Or, I could sell these houses and buy a hotel…

… except that they’re not houses – they’re tobacco kilns.

St. Williams station area - mock ups

I’ve mocked up the structures around the station area in St. Williams. The row of five green buildings with red roofs are tobacco kilns – a common sight in this part of Southwestern Ontario. Ages ago, I photographed and measured a group of kilns in Scotland, Ontario:

Prototype tobacco kilns - Scotland, Ontario

(My prototype photos are of red kilns, but that appears to be a newer colour used on these structures. Older photos show green, which is why I picked green artist board to mock up the kilns – not because it makes them look just like the plastic houses in Monopoly…)

The modest station is represented by the red building, while a black coal bin stands next to it. I will add a level crossing between station and tobacco kilns.

What pleases me most about how this scene is coming together is how the tobacco kilns draw the eye away from the sector plate staging area just beyond. I didn’t want to use a tunnel through a backdrop to exit the scene so I continued the fabric backdrop along the wall behind the sector plate and just stopped lighting it. The scene fades away. The track can disappear through a row of trees across the layout – from fascia to fabric backdrop – at the far end of this row of tobacco kilns. That will do the trick nicely.

Those looking between the kilns will be rewarded with some interesting views of the trains, and I should have just enough room along the fascia to plant a couple of rows of tobacco plants.

2 thoughts on “Or, I could sell these houses and buy a hotel…

  1. Trevor,

    You could have not asked for a better view block of the sector plate. The photo of the prototype kilns are interesting, we have big drying sheds in Maryland. Never saw a kiln before.


    • Thanks Matt. Maybe here in Ontario we needed a little more heat to cure the leaves.
      The kilns – ironically, called “kills” locally – had heaters in them. Originally they were wood stoves. Later they were oil furnaces and the railway was busy delivering fuel for them.

      I understand the tobacco was hung in the kilns for about 10 days to cure. I’m not sure how many batches of harvested tobacco went through a kiln in a given season – whether it was all ready to be harvested at once or whether the harvest was spread out. But it would’ve been busy at harvest time.

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