amazing modelling of very fast flowing river

Trestle at the head of a five foot deep gorge with amazing modelling of very fast flowing river

Small trestle

Small trestle

Rock climbers

Rock climbers

Amazing huge trestle

Amazing huge trestle

Posted in Train Visits - Model Layouts | Comments Off

A visit to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park – Part 1

Molly our 123 pound bull mastiff decided that a perambulation down the coast to San Diego would be nice. Daughter Holly flew in from Connecticut and we had a simply super time. We didn’t do much training apart from a visit to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

At 28,000 square feet, the museum is the world’s largest operating model railroad museum. The museum contains four enormous scale and model layouts, built by separate clubs, which depict railroads of the Southwest in O, HO, and N scales. In addition, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum features a Toy Train Gallery with an interactive Lionel layout for children.

I could have spent all day at the four layouts. Of the four the HO layout is the biggest and it boasts some of the best if not THE best scenery I have ever seen on a model railroad. Just look at the pics below:

Amazing Scenery

Amazing Scenery

Amazing Scenery #2

Amazing Scenery #2 – There are 42 cars in the consist

Sunset on the layout

Sunset on the layout

This effect was created by the use of a single pink flourescent

Look how the roads blend into the backdrop

Look how the roads blend into the backdrop

The focus of the HO layout is a replica of the Tehachapi Loop. Here’s an aerial pic of the real thing:

Tehachapi Loop the real thing

Tehachapi Loop the real thing

Tehachapi Loop in HO scale

Tehachapi Loop in HO scale

More in the next blog.

Posted in Train Visits - Model Layouts | Comments Off

Hot Day, Hot Dogs, Live Steam Locos at the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad and Historical Society First Social Event

Oct 4th, 2014 was, for Fort Bragg a hot day – 72 ish when the dog hots were served by drafted BBQ chef yours truly. Witness my skills in these two photos taken by club member Joe Green:

Me serving Mike Aplet

Me serving Mike Aplet

Me BBQ ing on the work table

Me BBQ ing on the work table

Before we got to the eats we raised steam on the club’s little 0-4-0 for the first time only to find that she needed some workshop attention before she could run.

Chuck, Dan, Mike and Jim tending to the club's steam 0-4-0 loco Emma

Chuck, Dan, Mike and Jim tending to the club’s steam 0-4-0 loco Emma

Deb Smith working on Emma

Deb Smith working on Emma

Dan Fessler’s steam 0-6-0 steamed up and ran like a champ:

Dan's 0=6-0 rounding the north east corner of the Barn

Dan’s 0=6-0 rounding the north east corner of the Barn

Dan's 0-6-=0 eounding the north-west corner with the CWR roundhouse in the background

Dan’s 0-6-=0 eounding the north-west corner with the CWR roundhouse in the background

And, last but not least, Earl gave his Forney a run out.

Earl's battery powered radio controlled Forney

Earl’s battery powered radio controlled Forney

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Northern Nevada Railroad,Ely, Nevada

Club member Dan Fessler and his friend Akin Orhun recently returned from a trip to Sheridan, Montana. Akin sent me this e-mail, “Dan and I took HWY 50 on the way back to California. This highway is known as the loneliest road in US.  We spent a night in Ely, Nevada in the middle of the state.  It has operating copper mine.  The railroad [the Northern Nevada Railroad] operated by mining interests has been turned over to volunteers.  They have two steam engines, a diesel/electric engine and a few others in various states.  Their machine shop and storage facilities were huge………I am sending a few pictures I took.”

The pictures are great – see below:

IMG_1078">upright engine">IMG_1090 upright">IMG_1089IMG_1066Thanks Akin.

Posted in Train Visits - Steam Era Railways | Comments Off

Picture of Three Shay Locomotives under Steam

I have no idea where this photograph was taken. I received an e-mail with the link.

There aren’t very many Shay locomotives left running in the world and three in one place all under steam is, indeed, something to behold. A great pic.

Three Shay locomotives

Three Shay locomotives

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