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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 layout.

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 Caves (http://www.stonebridgeandcaves.com ) 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´┐Ż. 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 www.railroads onparade.com

Reopens second 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.

 

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