Re: OMI 1930-built GATC 10,000 Gal double dome tank car

Craig Wilson
 

Hendrik Arnt Gerritsen . . . first met him in the early 1980's at the third-ever Ann Arbor Technical and Historical Society annual meeting and developed a long and close friendship.  He had three car ferry models on his layout at the Elberta Michigan Boat Landing.  The Arthur K Atkinson (formerly Ann Arbor No. 6) was his first effort and the most complete model.  Then came the City of Green Bay (formerly Wabash) which was "roughed in" enough to be on the layout but not fully detailed.  Finally he built a model of the GTW boat City of Milwaukee as it appeared during the time was leased to AA.  He was completing the detailing on that one at the time of his passing.  He had the hull cut to do Ann Arbor No. 3 but never went any farther with that one.  He gave a clinic on building a car ferry at the Naperville RPM and brought at least one of the boats with him.  He fretted mightily at the thought of damage occurring while it was being transported.  Interestingly, he had Jim Hediger's model of the Viking that was used on the cover of Model Railroader at one time.  That model was not quite built to scale and looked small sitting next to his other boats so it was on display sitting atop the backdrop behind Boat Landing.

As I type this I am gazing up at two car ferry "name plates" mounted on the wall.  The name plates were mounted on either side of the pilot house of the vessels.  As the boats were retired the name plates were donated locally.  Arnt tracked down the location of most of them and we made a road trip to make tracings of the originals (a couple were in Baker's Bar in Frankfort and we somehow convinced the bartender to let us take them down and trace them lying across the pool table).  Using the tracings Arnt and I each made full size replicas (right down to the countersunk mounting bolts),  He had Ann Arbor No. 3, Ann Arbor No. 5. City of Green Bay, and Viking.  I too made Ann Arbor No. 3 (currently hanging in the AARRT&HA museum room at the Durand Michigan depot), Ann Arbor No. 5, Viking and Wabash.  The City of Green Bay name plate was a monster . . . an oak plank almost 4-inches thick.  I still have my copies of the tracings stored away somewhere although there has not been a lot of clamoring by others to borrow them to make more replicas.

Craig Wilson


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