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Mark Granville, Editor          Volume 11, Number 2  July 2003
Published by the Connecticut Eastern Chapter of the N.R.H.S., Inc

Whats Happening?

Much has been accomplished at the museum in the last few months. Trim and clapboards are being applied to the west gable end of the Groton Freight House. By next month we will be ready for a painter. Any painters out there? The major change to the freight house, however, has been inside. The mish-mash of items that were stored (but not organized) in the freight house have been moved into a steel side box car. Now, you can actually walk from one end to the other. It has been suggested that we could even bowl in there! Better yet, Bob Hassett and Bob Pingree have brought electricity into the building, giving us temporary lights and another place to plug in without running a long extension cord from the section house. Other improvements continue to be made in the village area. Ken Sigfridson delivered a very large tapered wooden post. Soon we will have a 1900-era grade crossing sign between the Chaplin Station and the Willimantic Section House. Over at the roundhouse, thirteen windows have been installed. Dick Arnold designed the interior trim and has two windows done so far. There is also a batch of pavers ready to be installed – any amateur brick layers out there? The Maine Central rail bus is now housed in the roundhouse. Bill Voorvaart is planning to get it running on the rails by the end of the summer. Also, the Fairmont speeder has been moved from the section house to the roundhouse to make room in the section house for a compressor that needs repair. This compressor is large enough to drive the air spiker. This will be a big help to our track crew. Of course, our major push this summer has been track laying. A lot of work has gone into placing ties and rail, positioning a switch frog and points, cutting and drilling rail for joints, and installing all the “jewelry” associated with the freight house turnout. Bob “sparks” Hassett welded a set of compensation joint bars to connect the 107-pound main line track to the 80-pound siding track. Won’t it look great to have a couple of box cars sitting by the freight house? In addition, mowing of our parking lot “hayfield” as well as the rest of the museum grounds goes on every weekend. Come on down during a Saturday work day. There’s plenty to do – and it’s not all heavy work.

Calendar of Events

July  19 Work Day at the Museum
July 20 Membership Meeting
July 26 Work Day at the Museum
Aug 2 Work Day at the Museum
Aug 3 Business Meeting
Aug 9 Work Day at the Museum
Aug 16 Work Day at the Museum
Aug 17 Membership Meeting
Aug 23 Work Day at the Museum
Aug 30 Work Day at the Museum
Oct 18 Fall Rail Excursion on P&W RR

Name That Shed

Last fall Duke York wrote an article asking for members to “Name That Shed”. To date he has had no responses. For those who don’t remember, it is being reprinted in its entirety just as it appeared back in the fall of last year.

Name That Shed

by Duke York

One of the many projects at the museum this fall is to make use of the small shed out behind the roundhouse. This building was donated by Mickey Haddad, owner of Jonathan’s Pub, and moved to our museum years ago before it was fenced in. After cutting away overhanging limbs, the door was repaired and a ramp constructed to improve access. A whole truckload of junk was taken to the transfer station. The shed will now be put to some new uses. First, we plan to use it to store flammable materials. Paint, thinner, linseed oil, gas, etc. will be stored here instead of the more valuable section house or roundhouse. Also, many tools not directly related to track work can be kept here. The door ramp means we can conveniently keep the generator and lawn mower here as well. This new use for the shed has been part of the larger project of emptying the section house, where until recently you could barely get in the door. We’ve been trying to remove items that are not directly related to track work and maintenance so the interior looks once again like a section house. Next time you’re at the museum check out the changes in these two buildings. By the way, we need a name for out “new” shed. Any ideas?

Please take a few minutes and think about it. I am sure there are many names that can come to mind if some thought were put in it. Just a few could include as follows:

1.      Named after a current or former member.

2.      Named after an actual railroad location.

3.      Named for what it actually does.

4.      Named after a fictional location.

We will in the future have other museum locations and buildings to name, just as the prototypes do. The main purpose to this is so that when a location or building is talked or written about everybody knows what or where it is. Therefore if you are told to get something out of “Podunk” shed, there is only one shed named Podunk, and you know exactly where to go.

Good & Welfare Committee

Dear Members:

Please don’t forget to fill out your member worksheets when working at the museum or doing other things that involves time spent on behalf of the museum. It is important to have these hours documented when applying for grants. It takes only a few minutes of your time, but will be very helpful when needed.

Also, please contact me if you know of or hear of any member or their immediate family who are recuperating from an illness or injury or who may have passed away and I will send an appropriate card from the membership to the member or family. Call or leave a message before 9:00pm at (860) 228-9703.

Thanks for your time,

Patie Griffin

Good & Welfare Committee

Museum Projects

There are some small projects and maintenance jobs that I need help with at the museum. Feel free to dig in or contact me at (860) 228-9703 if you have any questions.

1.       Clean leaves out of ash pit

2.       Clean leaves out of turntable pit

3.       Mow grass in village area

4.       Mow grass out to bridge over WillimanticRiver

5.       Mow grass in visitors parking lot

6.       Pull weeds in islands in visitors parking lot

7.       Remove loose rocks and stones along sides of our gravel access road so we can mow

8.       Cut down trees along west side of access road from Bridge Street to village area up to edge of banking

9.       Spread bark mulch around bases of trees in village area

10.    Cut brush along chain link fence line

11.    Grade side of track behind freight house

12.    Build railroad tie flower box around base of museum sign at Bridge Street

13.    Empty trash barrels (bag up trash)

The next scheduled meeting of the
Connecticut Eastern Chapter,
National Railway Historical Society
will be at Windham Community Memorial Hospital
112 Mansfield Ave., Willimantic, CT
on Sunday, August 17 at 7:00 PM.

Please note: The monthly business meeting will be held at the
same location on the first Sunday of the month.
All members are welcome to attend.
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Copyright ©2003 Connecticut Eastern Chapter, National Railway Historical Society