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Joe, I visited Chester’s house and shop when I went to the 1975 TCA convention in Orlando.  What a collection!  

I had “O” & “G” layouts in the original store.  When I built the new building, I designed it with six, 12’ wide show windows, each with an operating layout behind.  Outside, there were concrete risers in front of each window, so kids could get a better look.  In the corner, with a 12’ window on each side, there was a 20’ x 20’ “L” shaped LGB layout.  In addition, I had LGB running on an elevated, wall mounted layout that ran the perimeter of the main showroom.

My wholesale company, Daylight Distributors, was the exclusive U.S. importer and distributor for Fleischmann HO & N, and I had lavish, factory built, Fleischmann HO & N display layouts in the store.  At one time, there were a total of 8, fully landscaped layouts operating in the store, most operating multiple trains automatically.

Caboose Hobbies had me beat on raw, square footage, but when it came to presentation—without blowing my own whistle too much—I believe one would be hard pressed to come up with a store that was more beautifully appointed and interesting for your average person to visit.

MrAllied, though I never visited your shop or Caboose Hobbies in Denver, I believe CH may have been just a bit over rated.  The fact that the Colorado Railroad Museum wasn't that far away probably did a lot to help their overall sales as well.  The new "Caboose" continues to offer trains but I don't think it has the reputation that the original CH had.

Sadly, Chester's daughter, Diane, passed away a few years ago.  As it was, she held an auction, selling the inventory, then sold the store before her health began to fail.   This ended a Sunshine State model railroader must visit tradition forever.  The other area train shop, H&R Trains survives in Pinellas Park, under new ownership.  My buddy, who I wanted to check it out for me, recently suffered a stroke.  As a result, his younger brother will probaby end up selling the large collection of O gauge trains which takes up most of a bedroom in the house they currently rent.

We keep loosing train shop owners and OGR members at an alarming rate so it seems.  Everyone, please do your best to take care of your health (as well as your loved ones too) during these uncertain trying times in which we live today.  We're a family who stick together where friendships are forged just like the mighty steam locomotives that we all cherish and once roamed the rails.  We still have some fine locomotives that carry on the tradition which do their share to insure that The World's Greatest Hobby will continue to warm the hearts of kids of all ages, from eight to eighty and beyond!

Godspeed

Joe

Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
@MrAllied posted:

<snip>

When I built the new building, I designed it with six, 12’ wide show windows, each with an operating layout behind.  Outside, there were concrete risers in front of each window, so kids could get a better look.  In the corner, with a 12’ window on each side, there was a 20’ x 20’ “L” shaped LGB layout.  In addition, I had LGB running on an elevated, wall mounted layout that ran the perimeter of the main showroom.

My wholesale company, Daylight Distributors, was the exclusive U.S. importer and distributor for Fleischmann HO & N, and I had lavish, factory built, Fleischmann HO & N display layouts in the store.  At one time, there were a total of 8, fully landscaped layouts operating in the store, most operating multiple trains automatically.

Caboose Hobbies had me beat on raw, square footage, but when it came to presentation—without blowing my own whistle too much—I believe one would be hard pressed to come up with a store that was more beautifully appointed and interesting for your average person to visit.

Agreed!

Bob

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

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