Apples must’ve been big business in Port Rowan at one time, and they’ll figure prominently on my layout, too.
Down By The Bay, a history of Port Rowan that I’ve mentioned before on this blog, notes that during the First World War, an apple dehydrating plant was located across from the station. (As its name suggests, this plant created dried fruit. It was shipped out via rail, eventually to Allied soldiers fighting in Europe.)
The plant disappeared before the era I’m modelling, so I won’t have trainloads of apples heading out of Port Rowan – although when Andy Malette at MLW Services releases his highly-anticipated CNR eight-hatch refrigerator car in S scale, I will have to ship the occasional carload of apples off the team track.
…and I know from speaking with people like my friend Rich Chrysler that these were apple orchards. (Indeed, one can still find Port Rowan-area orchards today.)
So, I will have to model the orchards.
While visiting a local hobby shop this week, I found a package of tree armatures (Woodland Scenics TR1121) that will make a good starting point for my trees. A three-inch model tree represents a 16-foot tree in S and one wouldn’t want apple trees much taller than that: They’d be too hard to pick. So this package of 57 armatures seemed like a good starting point.
I do – but I will also need two or three more bags of armatures to fill the space!
…but I think these plastic armatures will better capture the cultivated look of apple trees than (ironically) more natural materials such as Super Sage Trees. (I’ll have plenty of places to use Super Sage elsewhere on the layout, too.)
Have another look at the orchards on the CNR track map. Note that there’s a private crossing to allow the farmer to tend orchards on both sides of the tracks. While doing orchard-y things yesterday, I also distressed and stained some strip wood and added the farm crossing:
I also added ballast between the two wooden crossings. I’ll finish this crossing when I do the ground cover in the orchard, with a lane for an old farm truck or tractor+wagon.
I’m looking forward to this project – but ask me again after I’ve done 150-200 apple trees!