Algonquin Park "Highland Inn"

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MasonJar, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    At last, some progress worth looking at...!

    This is intended for a future module, but I could not resist working on it. I received the Inn somewhat complete - at least the main walls and roof, although in the picture it is only temporarily assembled with tape.

    The Highland Inn was built at Cache Lake in Algonquin Park in 1908 by the Grand Trunk, shortly after it acquired the Ottawa, Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway which ran through the park. (Lumber baron JR Booth had built the railway.)

    The Inn was originally just a dining room, kitchen, and staff quarters, with guests residing in canvas tents. Over the years, a number of additions were made. It reached the form I am modelling sometime in the 1920s, about the time that Canadian National Railways was formed (absorbing Grand Trunk, among others).

    The Inn was closed during the early 1930s depression, but reopened in 1938 and remained in business until the Government elected to demolish it (and other camps) in the 1950s. Only one original camp remains - Bartlett Lodge - which is across the bay from the site of the Highland Inn.

    Andrew

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  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    You "received it somewhat complete"? Howcum I don't receive stuff "somewhat complete"? :rolleyes: Neat looking model, Andrew. Is it made from boxboard? I like the way that the backside is angled, as it helps to make the building more part of the scene, rather than just a background flat. Most of my background buildings in Dunnville and Lowbanks are built the same way.
    I hope that you'll keep us updated on your progress on this interesting looking structure.

    Wayne
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Wayne,

    Thanks for the compliments, although most of the credit is due to my "trading partner" - a guy from one of the local clubs who gave up HO scale some time ago to switch to S. He started (and abandoned) construction 12 years ago...

    The Inn is made of various thicknesses of styrene, with a scribed styrene skin representing the "novelty" siding I think may have been used. Either that, or it is straight clapboard...?

    The unique angle of construction allows the east wing to be seen - if it had been constructed as a "flat" flat, the whole right side of the building would not be on the module...!

    I have attached my sketched plans for a "transition" set of modules that will eventually operate at www.hotrak.ca (although it may be a few years before I get there). The shape in the upper left is the footprint of the building. At the bottom are the two four-foot long modules that will house the first part of the Algonquin set. The green blob is the Inn; the purple is the station and platform; the red line is the track (there was no double track to the east, but this is a concesssion to HOTrak standards); the blue is Cache Lake and a small inlet to the east of the station; the light green represents the boathouse and pavilion; and the brown is the docks.

    To the west was the little village associated with the station - a rec hall, Park headquarters, staff houses, and so on. After 1933, when a trestle just to the east was condemned, CN added a turntable and runaround track to the west as well. All of this may eventually occupy two more modules...!

    BTW, you don't need to get stuff "somewhat complete" - you do a fantastic job of finishing stuff off from what I can see... ;) :D

    Andrew

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  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    One other thought - it would be fantastic to see some of your passenger stuff parked out front of the Inn...! I have a Bachmann Spectrum ten-wheeler that I hope to do up as CN 1337, which I believe was assigned to Algonquin. Any advice?

    Andrew
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Well, for passenger cars, the MDC Pullman Palace cars would look nice in CNR green if you want wooden cars, or if you prefer steel, Walthers, Branchline, Rivarossi (Walthers) and Athearn all make suitable steel coaches, although not likely painted for CNR, at least in your era.
    The Bachmann Ten Wheeler is a smooth runner. I bought two of them to make into CNR locos, but they're too small for the ones that I wanted to do. Then I was going to make them into the two NYC locos that ran out of St. Thomas, but finding the proper tenders drew a blank, especially since each loco used two of them. They'll be converted for service on one of my freelanced roads. If you need to have a piston valve loco, I hope to do a how-to on converting them, although it won't happen for a while. It's a fairly simple procedure which yields a "close enough", at least for me, kind of job.

    Wayne
  7. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

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    very nice model, huge fan of th arnprior rail way, i lived down the street from it till it was torn up in renfrew.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Stuart,

    The more I read about the OA&PS, the more I like it - even into the GT and CN days - except the tearing down the Inn and not repairing the Cache Lake trestle.

    Can you imagine the steam excursion/tourist draw it would be if the Inn and tracks were still there?! ;) :D

    Algonquin Park has plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Inn in 2008 (even though it was only there for half of that time...). Maybe I'll have the model done by then ;)

    Andrew
  9. stump7

    stump7 Member

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    Andrew
    I almost dropped my teeth when I saw the heading on your thread. I used to spend summer vacations at a leaseholders cabin on Cache Lake. We'd pile the whole family, 3 kids and a dog, into a 18" canoe and go off tripping for a week or more at a time. There was a post office, a small store and a dancehall at the site of the old Inn. I will watch with great interest as you build your model of the Inn.
    Best
    Stump7
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Stump,

    Any chance you've got photos of the family vaction spot...? :cool: What year(s) were you up there, and how did you get there...?

    Here's a quote I think is really relevant to this, as I am too young to have ever seen the Inn, or steam engines in service...

    "Mine is the truest form of nostalgia - the fond memory of something never experienced"
    - Andy Sperandeo​

    Any help you could provide would be fantastic!


    Andrew
  11. stump7

    stump7 Member

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    Andrew
    The first summer I was there was 1961 which was BC (before children). Both the Inn and steam were long gone.I don't remember if I took any photos of the foundation site. I do have some photos of the dock where one loaded up canoes and boats. I know I have photos of the trestle at the south end of Cache Lake. When we moved all my slides went to my son who was going to transfer them to CD's. If you are interested I will see if he can find them.
    Regards
    Stump7
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Stump,

    That would be great! And 1961 wasn't too long after the Inn came down - but obviously too long for pictures... :(

    Anything you can find would be helpful. I get the impression that not too much changed over the years, and placement of buildings and such would be a great help.

    Andrew
  13. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

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    i remember the old days before they took up the tracks and CPR 1201 use to run thru the old line from Ottawa to Barry's Bay, always full never a seat to found. so i cannot imagine the line ups now if they were able to runa steam train or even a modern day trip to the area . especially during the fall and the colours of the leaves were out.

    when i was about 12 i got a trip on one of the visiting CN trains, a friend and i got to ride in the caboose for a short trip as they were heading back to Ottawa. they would stop in renfrew and turn the locomotives to the other end of the train and pull it back to Ottawa. I think they were just out sight seeing as there was no traffic, it would come like once a week thru here.
    A guy i know use to model ( or still may) the line thru renfrew as it was in the 1960s.
    those were the glory days of the line.
  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    If you get a chance, you can see CPR 1201 at Ottawa Open Doors at the Museum of Science and Tech. It unfortunately is not operable, as it needs tires (~$500,000) plus a bunch of other work. Interesting to see it in several books from the early 1980s listed as one of the "operable" steam locos surviving in Canada - no longer... :(

    Andrew
  15. abutt

    abutt Member

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    Andrew...Nicely done. Whose windows will you use? Also loved the print of the hotel.

    Allan
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Allan,

    Thanks! The openings are sized for Grandt Line parts - although I may need to find more than I have - there's quite a few...!

    The print is courtesy of CN nutbar, who found it in a book he had. It is a great reference, especially with the fellow sliding the canoe down the ramp in the foreground...

    Andrew
  17. abutt

    abutt Member

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    Andrew,

    I figured they would be Grants. I use them exclusively for my scratch building, also laser cut from American Builders. Do you know you can buy a whole box of Grant windows of various sizes and shapes in one box?

    Allan
  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Allan,

    Do you have a source for that "box o' windows"? My local shop wants about $4 for each little set. If I could buy them by the box, it might be better...

    Thanks.

    Andrew
  19. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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  20. RusticBob

    RusticBob New Member

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    *Bump* This seems to be the place... There was a company I ran across in a web search that had a kit for the Barry's Bay Ont. Station. For the life of me I have not been able to find it again. I am modeling the CNR in that region and would like to have that kit. Any help would be great!

    Thanks.