NEB&W Guide to Duttonsville, VT

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Gassetts Table of Contents
NEB&W Layout Table of Contents


The farmhouse and scene we modeled are actually located just north of the Gassetts talc mill. Since it is modeled here, separated from the talc mill by Summit, and in a different watershed, we can't call it Gassetts too, or Gassetts II. At this point on the prototype, the Rutland RR veers away from the Williams River, makes a small cut to pass through the Duttonsville Gulf (hence the layout name) to reach the Black River and then follows that up to Summit.

  • This little area is just north of Gassetts and probably is considered part of Gassetts. However, in order to make the two sections fit on our layout, we had to separate them by our Summit scene (which HAD to be at the top of the grade).

  • I mistakenly had been calling the cut just north of the farm scene "Proctorsville Gulf" but I see on the topo it was Duttonsville Gulf. (Oops!)

Continuous Architecture

  • This is an example of "continuous architecture," i.e., the connection of all of the farm buildings, including in most cases but not here, the house. This allowed passage between buildings even when buried deep in snowdrifts. It was common in northern New England, including eastern VT. By the time settlers were reaching western VT and NY, the practice was dying out. Separating the buildings prevented barn fires from burning down everything. Barn fires often started when hay got wet, molded, and generated enough heat to start a fire.

The Farmhouse

  • The farmhouse, up close.

Milk Cows

  • Most people think of black and white Holstein cows when they think of dairy herds. Holsteins, originally from northern Holland, produce large quantities of relatively low-fat milk. Back in the steam-era when farmers were paid solely on their milk's butter-fat content, the reddish-brown and white Ayrshire cows were as common, especially in Vermont. Ayrshires are a hardy breed developed in Ayrshire, Scotland. Each farmer would tend to only raise one breed to keep it pure, but every farm had one or two brown Guernsey's for the family's own use. Small time farmers, who didn't have a bull, could mix their stock. Since they bought cows on sale from overstocked breeding farms, they couldn't afford to be choosy.
    See this section for more info.

The Railroad Bridge

  • There was a standard through-girder type bridge crossing the stream here.