Wilson’s Bend is named after the former club member who began work on it. To the left of the town is a freeway which leads to a distant city, seen on the backdrop. The town itself is accessed either by rail or by a steeply climbing side road which passes between the main line and the lumber yard. Wilson’s Bend is a good place to live, with handsome town houses, convenient shopping, and a neighborhood pickup basketball game always in progress. There are several older industries providing employment, together with modern telecommunications, as evidenced by the modern cell phone tower.
Grand Teton is in a mountainous area which is rich in the copper ore that led to construction of the Kennaconda mine. Most buildings in the mining complex were built from steel sheeting and were salvaged from an earlier club layout. Only the shaft house is recent and is made from plastic sheet. The town name was suggested by the size and shape of the surrounding mountains. The most remarkable fact about Grand Teton is that the Kennaconda mine produces not only copper, but also iron ore! The iron ore mined here during off days is shipped to the steel mill located near Michigan yard during operating sessions.
The towns I developed are are Kinderhook (upper town) and Rock Ridge (lower town with the streetcar). I had a hard time coming up with a name for Kinderhook. Finally heard a story on the radio about where the expression "ok" came from. As I recall, it was an expression that Martin Van Buren used to refer to his home town, Kinderhook, NY. He called it "Old Kinderhook" Not sure how the connotation got the meaning it has today thou. Kinderhook has a passenger station scratch built after the old Fort Street Station in Detroit and has a working clock in the clock tower. At the other end of the yard is a stockyard that was scratch built from plans in a Model Railroad Craftsman magazine from 1962.
The other town of Rock Ridge came mostly from one of my favorite movies "Blazing Saddles". If you have ever seen the movie, the entire town council's last name is Johnson. Most of the buildings in this town are named after my relatives and there are a number of subtle references to the movie. This town also has a working digital clock on the bank building. Steve Johnson
STRAND - The city of Strand commemorates deceased member, JACK STRAND, as do two of the industries in the town; JAX STRANDED WIRE CO, & SUFFERN SUCCOTASH. The later industry comes from one of the same name on Jack's home layout that came into being when I discovered that he had a town called Suffern and remarked, "How can you have a town with this name without having and industry in it called Suffern Succotash?"
Of note in the town is the Railroad Car Ferry based on the WABASH'S DETROIT which hauled railroad cars between Detroit and Windsor. This beautiful model was built by member Steve Johnson.
Other Strand industries of note are ZINSER'S ZITHERS, REVA WOLOHON'S PET FOOD & TERRAS BOTTLING (all named for previous members. Although Reva was Wolohon's cat). Down in the corner of the yard is LEE KING'S PLUMBING. An Old Dyna-model Kit which has been on club layouts since somewhere in the 1950's... and thus the oldest structure on the layout. Milt Moore