First Model Railroad of the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical Society

The club’s first model railroad was located in this building on Franklin St in Fort Bragg, CA.

shop at the extreme right was the home of the club's first layout

shop at the extreme right was the home of the club’s first layout

There were less than 15 members. Members paid $10 per month each. Stony broke railroads don’t last too long and that was the fate of the HO California Western Railroad we tried to create. We didn’t have enough money for rent let alone track underbed and track (Income less that $150 per month!). What I recall is at the outer limits of my dubious memory.

We needed a wall at the back of our space (somehow obtained rent free) which Bill Shepherd erected, Bill also installed florescent lighting. We met once a week and hung out the flag which now adorns the north wall of our present building. Joe DuVivier created the plan for the layout:

CWR HO Track Plan

CWR HO Track Plan

 

Plan View

Plan View

I thought the plan was pure genius when I first examined it. I still think it pure genius ‘cos it incorporates all the “good” dioramas along the CWR route from Fort Bragg to Willits. We (more likely Bill Shepherd) built part of the base scenery. We started putting down hand laid track on top of felt like material that I obtained and cut out. Then we got the chop. After we had been there a little over a year we were given the hoof  as we couldn’t meet the rent the landlord demanded and the club was back on the street, homeless.

I don’t have any photos of what we achieved. Louis Hough (then historian) or Phil Miller (then President) may have some but I can’t find any in my collection.

As future blogs will tell we were resilient and rose from the ashes.