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Hi All, 

Back about 20 years ago there was a great shop located in Merrillville Indiana called Carriage House Concepts or The Carriage House. The business was owned by a gentleman named Harry Brown who became both and MTH and Lionel dealer and also built an incredible layout in the store. The business shuttered around 2006 and the entire property abandon. A video just appeared a few weeks back showing the layout and buildings which should be meeting the bulldozer in the coming weeks. 

I was able to save some of the signage and small items from the layout with permission about three years ago, but have come to realize I never took any photos of the store / layout when it was in operation. I know its a long shot, but did anyone here happen to take photos that they could share? 

Thanks,

Derek

Original Post

I bought a lot of trains there when I was going to school and was a  frequent visitor as I grew up in the area.  The nicest store layout I have ever seen.  It was a large L shaped layout with great landscaping all the way to the ceiling and a fantastic water dam scene.  The landscaping on it reminded me of the layout at Lionel headquarter when it existed in Michigan.  The entire layout ran off of TMCC.  I think there was 4 or 5 separate loops.  Most of the building were custom painted.  Keep in mind this was back in the late 90’s.  Brass railings around the layout with Lionel bar stools around it for visitors. I also thought they were one of the first people selling Lionel bars stools to folks.  When walking in initially, you would never guess there was a large awesome layout in there, but you needed to walk to the back.  The video shown here is pretty sad considering what it used to be.  I will follow up with my dad, as I think he may have pictures of it.

Funny because I don’t remember any one named Harry there.  It’s been a few years, but I thought Jeff was the owner.  
Megan being there mostly during the week .   I also remember Chuck and Jim filling in on the weekends. 

Another cool place close by was Illiana Short Line just west of Munster, Jimmy was the owner there and also had a cool store layout with long runs.

Both of these places were almost exclusively o gauge, pretty cool time in the hobby.

Last edited by Hump Yard Mike

Funny because I don’t remember any one named Harry there.  It’s been a few years, but I thought Jeff was the owner.  
Megan being there mostly during the week .   I also remember Chuck and Jim filling in on the weekends. 

 

Hi Mike, 

Glad I'm not the only one who remembers. You're absolutely right that Harry was not a regular fixture around the store. Jeff is Harry's son and I believe he was running day to day operations in the train store. I also remember Chuck and Jim, but my dealings were mostly with Jeff.

I was able to salvage a few of the bridge piers from the dam, and you're absolutely right about it being one of the focal points on the layout.  

Hopefully your Father took some photos, would love to see the layout in all its glory again. 

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