Woodbine, Maryland (between Washington and Baltimore)
In Maryland there’s an old tradition of holiday train layouts known locally as “Christmas Gardens.” In the 1950s and early 1960s, firemen all over the Baltimore area would kick one of their fire trucks out into the cold for the holidays and erect a Christmas Garden in the empty bay.
Fire stations would vie with each other to have the best layout, and long lines of eager children and their parents waiting to see the trains were a hallmark of the holiday season. Like families of that era, the firemen added new Lionel trains and accessories to their layouts every year.
In a community center not far from MTH headquarters, Dennis Moore is upholding that Maryland Christmas Garden tradition. In a mere 8’ x 8’, with four trains running continuously, he’s introduced — and re-introduced — thousands of visitors to the magic of O gauge toy trains. The thank-you letter from the center’s Director does a great job of summarizing what Dennis did and the pleasure he’s brought to his community — and the Director’s invitation to make Dennis’ Christmas Garden an ongoing holiday tradition.