I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
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Golden Spike trains featured in a wood model
By Barry Schrader.................................July
Train buff, artist and wood modeler Bob Myers has just completed
the most time consuming and complex wooden train models of his
life, taking more than a year and hundreds of hours to design
and build the two engines that met at Promontory Summit in Utah
in 1869 to commemorate the completion of the cross-continental
railroad culminating in the Golden Spike ceremony.
two engines were the Jupiter steam engine owned by the Central
Pacific Railroad and Steam Engine No. 119 of the Union Pacific
line. His models, mostly built using a scroll saw, are historically
accurate right down to the gold spikes (pins) driven into the
rail bed in the model layout that stretches nearly five feet.
He enjoys working with walnut and oak the most but has used up
to 15 different woods in his latest project.
Bob Myers Trains
Bobs interest in trains, drawing and woodworking began
at an early age and has evolved into a hobby that has brought
him national acclaim. Two years ago one of his earlier locomotive
models won the Peoples Choice award in Scrollsaw Workshop
craft magazine. Now he plans to enter again to compete for the
editors top prize. Bob also has brought home awards from
the Sandwich Fair more than once and plans to enter this project
in the fair this September. His model made its public debut in
mid-July at the Art Attack show in Sycamore and will be on display
again at least one day during the Northern Illinois Steam Power
Show in August at the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society
He also is well-known for his annual
holiday cards featuring drawings of various train depots from
around DeKalb County. This will be his 10th year designing a
card in pen and ink that features either a historical landmark
like the courthouse or Sycamore library or one of several existing
or demolished depots. His card for 2009 will be the Cortland
railroad station, no longer in existence. Each year he donates
the proceeds to a nonprofit organization. The county historical
society has been the recipient of that gift the past two years.
Does he ever long for a real model train he can play
with at home? Bob revealed that last year a family friend offered
him an N-gauge model train set that had been owned by her late
husband. He now has it in boxes stored in the basement and some
day hopes to find the time to set it all up, but not until he
has completed a few more wood models. His future plans include
a Model-A Ford, a vintage fire engine, a road grader and a farm
tractor. Watch for those at the county fair in coming years.
If you want to get a peak at his artistic holiday
cards check out his Web site at www.dekalbdepot.com on the internet.
POSTSCRIPT: I wanted to note the passing of three historically
significant people in the past week. Dan Gustafson of Sycamore,
who wrote a column of personal recollections of days gone by,
and Doreen Smith of Shabbona, who was part of a weekly newspaper
and printing family and kept her fathers basement print
shop intact, have both passed away. I was privileged to become
acquainted with both of them and will miss their friendships.
We also lost Marilyn Rasmusen who has written a six-part series
on the life of Chief Shabbona that has been appearing in each
issue of Cornsilk, the county historical societys magazine.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115