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Messages - Ed Weldon

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The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: Ships and boats at Wiscasset
« on: February 11, 2013, 01:22:25 AM »
Eric - thank you for your interest in my quest.  I'm working on HO scale, HOn30 trackwork.  I just ordered an Arcadia book on Boothbay Harbor among several others from Amazon. Your comment reminded me to go find the Arcadia web site and they seem to have a fine list of their publications that cover coastal Maine. I'm hoping the Boothbay book  will shed more light on Captain Frank Rowe and his little steamer "Winter Harbor".
Some research I've done suggests that he had his own landing at Wiscasset before1932 separated from the Steamship and Railroad wharfs.  But where?  An old article in the Lewiston evening Journal (Jan 29, 1942) suggests that the Winter Harbor sank near his wharf sometime when or after they discontinued service in 1932..  I'll want to make their Sheepscot River line and the steamer part of the waterfront scene on my second module.
I have studied the low resolution images of the Wiscasset wharf area in Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot Valley vol. One and can't see any sign of a float in later pics of either of the large wharfs.  The Winter Harbor had a very low freeboard so a float would have been a necessity for departing passengers given the 11-12 foot tides in the river.  It does make sense that Capt. Rowe would have his own wharf to avoid the continual payment of docking fees to the owner of the Steamship Wharf.
Bluejacket Ship Crafters produces simple HO kits for the Friendship Sloop and a lobster boat..
http://www.bluejacketinc.com/honscale.htm
They also have HO lobster traps and a nice looking HO schooner kit
http://www.bluejacketinc.com/downeast.htm
I do wonder if there was any commercial fishing activity working out of the Wiscasset port area.  It seems kind of far from the ocean for that.  Most of the small craft in pictures of the 1905-1925 period appear to be recreational types, local workboats or ships tenders.
Ed Weldon

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The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: Ships and boats at Wiscasset
« on: February 10, 2013, 06:50:50 AM »
Well somewhere among the leads you folks have given me I found a path to this:
http://www.mainememory.net/bin/SwishSearch?per_page=10&q_id=%3A%3AMaine%20%28Ship%29&snum=0
which is search finding from:
http://www.mainememory.net/
This outfit has literally thousands of maritine related images that provide a lot of interesting material for modeling waterfronts.  I found lots of images and answers to my questions about boats, ships and other Maine maritime activities and commerce.  I spent a good part of two days going through a search on "ships" and learned a lot about Maine seaboard commerce in the 1885-1935 period. When I get to modeling the Wiscasset waterfront the knowledge will help me a lot in getting it right for a specific era.
While I fumble around in the Mainmemory website I begin to understand that it is a digital resource that draws its content from a wide range of Maine historical sources.  And what is becoming apparent to me is that Maine folks are far more interested in their maritime history than the various wheeled gadgets that in the last century sent most of the maritime cultural heritage into either retirement or transformation into a medium for recreation.  Especially noteworthy is the scarcity of material in mainememory.net relating to 2 foot gauge railroads.
They seem to have a lot of legal walls around their trove of images; so it may be just as well they don't mess with the narrow gauge stuff.  But one useful feature is their call numbers for each image.  Once you have a call number for an image it is easy to find with their site's search function.  That's particularly convenient for public forum discussions such as this where we are slowly being forced to avoid use of copyrighted material.  ....... Ed Weldon

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The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: Ships and boats at Wiscasset
« on: February 09, 2013, 07:26:10 PM »
I think I posted this reply in the wrong subject area. So I'll repeat it here where it belongs..... Ed Weldon

"James-  Just found and ordered a copy of the lobstering book on the internet.  Many thanks.
Local Maine museum sources are interesting and if I lived down there I'd spend a good bit of time with them.  But from 3000 miles away the collections are largely closed to me with internet methods unless I want to invest fairly large amounts of money buying images that for the most part I can't even see before I order.  And being at most a casual history buff as opposed to a serious historian I really don't have the necessary credentials to waste the time of museum staff with emails and phone conversations.  I think I will have to demonstrate some pretty tangible progress in my modeling of Wiscasset before I have much credibility there, friendly and cordial as those folks probably are.   ........ Ed Weldon"

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The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: Ships and boats at Wiscasset
« on: February 07, 2013, 05:16:55 AM »
Mark - Thanks for the leads.  I have Peter Barney's book and you motivated me to review the pics.  The one of the steamer Jeanette on pg 24 got me started on a long trail of internet searches this evening that have produced a couple of real jewels. One was a photo of the small Steamer "Winter Harbor" described in a piece about Westport as follows:
"Ice-free year-round service was provided on the Main Sheepscot River for many years by the steamer Winter Harbor.  Purchased by Captain Frank Rowe in 1908, he made arrangements with the Post Office Dept. to carry the mail from the railroad at Wiscasset to Boothbay harbor and the Islands."
By the way, the Jeanette is a little big for a 30 x 72 inch layout module that will also have about as small a cargo schooner as I can come up with.  Those huge 4 and 6 mast schooners like from Percy and Small are gorgeous; but I think a bit big for a tug to safely turn in those narrow estuaries like the Sheepscot.  Besides the sheer size of an HO model would be too much for a model train scene like I plan (hull length around 36 inches)
The other jewel was a 1915 photo of a clamshell dredge on the Saco River that looked pretty typical of the type and period.  Dredges tend to get around pretty well in their market area so it's entirely possible that this one worked the Wiscasset docks just off the Sheepscot river channel.
Both will make really neat HO waterline models.
Keep'em coming, guys.  Sometimes my mind draws a blank on search paths and the slightest hint of a name or publication title is all it takes to get going with an internet search.
I'll be looking for "Lobstering and the Maine Coast" by Kenneth R. Martin and Nathan R. Lipfert and searching for the Downeast magazine issues.
Good stuff, Thanks again, Ed Weldon

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The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Ships and boats at Wiscasset
« on: February 07, 2013, 12:16:15 AM »
As I deal with the more prosaic aspects (module construction and trackwork) of a Wiscasset based model railroad I drift occasionally into research and planning.  Lately I'm thinking about a future waterfront module.  This gives rise to questions about the ships and boats that habituated Wiscasset harbor and the nearby estuary.   I haven't yet had much luck with a couple of days probing the internet.  Perhaps the right search words are escaping me.  Were I a New England resident I would spend a weekend in one of your city libraries or perhaps hunt up folks from the Lincoln County historical society.  But that's not in the cards at the moment.
There's that popular 1878 panorama woodcut that show quite a few ships and a few boats and at least one that looks like a tug.  A few images in some of our favorite reference books on the WW&F show ships at the docks.  But after that I'm running out of sources that I can tap from 3000 miles way in CA. 
So I have lots of questions I want to answer about modeling watercraft for the Wiscasset waterfront. That includes everything from cargo ships down to small fishing boats.  Can any of you local Maine guys or heavy historians point me in the direction of information sauces?  I'd especially like to model specific vessels rather than generic types.  Of especial interest would be specifics one of the regular tug boats that would have worked the port in the 1900-1925 period for maneuvering the sailing ships in and out of the wharfs.  Also of interest is fishing boats if any as well as pile drivers and dredges.
Thanks, Ed Weldon,  Los Gatos, CA

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James - Thanks for the tip on Gus Pratt's DVD #1.  I just ordered a copy from the WW&F gift shop.
Stewart - Thanks to you also for your further comments on trees, water color, etc.
You folks are giving me a lot of confidence that I can bring this modeling effort off.
Ed Weldon

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Stewart - Thanks for the info on soil color.  Makes sense.  Big help for me since I like to form the basic ground contour in polyiso foam around a 1/4" lauan temporarily removable insert that gets the track laid on it.  Then it all gets a thin flat paint coat of base color.  This all gets done pretty early before track is laid so that's why I'm asking questions now.
More questions in the same vein.......... That bank on the west edge of the yard. Is that the same clay soil or something different.  Also some shrubs or young trees maybe 15-20 feet tall are visible on the bank in pictures.  Any idea what species they are?
River water color at Wiscasset?  I imagine the water is pretty clean these days and the water is clear at least in the cold months.  But how about in the 1920's when most any tidal river river made a convenient sewer?  My Wiscasset module will have a lot of water around the Car Shop since I prefer to model high tide and a straight side module is a lot easier to transport.  The bare top of the 1" gatorfoam structural base will get a preliminary base coat of color; so I want to settle that early.  Clear water gets a dark green base representing the deepest water.  Any silt or algae in the water commands a lighter base coat depending on how much it influences the water appearance.
I much appreciate the help you guys are giving me with this project.  My present personal situation pretty much prevents travel to Maine in the forseeable future, much as I'd like to.
Ed Weldon,  Los Gatos, CA

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I'm getting into planning and building an HOn30 30" x 7"2 modular layout of the WW&F yard and wondering what colors to use for the natural dirt ground surface.  I'm looking at a high resolution copy of a commonplace BW photo c1933 or later of the yard looking north toward tthe car shop and coal shed. It shows ground color to be a darker shade than the weathered cross ties and the paint on the south end of the car shop.  About the same darkness as the rusted rail tops, sprigs of sparce vegetation and the lower siding on the coal shed.  Lighter than the box cars lined up on the sidings and the corner of the sawmill.  Leaves on distant trees suggest a late summer time frame and fairly dry conditions for the photo.
Can anyone suggest a comparable commercial or model paint color?  Would you color your model soil with a light wash of raw or burnt sienna, raw or burnt umber or something else?
Trouble is, I've only been to Maine once in my life and I was too young to pay attention to such things.  If one of you has some well founded ideas here I may have other questions about the colors of things and other trivia.
Thanks, Ed Weldon , Los Gatos, CA   

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