All Aboard for �Railroads on Parade�
By Persis Granger
As you travel up New York's Adirondack
Northway (I-87), it's easy to breeze right past the tiny town of
Pottersville without realizing what gems reward those who follow the exit
26 signs. Flip on your turn signal and join the growing number of those
who have discovered Pottersville's amazing new attraction, Railroads on
Parade, located at 7903 NYS route 9, the town's main street.
| A scene of the station in the fifties
A bold red and white
sign, replete with stars and stripes, arches proudly over the entrance of
this auspicious 5,000 square-foot display that, as the owners say, � brings
you 60 trains and trolleys, 2,500 feet of track, 100s of buildings, 1,000s
of trees and millions of memories.� Fascinating layouts vie for viewers'
attention, with trains coming and going on various levels. Varying scales
are used to enhance the sense of depth in the displays. The five layouts
depict magical miniature worlds that will pull you in for an unbeatable trip
down memory lane.
|Clarke and Barbara Dunham, pause for a snap shot
before resuming work on their retirement opus
Railroads on Parade is
the creation of Clarke and Barbara Dunham of Dunham Studios, who have
perfected this project by dint of hard labor and decades of design
experience. Clarke, an award-winning, Tony-nominee Broadway set designer who
had always loved model trains, created his first professional layout for
Citicorp in 1988, a display that was expected to draw a few thousand
visitors over the Christmas season. The public response was astounding, and
the display was featured at the Citicorp headquarters for twenty-one years,
delighting thousands upon thousands in its lifespan. It was an unexpected
twist in Dunham's career, but an opportunity he welcomed as he noticed
changes in the theater scene in New York. Citicorp Station was to become
only his first of many, many train projects, as customers from both public
and private sectors sought out Clarke's expertise in creating layouts.
|See the 1939 New York World's Fair in miniature.
Railroads on Parade offers the
visitor incredible detail in its multiple layouts which, individually
over their respective lives, have been visited by over seven million
people. We begin our �first class� ride in New York City and see Hell
Gate Bridge, the 1939 Worlds Fair, Weehawken, NJ in the 1940s. We
work our way through the Catskills and on to the Adirondacks. Day
turns to night at three-minute intervals, and seasons and decades
change as we proceed northward.
|See the building that inspired the Bates Hotel of Psycho renown.
It was modeled after a real place on this route.
Young and old alike
delight to the miniature lifescapes along the route. We note such miniatures
as the Bates Hotel, (the movie version was modeled after this NY structure),
a carnival with moving Ferris wheel, a Flag Day parade, a woodsman splitting
logs, a drive-in movie which actually shows the film �High Noon� with Gary
Cooper and Grace Kelly on a (tiny) silver screen. Making its Pottersville
debut in 2012 is the peaceful nautical setting of the Prince Edward Island
| On our fantasy train ride we see a small town Flag Day parade.
While you are in Pottersville, you can
find lunch at the Hometown Deli or the Black Bear Restaurant, serving
guests for over fifty years. Plan a side trip to Natural Stone Bridge and
) under two miles away, where enticing wooded hiking trails take you to
caves and other geological wonders. You may make dinner reservations at
the nearby Adirondack Caf�. Double your train fun in the Lake George
region by booking passage aboard the Saratoga and North Creek Railway. Fun
abounds in the North Country, especially if you make a point of visiting
the small towns off the Interstate.
For more Info:
Check details and schedule at
weekend in May � downtown Pottersville, NY, I-87 exit 26
Persis�better known as �Perky��Granger
is the author of two YA works of historical fiction and a teacher's guide,
(�Adirondack Gold� and its sequel, �A Summer of Strangers�) as well as an
adult nonfiction anthology about living with Alzheimer's disease (�Shared
Stories from Daughters of Alzheimer's: Writing a Path to Peace�). Another
novel is in progress, vying for time with her freelance work and community
volunteer efforts. Inspired by and enamored of the writing community,
Perky also created �Fiction Among Friends�, a mini-business which hosts
readings, workshops, signings and retreats for writers. See more at
http://www.PersisGranger.com and visit our
contributors page for more about her.