Visitors of all ages enjoy the details, craftsmanship and historical accuracy of the Boston & Maine Railroad HO scale model at the Freight House/Heritage Park Railroad Museum. Check out the scavenger hunt game -- see if you can locate all the items on the list!
Jay Ehlen at work on a model.
Jay Ehlen joined the model railroad work crew at the freight house in the Heritage Park Railroad Museum in January and has been busy constructing several structures located in the village of Union in 1909.
Jay lives in Durham with his wife of 50 plus years, Carol, and their boxer, Buster. Now a full-time resident after spending winters in Vero Beach, Florida for the past decade, he has been involved in model railroading for nearly 70 years starting with a simple oval layout inspired by his grandfather, a long time Pennsylvania Railroad engineer.
Jay grew up in suburban Chicago and came East to Union College and then to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. He started his career in the treasurer’s office at E.I. DuPont before moving to New York City. There he worked with several firms on Wall Street, most notably fifteen years at Goldman Sachs & Company, specializing in the commercial banking industry as an analyst and investment banker. He also served as a Senior Vice President at Morgan Trust Company and as President of Fox-Pitt, Kelton, Inc., a firm specializing in the financial service industry.
Over the years, Jay has built several model railroad layouts that were abandoned due to domicile moves. He is now working on his dream layout situated in a 25- by 40-foot room in his Durham home. With luck, he expects to complete his model railroad project over the next 10 years.
The Heritage Park Railroad Museum is fortunate to have Jay, his enthusiasm, and modeling skills on board as a participant in the ongoing building of the 1909 era Boston & Maine Railroad. Type your paragraph here.
The all-volunteer construction crew includes (in alphabetical order) George Allen of Rochester, Rich Breton of Rochester, Bill Gaver of Brookfield, Cory Fothergill of Union, Lee Gridley of Ossipee, Tony Keegan of Wolfeboro, Nelson Kennedy of Alton Bay, Joe Santoro of Wolfeboro, Dave Sias of Meredith, Phil Twombley of Wakefield, Bob Verdonck of Moultonboro, Ken White of Rochester and Bob Zeliff of Wolfeboro.
Photos courtesy Rich Breton
This meticulously researched and constructed layout depicts the Union, Sanbornville, Wakefield Corner, Burleyville, and Mathews railroad stations as they existed in 1909 as well as the surrounding historic buildings in the town. For historical accuracy, the actual track plans were obtained for the five villages from the Boston and Maine Railroad archives located at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
The late 1800s and early 1900s were a booming period for the region. The Northern Division of the B&M service facilities were located in Sanbornville. Industry thrived in the areas of farming, mica mining, ice harvesting and shoe manufacturing. Abundant forests provided for huge logging operations and related manufacturing of wood products consisting of lumber, window frames, furniture, shingles, matches, wooden toys, kitchen utensils and excelsior.
Be sure to scroll down for our slideshows of the Sanbornville Coal Shed and section houses.
From left to right, Ken White, Joe Santoro, Rich Breton, Tony Keegan, Bill Gaver and George Allen. Photo courtesy Cindy Gilman