Dead Man Talking
By Anonymous Member
I have had a change of heart. At first the thought of a National
Convention tour to the collection of a recently deceased member
was appalling to me. Now, I think that Ward Kimball would have
After all, when he came to our local Western Division meet in
late 2002 to discuss some of the details of a tour in June of
2003 he brought with him a grandson to witness and take notes
in the event that he might not be around. The fact that he will
not be there is a loss to all that make the trek to his home and
the Grizzly Flats Railroad as part of the upcoming convention
was privileged to play host to an earlier visit with a different
National club holding a convention in this area about 12 years
ago. I remember the fun of meeting with Ward to plan the event.
I recall that all Ward really expected was that a porta-potty
be brought in so that visitors wouldn't constantly be asking to
run into the house to use the facilities. Ward got his wish and
I often wonder how many National conventions list the rental of
a porta-potty as one of the expenses?
I expect that the majority of the toy trains will still be as
Ward left them. Visitors will get to see the wonderful collection
but will miss the wonderful stories that Ward used to tell as
you went from one room to the other and from shelf after shelf
on every wall.
Outside on the full size narrow gauge railroad visitors will
miss most of the rolling stock and the Emma Nevada steam locomotive.
A visit to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris (also one
of the convention tours) will be necessary to view these Ward
Kimball items as Ward made a fantastic donation to the museum
a few years ago.
It is my understanding that the Grizzly Flats Depot will also
be relocated to Perris at some future date. That will be something
to see as I think the movers will have to drive right past my
house on their trip.
I have had the thrill of visiting the Ward Kimball collection
several times both as part of a large tour and privately. I can
honestly tell you that the best part of every tour was Ward himself.
I am sorry that visitors in 2003 will not have the experience
As my tribute to Ward and his railroad I met with the folks from
Stoney Creek over two years ago to discuss the possibility of
recreating the Grizzly Flats depot in "O" gauge. A reluctant
Division Board went along with the project after a few of us pledged
the required money to get the project started. The Grizzly Flats
Depot is now available for purchase and I must say it is a real
beauty. Ward even let me peel a small bit of "original paint"
from his full size depot to give to Stoney Creek as a paint color
sample. Ward's signature is etched in every model. This little
depot is a fitting tribute to a man and his railroad and I hope
every TCA member will appreciate its’ beauty even if they
don't purchase one.
But every toy train railroad can use another depot…or two.