My first exposure to the O&W came in 1970 when I was living in Stone Ridge, NY. This is a small town not far from the Kingston Branch. The entire route from Summitville to Kingston was/is strung with small villages that had been served by rail. Like 100's (maybe 1,000's) of towns across the country they all had a small town center that included some rail served businesses. Accord and the other towns on the branch were all rural farming communities so the business were almost all a combination of coal, lumber and feed. Each with it's own unique and interesting architecture, I might add.
In the first set of pictures I took in Accord (1969-70) the passenger destination signs were still intact on the exterior of the station by the waiting room door. (What a dream for the collector of O&W memorabilia!) Notice they're all for boarding houses in Kerhonkson. Kerhonkson was actually just a couple miles below Accord. It had it's own station and freight house. Interesting!. Over the years I explored every town on the line but, when the urge to model something took hold I came back to Accord. Not only was it the archetype for a small rail served town, I had a close friend that grew up just a few houses down from the station. His stories of climbing on the box cars spotted at Anderson's Feeds and other adventures painted a powerful and inspirational picture. In 1982 he and I measured every building at Andersons, the station itself and we paced off the spacing between each structure. I spent several weeks on the mechanical drawings and many months scratchbuilding each model. What I finally acheived was an uncompromised or foreshortened model of the site in a 2X7' module.
Back in 1982 the station was empty, as were many others on the line. There was still much O&W "paper" laying about to be recycled into a raifans collection and Anderson Feed's was still operating. Athough the coal business was finished the coal pocket was still operable. The main street had many buildings that once housed stores, a car repair shop complete with a 40's era gas pump but, the acutal businesses had moved a few 100 yards over to Rt 209. I've kept track (no pun) of Accord over the years as the old buildings on the old main street have been re-purposed. The town got a new and very large fire station that was built on the site where the town garage once stood. I don't know how things worked for fire protection years ago when the warning bell or siren was atop the feed mill tower and the engine was housed in a small nearby garage. It's fun to piece together scenarios of what was from what remains.
I've gotten enough requests to see more pictures of the diorama that I thought maybe a forward to all contacts was in order. As many of you know, the diorama only exists in pictures now. I have a box of slides taken from every angle imaginable and Walters included a number of these in their 1985 catalog. Here are a few others you might enjoy.
Enjoy, Wayne Sittner