The pre-convention tour is free to the public and is being held in conjunction with the national convention which will be held in Kansas City June 21 through June 25.
The tour will feature eight southwest Missouri area garden railroads, incorporating outdoor gardens with a network of scale-sized trains and accompanying buildings. The tour includes one in Monett and two in Mt. Vernon.
The garden railroad in Monett is located at the home of Glen and Sherry Carlisle. They began the garden in June of 2006.
The idea began with their oldest grandson saw a garden railroad on television and remarked about how much fun it would be to have a train in the backyard.
The backyard train at the Carlisles consists of approximately 300 feet of track that runs through two tunnels and across multiple bridges and trestles. The Carlisle, Schuetzville and Monett (CS&M) Railroad depicts a narrow gage railroad set in the steam era between 1900 and the early 1930's. The landscaping consists of a variety of miniature trees, ground covers and flowers.
The Carlisles will have their layout at 105 Bryan Pl. in Monett open for public viewing on Saturday, June 18 and Monday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on this display call 417-489-4002.
Dennis and Martha Rayon have Rabbit Mountain Railroad. The railroad is set in the mountains, with the main income coming from a mine and a mill. With mountains, one must have bridges to connect the mountains. The Rayons live at 10775 Lawrence 1140 in Mt. Vernon. Their display will be available for viewing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18; Monday, June 20 and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 19.
Joe Levanti will display the Rockville and Weedpatch Railroad from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19. The pioneer layout was built by Joe and Phyllis Levanti for the original Ozark Garden Railway Society tour that began in 2000. The 20-by-40-foot area consists of two running railroad lines. The Levanti home is located at 605 S. McCanse St. in Mt. Vernon.
Missouri and Arkansas will have a total of eight layouts. The layout description, a detailed map, dates and times can be found on the website at www.ogrs.org.
The society consists of 37 members. The majority of the members live in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. Members are also located in St. Louis, Mountain Home, Ark. and Tulsa, Okla. The club meets once a month and the meetings are hosted by members in their homes.