Monday, November 26, 2012

"Along The Blue" #2 | 1 Comments - Click Here :

  I haven't had much time to work on the layout of late, so I don't have any updates. I did however catch up with some of my favorite blogs over the long weekend. A recent post by Trevor Marshall on his blog describes how he is replicating the moves a prototype railroad crew would perform while switching.
  So I thought now would be an appropriate time to post this story about the importance of stopping before coupling. Who knows.... maybe we can save the limb or life of one of our own miniature crewmen ( :
~ Cowboy Up!

Breckenridge Bulletin; Apr 16, 1904;
Accident to J.B. O'Connor.
  Last Saturday Brakeman J.B. O'Connor, while coupling two engines, working on the rotary on its way to clear the road to Leadville, met with a very painful accident and may lose his left foot. While the engines were coaling and taking water at Dickey, two were detached and in coupling up these, Mr. O'Connor used his left foot to push the automatic coupler on the draw head so they would couple together and his right foot accidently slipped as the engines came together, catching the left foot between the bumper coupler and crushing and cutting it very badly.
  The injured man was hurriedly brought to town and Dr. Scott met him at the depot and took him to the Arlington house where the doctor dressed the wound and sent the injured man to the railroad hospital at Denver when the train passed through Saturday night.

Summit County Journal; Apr 16, 1904;
  A very serious accident befell J.B. O'Connor, a C.& S. brakeman, at Dickey, on last Saturday. In attempting to make a coupling, he used one of his feet to move one side of the coupling device. The result was very costly to him. His foot was caught and crushed.
  Dr. Scott took the unfortunate brakeman to St. Lukes hospital, Denver, where the railroad company's chief surgeons will try to avoid amputation. O'Connor resides at Denver, where he has a wife and five children.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Along The Blue" #1 | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Breckenridge Bulletin; Nov 9, 1907;
Dispute as to Which of Two Citizens Owns the Coal Belonging to Railroad, in Court.
  One of the most peculiar lawsuits ever started since Heck was a pup occupied the attention of the police judge, the district attorney and court attaches last Saturday. "Brocky" Myers being the complaining witness and "Jack" Zeigler the defendant.
  Between Breckenridge and Dickey a great deal of coal is jostled from the tenders of moving engines and some of our best citizens torture the abominable local coal trust almost to tears by gathering it up for use instead of permitting themselves to be robbed by extortionate prices. Among these coal pickers are the two men who had the aforesaid trouble.
  "Brocky" goes down the track, picks his coal and puts it into small piles to be hauled later.
Mr. Zeigler has a horse and buggy and whatever coal he finds he brings home forthwith. "Brocky" brought the suit up on the charge that Zeigler had loaded up and hauled home two tons of coal he had put into small piles.
  In common with most everybody else, Judge Miars didn't seem to think much of the case, as it was the subject of jest, laughter and joke all over town, and soon as he could find an excuse to do so, threw it out of court. The particular point upon which it was dismissed was an error in the information alleging the crime to have been committed "November 31st" instead of October 31st.
  Well, the county pays the costs to keep the mighty machinery of the law constantly oiled for suckers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Human Element | 2 Comments - Click Here :

  The end of another full time rodeo season, a couple of injured horses and the start of school has given me more time to spend on the layout. Lately though, I've been researching old newspaper articles. Specifically, I've been looking for items that pertain to factual stuff like the dates things were built, structures, colors, schedules, locomotive assignments and so forth. 
  I recently read a post on another blog (sorry, I don't remember which one!), that has made me think about something that is maybe just as important. And without knowledge of it, how could I portray the place, time and mood of the location I am modeling? I can build a model right down to every nut, bolt and rivet of the prototype. But what is the story behind it which would really help bring my scenes to life? At least to myself anyways.
  I've been interested in and researching the South Park Line for 30 years. The names of South Park railroaders like Anderson, Colligan, Oshier and Speas to name just a few; conjure up visions of great adventures on the High Line. Their stories have been well documented. But what about the supporting actors? Those whose stories were lost long ago?
  Dickey was not a town. It was a junction point on the railroad that just happened to be in the middle of a large ranching community. There was no central business district. The C&S depot and eating house at Dickey had become the gathering place for the local residents. Dickey was abandoned in 1938 and has been at the bottom of Dillon Reservoir since 1963.
  In my quest for information, I've come across long forgotten stories about the life of the people in Dickey and the Blue River area. I would like to present bits and pieces of them here. I will occasionally post a newspaper clipping in a regular blog story titled "Along The Blue". They are raw and uncut. Told with the style so typical of the period. Some are long and some are short. Some are funny and some are sad. But they all give a sense of a place and time, long ago gone and almost forgotten.
~ Cowboy Up!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Square Round House | 0 Comments - Click Here :

I've recently come across two more newspaper articles. I think it is safe to say the new engine house was painted the same color as the depot being that it was constructed only one year after the "Painting Gang" came through town:

Summit County Journal; Oct 25, 1902;
Round House at Dickey
 The Colorado and Southern Railway company is building a round house at Dickey, with room to "stall" six engines. The building will be completed and ready to use before winter sets in and will be a convenience that the company has long been in need of on this side of Boreas. But instead of being located at the out of the way place of Dickey, the structure should have been located at Breckenridge.
 Gradually the C.& S. management is placing the South Park line in shape to handle traffic more economically. Besides many improvements heretofore noticed the road-bed is being relaid with new steel rails between Denver and Leadville.

Breckenridge Bulletin; Nov 15, 1902;
Round House Completed.
 The square round house at Dickey is completed, and the iron horses have a stable in which to stand while having to lay over or wait a bit at Dickey.
 The weather has been very favorable for out door work. And every one has been taking advantage of the favorable weather to have all contract work done before snow begins to fall.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Painting Gang | 2 Comments - Click Here :

One of the difficulties of modeling the earlier periods of railroading is determining color from black and white photographs. Sometimes we get lucky and find personal accounts of such things. In this case, the color of the facilities on the station grounds:

Summit County Journal; Jul 27, 1901;
On the Fix-Up.
 The visionary theories of the know-alls relative to the abandonment of the South Park line by the C.& S. people are now effectually squelched. At present the Colorado & Southern has a large force of laborers on the High Line, placing the track in better condition and "fixing things up" generally, and the improvements are made with a view to permanency.
  Among the new things now receiving attention we notice new and extensive sidetracks and greater switching facilities at Kokomo, a 12-pocket elevated coal chute at Dickey, which will enable engines to coal in one minute; the station buildings along the line, especially those at Dickey, Dillon and Breckenridge, have undergone thorough repairs, and the painting gang is now recoating them with a bright red; the trestle work on one of the long twin bridges on Boreas pass will be 200 feet long and thirty feet deep in the center.
  One of the high bridges near Birdseye has already been dispensed with by an earth-fill.

Bright red it is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fun With Foam | 0 Comments - Click Here :

This past weekend I paid a visit to the local Home Depot to gather materials for the two staging cassettes which need to be constructed. Instead, I came home with a sheet of pink insulation foam. I immediately went to work with a hack-saw blade and carved in the basic land forms. A messy job, but someone had to do it!
After gluing down the foam, I applied two coats of grey latex paint in preparation for a layer of Sculptamold goop to be added at a later date.
Despite my poor photography caused by an iPhone, bad lighting and the temporary grey color of everything; to my minds eye, it's starting to look allot like Dickey. Maybe its because it looks much like a cold wintry day so typical of the area.
I'm excited to get some real scenery started. But the shadow box and lighting must come first.
~ Cowboy Up!