A highlight of the 2016 Gordon Hall Days, June 11th & 12th, will be the Ann Arbor Model Railroad Club. Seventy years ago, a group of model railroaders got together to form the Ann Arbor Model Railroad Club. For 34 years the club moved all around Ann Arbor trying to find a permanent home. Finally in 1980 they read in the paper that the Dexter Youth Club wanted to sell the Dexter Depot. The Huron Valley Railroad Historical Society was formed as a 501(c)(3) organization in order to purchase the depot.
The club holds a huge flea market every year as their means of raising funds to be able to operate. These funds have permitted the organization to do extensive work on the depot to bring it back to its original glory. After all this hard work, the depot was designated a state historical site in 1986. One of the club's goals is to promote model railroading, and at the present time a layout in the depot recreates the railroad from Ann Arbor to Jackson.
This year the club will participate in Gordon Hall Days by bringing many items from the depot to Gordon Hall and showing them off to the public. These items will include an operating layout, photographs of days gone by, artifacts recovered over the years, and a switching layout where visitors can try their skills running trains. As an added attraction, the club will open and staff the Depot for visitors to come and see their permanent display during Gordon Hall Days. We will be open on Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June 12th from 1-5 PM. The Depot is located on Broad Street at the railroad.
Pictured is the original Depot built in 1841 and one view of its replacement that was built in 1887. The pictures are part of the Flora Bostwick Smith Collection at the Dexter Area Museum.