Most of what you see above comes from A Walther’s Power Plant kit which had been poorly assembled by a youngster, and came to me in a box of things I picked up as a “bargain.” Heh, heh. Anyway, what you see NOW is a brewery, which has been poorly assembled by an OLDSTER. Bad as the assembly is, the photo is worse, so bear with me.

The main power plant building is now the brew house. That shiny steel brewing kettle you see through the window is the top third of plastic bottle which I spray painted aluminum, turned upside down and mounted on some scraps of balsa. The window itself comes from a big plastic blister back used to package Cornerstone building parts. The frame is painted basswood strips. Toward the bottom, some brick veneer which came from Plastuct. The Office building in front is faced with cut stone, made of scored meat tray foam. The big chimney is made from the one that came with the power plant kit, wrapped with meat tray foam stone at the bottom, and finished with more brick sheeting up top. The “story” is that the old brewery had burned down, but enough of the old stack remainded to support a new one.

Lettering on the chimney is from home made decals I designed on my computer. As you can see, it is seriously in need of some Dull-Cote. The left, right and top signs are just computer art output to photo paper.

At the very top is the billboard which looks out over the town of Sugar Hollow (named for the locality where I reside). I’ve blown it up so you can read it. If you know French, you’ll get it. If not, just ask and I’ll tell you. Let’s just say Claudius is serious about his beer.

So . . . who IS this Claudius guy, anyway? He is Claudius Crozet, French engineer and a buddy of Thomas Jefferson. Among his various accomplishments was the construction of a railroad tunnel through Afton Mountain, which lies between Waynesboro and Charlottesville, VA and was for many decades the longest railroad tunnel anywhere in the world. Were it not for more modern day engineering later on, the Chessie would still run through it to this very day. Crozet, VA, where I live, is named for Claudius.

So what’s the beer connection? Absolutely none whatsoever. The idea is a complete fabrication by me, but it does have origins in real breweries, specifically the Queen City and Cumberland Brewing companies of Cumberland MD, which were bought out by the Pittsburgh Brewing Compnay back in the late 1960’s. I grew up in Cumberland, where my father was on the board of directors of Queen City Brewing. Consequently, while I don’t drink beer often, I think it is in my blood, although I won’t ask for a police opinion on that.

My railroad is named for places which are around me now, such as Sugar Hollow. But many of the features of the layout really pertain to scenes around Cumberland, recalled from the days of my festering youth, and later from the days of my festering mid-years. So of course, I HAD to have a brewery, and when the broken up power plant crashed from the bargain box onto the floor, I knew I had what I needed.

Kit bash? Yes. Memory bash? Most assuredly. But, aren’t they all?

By user