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Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 02/17/2018 :  5:54:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone! My next project is a mostly scratch build, and a sentimental one too. It is the story of my mother's family history. Her parents both immigrated from Sicily as youngsters in the 1890's, thru Ellis Island, and settled in the rural town of Fredonia New York, in the southwestern tip of the state. Including my mother, there were 7 children. They purchased a farm, and at first they raised vegetables and pushed them thru town on horse and wagon, hollering "vegetables and fruits for sale", in broken English. Photographs and documentation are scarce, but here is my mother's younger brother Anthony in the fields in the late 1940's.

My grandfather (shown here in front of the still standing barn) Serafino Leone, eventually joined other farmers locally in cultivating concord grape vineyards. The loamy soil (silt, sand & clay) and micro-climate of the area were perfectly suited for this crop. The demand for this variety of grape was expanding quickly.

Taken in 1951- this photo shows some family, neighbors and friends at a huge re-union in front of the main house, a classic clapboard affair with large windows and few amenities. This is one of the few photos that still exist that I'll be using for reference to model. Unfortunately this house burned to the ground in 1987, thankfully everyone got out safely. But all possessions, including many photos, were lost. A modern all brick home was built on top of the original foundation, but looked nothing like its predecessor.

My first cousin owned and worked the property until his untimely death in 2010. Sadly, it was sold to new owners, breaking the three generations of family ownership.
Concord grapes are used for the popular grape jelly & grape juice. My grandparents owned over 40 acres eventually, with each annual harvest sold to the Welch's Company, which built its first grape juice factory in 1897, in the neighboring town of Westfield, New York.

The Concord grape was developed in 1849 by Ephraim Wales Bull in his birthplace of Concord, Massachusetts.

My intention is to recreate the main house, barn, garage, and a small portion of the grape vineyard in a small diorama. It will be called "Frank & Bertha's Farm". Fortunately, the original barn and garage survived. A lean-to shed on the left side was torn down some years ago. We took this photo just before everything was sold to the new owners. The barn will be board on board construction, and the weathered wood will be fun to re-create....

I don't intend to faithfully depict every single square foot, or each nail head, but to give a fairly accurate account of how this spot once looked. My memories of it are fading fast. Just trying to convey the "idea" before it's too late...I'll be using a few kits for some details. There's no railroad on the property, but train horn blasts were always in the background.... hopefully I'll keep a few folks following along..

Anyone interested?
Member Jerry (TRAINS1941) has been pestering me to get started...OK then.
It'll take about a week for me to post more.......

Country: USA | Posts: 4230


Premium Member

Posted - 02/17/2018 :  6:07:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

What a great project, with considerable meaning for you and yours!! Go for it! I'll be cheering from the sidelines.

in Michigan

Country: USA | Posts: 7568 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/17/2018 :  6:25:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll be following. I love build with a meaning behind it.

Country: USA | Posts: 2378 Go to Top of Page

David Clark

Posted - 02/17/2018 :  6:26:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I will definitely be following along. Love history.

Country: Canada | Posts: 1243 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 02/17/2018 :  6:53:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey, goombah, what about a glass of wine? That's the kind of grape juice I like.


Edited by - Frank Palmer on 02/17/2018 6:53:58 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 6159 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/17/2018 :  7:44:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, It already sounds like, you've had to wait for generations to tackle this particular project.
And a wonderful way to put your modelling talents to work, in celebrating your family's history.
It will be great to follow you along!

Greg Shinnie

Country: Canada | Posts: 9155 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 02/18/2018 :  12:08:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm here Carl now you can begin in earnest.

Looks like a great project and a lot of history to go with it.

Leave it to Frank to think of wine. So I guess we should all get a glass of the red and celebrate this new thread!!


"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 13373 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/18/2018 :  08:41:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wonderful family history story, and sounds like a great scratch build with deep hearted meaning. It not just a great project, but a nice tribute to your ancestors or forebears. Looking forward to your progress!

Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 5000 posts added to below count.

Country: USA | Posts: 16151 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 02/18/2018 :  09:16:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl what a wonderful project and tribute to your family's heritage. Really looking forward to seeing this come together and what a fantastic trip down memory lane for you as you proceed.
I certainly will be following along,
All the best,

Country: USA | Posts: 813 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 02/18/2018 :  09:31:29 AM  Show Profile  Send Guff an AOL message  Reply with Quote
This is going to be a fantastic build with a lot of love and personal history behind the build. I'll be following along!

David Guffey

Country: USA | Posts: 2136 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles

Premium Member

Posted - 02/18/2018 :  09:45:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome project!

Country: USA | Posts: 13455 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Supporting Member

Posted - 02/18/2018 :  09:45:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Carl -
Looks like a challenge, always enjoy the history of a build.

Country: USA | Posts: 305 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/18/2018 :  10:26:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit sierrawest's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What an awesome sounding project with an incredibly interesting back story! Thanks for sharing this build with us.


Country: | Posts: 489 Go to Top of Page

Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 02/18/2018 :  6:10:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your interest and support Pete, Fred, Dave C., Frank, Greg, Jerry, Louis, Paul, Dave G., Mike, Jim and Brett !

Building this project 1300 miles from it's location isn't going to be easy! Glad you all are along to keep me going and I will do my best to bring it to you in a concise and informative manner.

Frank- I forgot to mention Concord grape wine! Although VERY sweet and inexpensive, it's not exactly on everybody's "gotta try" wine list.

Edited by - Carl B on 02/18/2018 6:14:30 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 4230 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 02/18/2018 :  7:25:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Looks to me like a terrific project.

With us living in WV and my parents in Rochester NY before they died, we made many trips up I-79 and across on the Thruway. Westfield was one of our stops on the way to browse the antique shops and stop at a cafe that was-perhaps still is--in Westfield. It was nice break from interstate watch the vinyards go by and observe the local architecture.

I predict a great build here.


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

Country: USA | Posts: 7456 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 02/19/2018 :  06:35:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, What a fantastic way to remember your roots, I will of course be following along. The house
reminds me a little of the one I did a while back on the forum. BTW, I am planing on using your name on my
next build if I can ever get model building again so there will be two Alessi structure projects going.



Country: USA | Posts: 4298 Go to Top of Page
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