This is a slow thread, so let me bump it back up.
I was born and raised in the lumber town of Libby MT, up in the NW corner of the state. My family had been involved in logging here since the 1905. My great grandfather and grandfather had both worked as brakeman, fireman and engineers for J.Neils, then later St. Regis Lumber Co. Of course shays were involved in the early years, and when my grandfather retired in the 1970's he was running the switcher in the mill, interchanging chip and lumber cars with the BN.
The mill is long gone, and so is grandpa (below)
Its only natural for me to be interested in a logging layout, and I threw mining in the mix as well. Although I'm not modeling the area I grew up in , I chose to protofreelance an area 300 miles away in the Bonner MT area. Bonner was a sawmill town on the NP and Milwaukee Road mainlines (I'm a MILW road fan), and the Milwaukee Road had a branch line that went up the Big Blackfoot River to serve a logging landing in the early 1900's. This is where my freelance license takes over, Gold was discovered up the Blanchard Creek watershed, a connecting valley off the Blackfoot branch, the mine company built a branch line up the valley to the new established town of Wolf Prairie, the branch serves the mine, town and small sawmill (which supports the mine).
I have a small layout, and the track and most of the scenery in, I still need to complete some small areas, then I will begin on the fine details. I hope to build a structure in the future to house a larger railroad in the back yard, but for now concentrating on other life goals, meanwhile I use this to learn and fine tune the skills it takes to build a great layout.
Thanks for reading. More stuff on my blog here.http://gearedsteam.blogspot.com/2009/07/wolf-prairie.html