The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More on the Skyline farm house

Ed Havens has a bit more information for us on the Skyline Washington’s headquarters building. First, here again is the description in the 1948 Skyline catalog.

No. 656. All Gauge Farm House. Exact model of Washington's Valley Forge Headquarters. Pinkish rubble stone walls, brown roof. 8 1/4" x 5" x 4 1/2" high. Price $1.00 each.

One important point then is they marketed it as a farm house but also say it is an exact model of Washington’s Valley Forge headquarters building. Is it, or did they maybe fib a bit for purposes of marketing? I will turn the rest of this post over to Ed, thank you for your looking into this further.


After re-reading your American OO Today post on Skyline buildings, I decided to do some further Internet research about the prototype. I am led to conclude -- based on photos and painting of General Washington's various headquarters buildings in the Philadelphia era during the campaign against the British -- that Skyline took some artistic license and made a composite (or perhaps the Shoenhut firm did before Skyline bought out their product line).

What's interesting is that the stone on the Skyline Washington HQ is pinkish. In actuality, there was no such pink stone among any of the actual buildings used by the general.

Here is Chadds Ford:

And the back of the same building:

Here is Valley Forge:

And Whitemarsh:

Another Washington HQ was at Neshaminy:

I attached the set of four photos of the Skyline building for comparison. [two views are included with this post and two are in the longer Skyline post--bottom two photos--John].

The only differently colored stone in the Philadelphia area -- aside from the brown or gray appearance of most stone building materials -- was serpentine rock, which had a greenish to olive cast. [More information on this stone may be found here.]

One of my projects in a high school art class was to sketch a serpentine faced house in Media, Pa. The teacher took the class on a walking field trip near the school and everyone got to choose some subject to sketch.

The serpentine house was nicely done with gray Mansard roof, and green wooden trim. I have yet to find any pinkish stone that would replicate the Skyline model.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As the new owner of the farm house and freight house and a few others, I'll try to take good care of them and eventually pass them on to another OO modeler. Ed did great work in their construction and it is good to have kit's history documented. John S.