Lake Shore Live Steamers >
Lake Shore Live
Glen, Meadow, and
Orchard Rail Road (GM&O RR)
Who are we?
This record of the history of the Lake Shore Live Steamers and
the Glen, Meadow, and Orchard Rail Road is a work in process. If you would like
to add or clarify any of the statements made in this record, Please
Local train enthusiasts (~12 individuals) begin gathering at
each others back yard rail road tracks for social purposes.
Bruce Blackman was one of several initiators of these gatherings.
A 200' circle of 3/4" scale track was located at the Blackman
home in Mentor, Ohio.
7 1/2 " gauge track was added latter
Jane Blackman (wife of Bruce) is still living at the property
in Mentor and is an Honorary Life Member of the Lake Shore Live Steamers. (circa:
Clyde and Chan Bleil (father and son) also were among the individuals
at these social gatherings.
A 3000' track was located at their Florist business located on
Rt 20, in Mentor, Ohio.
Other individuals included: Dick Clark, Dick Mackey, ...
DATE (unknown at this time, these events
took place between 1969 and 1977)
A portable track was constructed these by individuals for transport
around North-East Ohio for public use.
This portable track was 3/4" scale.
The length of this portable track was originally 480' (an oval).
Track was divided into 48 - 10' sections for ease of transport.
Track assembled and locked into place utilizing scissor joints.
The total weight was approx 3,000 pounds.
Clyde Bleil transported this track with his truck from event
Some locations where this portable track was set up were:
Burton Century Village, Burton, Ohio, USA
Mentor, Ohio, USA
A club was organized, charter members included: (in alphabetical
Chan Bleil (still active!)
Clyde Bleil (still active!)
Harry Boivin, Jr (still active!)
Dick Clark (still active!)
Robert Cook (still active!)
Robert Davidson (still active!)
Louis DeLembo (still active!)
Bob Knebusch (still active!)
Karl Konrad (still active!)
Dick Mackey (still active!)
Howard Murphy (still active!)
George Santin (still active!)
Dick Schimdt (still active!)
Harold Sicherman (still active!)
(there was approx 27 individuals that were charter members, this
is the current known list of this author)
Bob Davidson and Clyde Bleil approached Mr. Schwartz (Park Director,
Penitentiary Glen Reservation) to discuss a permanent location of LSLS club "portable"
track on the park property.
Permission was granted and the club placed 460' of the "portable"
3/4" gage track (see above) on the property of Penitentiary Glen. Penitentiary
Glen Reservation is a park owned by the
Lake MetroPark Park System. It is located in Kirtland, Ohio, USA . The property
for this park was given to the county by the Halle family (Halle Department Store)
The track was placed around and through the old Halle apple orchard.
This orchard is on the lower section of the property.
The apple orchard was over-grown with wild roses.
These wild rose plants were cleared away, creating a path for
the track right of way.
Trains were "out of site" most of the time, because
of the growth of the wild roses.
The first public run at Penitentiary Glen took place at Halloween,
Ivan Jillette was present with his steam locomotive.
The name Glen, Meadow, and Orchard Rail Road (GM&O RR) was
The club members started construction of the GM&O Station
at Penitentiary Glen Reservation The first of the 7 1/2 " scale track was
The track was laid from the station to the edge of the gorge
(approx. 675 feet)
The trains ran from the Station to the end of the line, then
backed up to the Station to start again (i.e., there was no loop or closed circle
in 7 1/2" scale)
The club completed the first loop of 7 1/2" scale track
of the GM&O RR in October
Member of Lake Park Board of Directors, Larry Palmer, helped
to drive the "gold spike" in the final rail during a special "joining
of the rail" party at the present track location referred to as Patty's Rock.
Two trains (east and west bound) touched noses met at the "last
note: Patty's Rock is still known today as the place where club
member Lou Allen and Patty were engaged to be married. For reasons that remain a
mystery, Lou and Patty were never married. Lou remains a member today in 2001.
The first public run on complete loop of 7 1/2" track was
held on Halloween, 1984.
The Lake Shore Live Steamers celebrated the Tenth Anniversary
of the Glen, Meadow and Orchard Railroad. A three day event (August 13, 14, &
15) held in conjunction with the club's Fifth Annual Open Meet, a banquet was held
on Saturday night for the club's members, guests and the park staff. Secretary Jeff
Klein and Harold Sicherman worked on planning the festivities. A cake, with L.S.L.S
engine frosting is cut by park manager Jean Yun and club president. President Michael
Uhrich and past presidents Bill Horn and Bob Davidson pose for pictures.
Don Speidel and grandson, Kevin Harris, show off his new speeder
at the Open Meet.
Length of GM&O "Main Line" has expanded to 4,000
Over 10,000 rides given to the general public this year. Over
65,000 in the first 10 years!
B ig Bend Bridge completed and is dedicated during the Open
News article published in Modeltec Magazine (March 1994). Written
by Kitty Shriver and J.M Uhrich. Article focuses on the activities of the Tenth
Anniversary celebration with the park (Penitentiary Glen Reservation) held last
year (Aug 13,14, & 15, 1993)
The 25th Anniversary of the founding of the Lake Shore Live Steamers.
Big Bend Bridge is dedicated during the Open Meet
This was a year of relaxation. The completion of Big Bend Bridge
was too exhausting.
The first switch of the new yard was laid this summer.
The diamond was started near the Penitentiary Glen gorge. Track
cross each other at about 30 degrees. This will is known as "Gulch Diamond".
Original operation through the Gulch Diamond is controlled by
members and radios. This was updated to light signals that were manually operated
by an attendant at the Diamond. This simple signal system was powered by a car battery.
Mulberry Yard is dedicated and used for first time during Open
Meet. Daryl and Jean Metcalf, Don Speidel, and Kevin, Brett, Roy and Linda Harris
laid 300 feet of track the Saturday before the Open Meeting to complete the yard
in time for the open meet.
New car barn completed for additional storage
Additional Yards added to enter the new car barn.
Signal System completed for operation with a cross-over diamond
Bridge 5 (Howe Truss type) added
Bill B falls off train during Halloween night run. Except for
pride and shoulder, he's fine
"Short Line" Extension started, this will eventually
link into Mackey's Run. Currently is serves as a service siding to the dirt pile.
A full grown tree grows mysteriously between the rail on the
dirt pile siding
A coal Tipple is added on the service siding near the old car
barn and steaming bays
First run of the 21st Century - Jan 1, 2001. The annual
New Years Day club run was preceded by a cool brunch in the park given by Mike U.
The public run of July 29 was the first public operation of the
4 new switches at the Gulch Diamond. With the switches set in the by-pass mode,
the trains by-pass the diamond and run in the opposite direction from what has been
run in the past. From the Gulch Diamond, the trains ran to Bridge 6, to Bridge 5,
to Mackey's Run, to Big Bend Bridge, to Zip Junction, to Horrendous, to Twin Oaks
and back to Gulch Diamond. The remainder of the GM&O RR was run in the normal
The Orchard Station gets hot water.
2001 Club Membership = 143 (79 - regular, 31 - associate, 16
- junior, 10 - life, 2 - honorary, 3 - limited, and 2 - exempted. 15 charter members
remain from the clubs organization in 1977)
Hildy Hill is reduced in grade.
Bret K's Calliope makes music in the park
Second water/air station added at the passenger loading area
805 passengers (largest # of 2001) for September 9 public run
Water Tower / Tank added to Service area near Coal Tipple
Switch building area moved to area beside new car barn
Completion of Wye Switch near "Shoe"
Raising of track to reduce grade at Hildy Hill
rework of "horrendous" including rr-tie wall, and double
main to "high creek"
Started construction of additional turn table to be located near
new car barn
Road bed preparation for rail between "Zip" and "Mackey's
Started work on the "Mountain Car Co" passenger car
Georges Rock (What more can we say?)
Started construction of additional turn table to be located near
new car barn
Completed ground level turntable to the west end of the yard
Added branch line from main line to orchard multi-gauge track
to serve as a by-pass of trains behind the station
Delivery of New Club Engine (GP38)
Completed the special Mountain Car Co Riding Car. Dedicated
to Clyde / Ann Bliel
Moved shed from Sandusky to Penitentiary Glen, this would become
the Switch Shop
Added 2 switches in Mackeys run
Upgraded grade crossing to west of Bridge 5
Added siding east of Bridge 5
Celebrated 20 years with Penitentiary Glen
Added electric to the switch shop
Added a kitchen extension to station (this almost doubles the
length of the station)
Extended the track on the transfer table in front of the Willis
Added 2 girder plate bridges. One at filmore, and one on the
short line (Lionel Plate Girder Bridge)
Added Just In Time bridge near Bridge 5
Added another high level bridge beyond the JIT bridge
Completed a tie wall at the east side of the yard
Short Branch line is extended to cross the main line between
zip and grade crossing
Kitchen Cabinets are added to the new kitchen
A double crossing is manufactured during the cold months at Hose
Double cross-over is installed at Filmore
Installed bi-directional operation signal system
Installed a hair-pin curve at the end of the yard (Hilton). For
small engines only
Completion of the exterior of the Stanek Car Barn (behind the
existing switch building shop)
Completed the connection from Bruce to end of Yard crossing over
the main twice once at High Creek and once at Hemlock. Via Westwind
Began to add manual switch throws so that engineers wouldnt
have to get off the train.
Completed the interior of the Stanek Car Barn; installed electric
and storage rails.
Celebrated the 25th anniversary with the park
(Actual "Ticket to Ride" that was given out to the public)
More History to come, this is a work in process......stay tuned
Send me a note, if you know anything interesting about the Lake
Shore Live Steamers or the Glen, Meadow, and Orchard Railroad.
The Lake Shore Live Steamers is a
club devoted to the interest of the operation of small gauge steam engines and locomotives.
Some non-steam locomotive are present on the GM&O RR.
The Glen, Meadow, and Orchard Rail Road is the Lake Shore Live
Steamers official club track. It is located on the beautiful grounds of the Penitentiary
Glen Reservation in Kirtland,
Lake County, Ohio, USA