Tuesday, August 20, 2019

"Agricultural Implement & Paint Dealer" - Part 1 - Researching

I need to get started on this since I've committed to doing a clinic on how I research and model prototype specific structures for the Mid Atlantic Railroad Prototype Modelers (MARPM) meet at the end of next month. 
The series of blog posts for this project will not include all the photos/diagrams/etc... from the clinic - think of this as an overview of the project. For a more in-depth description consider attending the MARPM.

While I have some typical New England buildings left over from prior layouts that I will be using on the Richford Branch, I certainly plan to model some signature structures. The first of these is this "Agricultural Implement & Paint" dealer, which still stands in Enosburg Falls, Vermont. 
I've known about this building, with its unusual front corner door, for a number of years. In fact, I first noticed it in an early issue of the CVRHS Ambassador when it appeared in an article on the Richford Branch. 
Sanborn Maps label the structure as Agricultural Implement & Paint." What the name lacks in pizzazz it makes up for specificity. Reviewing the maps over the years show the building was originally L-shaped with peaked roofs. At some point between 1920 (the date of the latest Sanborn Map on the LOC website) and 1960 or so when the Ambassador photo was taken, the building received a flat roofed addition that converted the footprint to a rectangle from an "L."
Some places change radically from year to year or decade to decade, meaning the opportunity to a building from the 19th century standing relatively unchanged is pretty rare for some parts of the country. Luckily for me, rural Vermont is not one of those parts. 
A quick wander around the streets of Enosburg Falls on Google Maps streetview show the building still stands, and is remarkably unchanged. I did screen captures showing all the sides of the building. I've included those below:
This view shows the rear of the building. You can see the original "L" footprint.

 "Trackside" perspective (the building was located directly
alongside the Richford Branch mainline.) The angled front door is 

visible to the left. 

Compare this Google Streetview with the b&w 
photo above to see how little the building has changed. 
Full in the knowledge that I need to come up with a better name for this thing, I thought I had enough information to get started on the model. 
I have two more potential sources of photos/information to check for this structure. 
The first is the history of Enosburg Falls (if you've seen the video layout updates on my YouTube channel you've seen this book). 
I also need to check the Central Vermont Railway in Steam, Volume 3, DVD which features a trip in a van up the Richford Branch to see if this store shows up at any point. It's surprising what shows up in that video - for instance, the only overall photo I've ever found of the Richford plywood plant happens to be in that DVD. 
If anything turns up in either place I'll do a post highlighting what I've found. Otherwise, the next post in this thread will show the approach to site planning and mocking up the building. 

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