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LLRC History

by Terry Davis

November 1993
Six Hutchinson area model railroaders and railfans meet at the home of Terry Davis with nine members of the Minnesota River Valley Division to begin discussions of forming a local roundtable train/model discussion group.
January 1994
Seven people meet at the home of Bruce Crosby to begin laying simple ground rules for the new group. "Our first priority was to keep the group, in whatever form it evolved into, as unstructured as possible..." The name chosen for the group "Luce (Loose) Line Railroad Club" was meant to honor the Luce Line Railroad, which served Hutchinson 1915-1972, and that we wanted the organization to remain "Loose" and fun.
February 1994
Meeting at the home of Larry Graf, we settled on three positions of leadership and volunteers to fill them: Conductor Bruce Crosby (Pres.), Engineer Mark Braun (V.P.) and Brakeman Terry Davis (Sec./Treas. and Editor). Five additional members brought the roster to 12. Dues were set at $5 per year with family members at $2 extra.
March 1994
LLRC newsletter debuts with a front page flag designed by Hutchinson Leader Sports Editor Marty Sundvall. Articles were by Editor Terry Davis, Bruce Crosby (using Hallmark sound cards for animation) and Larry Graf (Deejay Electronics for animation). It was announced members could get 10 percent off purchases at R & R Hobbies in St. Cloud and Carney's Warehouse in Hutchinson. (In 2003, members earn 10 percent off by showing their cards at Parties Plus in Hutchinson Mall and the two Hub Hobbies in the Twin Cities.
March 26-27, 1994
Many LLRC members attend MRVD event at Kandi Mall in Willmar. Graf/Crosby and Braun present clinics.
May 1994
Treasury had $29.33! Members decide to begin researching construction of an N scale modular layout.
December 1994
Eleven members attended monthly meeting at Roy Johnsen's. Gary Lenz of Winsted and John Sellman shared information and photos of the original Luce Line. Braun replaces Crosby at Conductor.
Winter 1995
Member Harold Storm, as a gift to the club, built and presented to the club the base tables for the first four sections of the club's HO sectional layout.
September 23, 1995
About 15 members and family members traveled to Osceola, Wis., to ride Minnesota Transportation Museum's excursion train. The trip was arranged by LLRC member Mark Braun, a fireman for MTM.
November 16, 1995
LLRC members Mark Braun and Terry Davis helped arrange a special passenger train over Dakota Rail to celebrate its purchase by RailAmerica. Davis assisted DAKR employees in picking their new CB&Q-inspired locomotive paint scheme.
December 1995
At the monthly meeting at Larry Graf's house, a committee of Bruce Crosby, Wally Daffner, Stan Koci, Graf and Terry Davis was named to lead the effort to get work going on the HO layout. Work began in January 1996 using a track plan drawn by Davis. The layout is kept in the basement of the Hutchinson Leader.
December 16, 1995
LLRC member Larry Graf, also known as Santa Claus, rode into town on a Dakota Rail locomotive to deliver candy to kids.
March 5. 1996
First train operates on club's HO layout. The club has about 25 members.
July 13, 1996
About 10 LLRC members and family members first the Old Depot Museum in Dassel and picnic later at the home of Gerald and Ida Karstens in the club's first summer outing.
December 1996
Work progressing nicely on HO layout with a crew that included: Bob Arthur, Mark Braun, Bruce and Jonathan Crosby, Wally Daffner, Terry Davis, Bob Holien, Steve Jerabek, Gerald Karstens, Randy Norcutt and Tom Wiprud.
March 8-9, 1997
First Hutchinson Model Railroad Show, Hutchinson Mall, in conjunction with the Sturges' Hutchinson Toy Show. Show featured a just a few flea marketers, the debut of the LLRC HO layout, Bob Holien's Lionel layout, and layouts from MRVD members Curt and Bud Radunz, Sam Sherman and Brian Wordes.
April 5-6, 1997
LLRC's HO layout makes its first road trip to the MRVD show at the Kandi Mall, Willmar. There were about six layouts there. The crew included: Mark Braun, Bruce and Jonathan Crosby, Wally Daffner, Terry Davis, Bob Holien, Steve Jerabek, Gerald Karstens, Stan Koci and Tom Wiprud. The Sunday crew battled a snowstorm to get home.
April 1997
HO layout travels to Thousands Lakes Region annual convention in Minneapolis. Members come home with many door prizes!
August 9-10, 1997
HO layout travels to Trainfest at Milbank, S.D., with Wally Daffner, Terry Davis, Bob Holien and Stan Koci.
August 23, 1997
Summer Outing: Bruce and Jonathan Crosby, Larry Graf, Dan Hlavka, Bob Holien, Steve Jerabek and Stan Koci travel to Osceola, Wis., to ride Soo Line 1003 steam-led train over the St. Croix (WC) High Bridge. LLRC's Mark Braun fired in the steam engine's cab. The next day, Terry Davis joined the Crosbys and Holien to see a double-header steam with 1003 and NP 328.
September 1997
Six members take the HO layout to the Prairie Lakes Division fall meet at New Ulm.
October 25-26, 1997
Second Hutchinson Model RR Show. The OS&BO HO layout from the Twin Cities made its first appearance at the Hutch show. There were eight vendors. The club layout visited six shows in 1997!
Winter 97-98
Bruce and Jonathan Crosby, Wally Daffner, Larry Graf, Bob Holien, Stan Koci, Gerald Karstens, Chuck Nielsen and others construct six sections to complete the HO layout loop. The goal was to have track laid by the time of the March 1998 show.
March 14-15, 1998
Third Hutchinson Model RR Show is the debut of Terry and Patrice Davis' N scale Cleveland, Mankato & Eastern RR. Other layouts included the LLRC's HO, OS&BO HO, Sam Sherman's HO Minnesota Western and Bud Radunz's N scale. There were 21 flea market tables generating $296. Stan Koci took in $200 with a train set raffle fund-raiser.
March 20, 1998
Members vote to incorporate after Bruce Crosby did the legwork. A committee of Mark Braun, Terry Davis and Stan Koci was appointed to develop bylaws.
August 1998
The expanded, 10-section HO layout traveled to the Milbank Trainfest.
November 21-22, 1998
Club branches off from the toy show to have its own train show at the mall. Stan Koci has American Flyer trains running and the HO layout with Stan's bridges was impressive. There were 30 flea market tables and six layouts in N, HO, S and Lionel, including the Lost River RR by Chuck Stoll of Lake Crystal.
November 1998
Terry Davis' N scale layout is featured in the National Model Railroad Association's "Bulletin" monthly magazine. Voting on bylaws took place by mail ballot. Davis was elected president, Dan Sargent V.P/Sec. and Steve Jerabek Treasurer as the first officers of the incorporated club. The bylaws passed 9-0.
February 1999
A G scale railroad built by Bruce Crosby and several other LLRC members begins operating in Litchfield's new Burger King. The work leads to a large donation to the club.
July 31, 1999
The club had its first summer home layout tour and picnic. Terry Davis, Tom Wiprud, Stan Koci, Bruce Crosby and Larry Graf opened their layouts. Larry and Kathy Graf prepared the meat and everyone brought potluck for a picnic by the Crow River where President Davis presented the first Gold Spike awards to Crosby and Koci.
August 14-15, 1999
About 10 LLRC members and family members took the club layout again to the Milbank Trainfest. Terry Davis had his N scale there, too.
August 28, 1999
19 LLRC members and family members returned to Osceola, Wis. to ride behind NP 328 in restored GN business car A-11. The trip was arranged by LLRC/MTM member Mark Braun.
October 9, 1999
The 5th Hutchinson Model Railroad Show was the first at the McLeod County Fairgrounds, and the first to be co-hosted by the Minnesota River Valley Division. Paid attendance was 406, which is still a record in 2003, with total attendance estimated at almost 600. There were 65 flea market tables, also a record, six clinics and a dozen layouts in Z, N, HO, S, O and G scales. Jane and Rod Bunting of R & R Hobbies of St. Cloud were presented the first "Friends of the Luce Line" award for their ongoing support of the club. The club earned $516 and MRVD $172.
February 16, 2000
Several LLRC members collaborated to design and make the first "100 Pounder" award presented to President and founder Terry Davis for his years as editor of the club newsletter.
March, 2000
The club votes to convert the HO layout from DC block control to Digitrax digital command control. Bruce Crosby, Stan Koci and David Zachmeyer lead the months' long $750 conversion.
May 11, 2000
Six LLRC members tour the large, double-deck HO layout under construction by MRVD member John Givan in Montevideo.
Summer 2000
Dick Desens led the effort to get the club's 6 by 12 three-rail layout built.
July 15, 2000
The second annual LLRC summer layout tour and picnic was attended by 31 club and MRVD members and their families. The group toured Stan Koci' American Flyer garage layout and Larry Graf's HO layout. Larry and Kathy organized the potluck picnic in Northwoods Park across the street from their house. President Terry Davis presented the 2000 Gold Spike Awards to Gerald Karstens and Dan Sargent.
October 7-8, 2000
The LLRC HO layout places third at the Great American Train Show at St. Paul and wins $200.
October 14, 2000
Our 6th Hutchinson Model Railroad Show had 55 flea market tables, more than a dozen layouts,and more than 330 paid admissions. The LLRC made $705, while MRVD earned $235. Admission was raised from $1 to $2. There were four clinics, including by MRVD's Gary Ristow and Brian Wordes, an OS&BO member on "Zero Defects" and the feature clinic on painting backdrops by Thousand Lakes Region official Mike Penn.
December 2000
The club makes it last visit to Graf Family Lines. Larry was moving to Lake Manuella.
April 7, 2001
Bruce Crosby led the effort to create a display at Hutchinson Mall for Club Day. Helping at the booth were Mark Braun, Wally Daffner, Terry Davis, Dick Desens, Paul Henke, Gerald Karstens and Stan Koci.
May 9, 2001
Members voted to become a 100-percent National Model Railroad Club in order to get insurance for our fall show, which the fairgrounds was going to require. We also voted to modify our bylaws.
October 13, 2001
The 7th Hutchinson Model Railroad Show attracted pay attendance of 339, 50 flea market tables and 14 layouts. Admission was raised to $3.
May 2002
Thanks to a search effort led by Bruce Crosby, the club moved its layouts to the former Godfather's Pizza store at Hutchinson Mall. Our decision to become a 100-percent NMRA club a year earlier provided us NRMA liability insurance needed to be in the mall. Several members contributed to the creation of an extensive club library. The seed was from a donation by deceased member Dan Hlavka.
Summer 2002
Led by David Zachmeyer, the club began working with Historic Hutchinson to make emergency repairs to the roof of the Dakota Rail (1887 Great Northern) depot damaged by fire in April 2001. Historic Hutch has pledged $1,000.
July 2002
The LLRC HO layout went to Cosmos Space Festival.
October 12, 2002
The 8th Hutchinson Model Railroad Show had 10 model railroads, 50 flea market tables paid attendance of more than 350.
November 16, 2002
LLRC hosted an open house at the mall in order of National Model Railroad Month. About 100 people attended.
December 7, 2002
Bruce Crosby organized "Christmas Trains" in which the layouts featured special Christmas-themed trains. More than 100 people attended.
December 9-10, 2002
More than 250 Hutchinson second-graders toured the club's layouts in an event organized by Larry Graf and Bruce Crosby. The tour replaced a tour of Graf's home layout that took place annual before it was dismantled when he moved.
April 16, 2003
Bruce Crosby, Terry Davis, Dick Desens and Stan Koci and their wives attended the Prairie Lakes Division spring meet in Spirit Lake and rode a special excursion train on the Iowa Northwestern. Bruce and Stan had cab rides in an Alco.
May 3-4, 2003
LLRC hosts its first Spring Rail Fest at Hutchinson Mall. There were about 25 flea market tables. In addition to the club layouts, Koci's Flyer and Davis' N scale, there was a three-rail layout from Mankato and the OS&BO HO layout from the Twin Cities.
June 2003
About six club members took the three-rail layout and Koci's Flyer to St. James Railroad Days.
July 2003
Club members took the three-rail layout to Cosmos Space Festival.
August 2003
David Zachmeyer, the Karstens and the Desens picnic along the BNSF mainline north of St. Cloud and do some railfanning, too.
August 31, 2003
Several members travel to Hudson, Wis., to visit the live steamers park.
September 2003
Members take the three-rail layout to a two-day show in Glenwood, Minn.
October 11, 2003
The 9th Hutchinson Model Railroad Show attracts 396 paid admissions, almost 55 flea market tables and 15 layouts, including four from the St. Cloud Great River Rail Society and three from the Glenwood club.
November 16, 2003
Thirty LLRC members and their spouses gathered at the Highway Inn in Greenleaf to celebrate the club's 10th anniversary with a banquet, door prizes, a video look back at club events and a time to remember our fallen members.

More great times to come in the next 10 years!