Over the past two decades, a magical snowy village has grown, changed, and morphed into the beautiful community in a train layout on display in the Great Room on the second floor of the Halifax Town Hall.
Town Administrator Charlie Seelig remembers when he first began his job in Halifax in 1997, he thought of a train setup as something for little kids to enjoy – and geared the guage to be eye-level with a 3 or 4 year-old. The train is “G” gauge, or garden gauge, bigger than the usual livingroom sets. “It began with a single loop of railroad track and a single building so the train would have someplace to go,” Seelig recalls. “Every year, to a large extent, we’ve kept adding to it… To see the look on that 3 or 4 year old’s face as they see the magic of it, makes all the effort worth it.”
Over the years Seelig has had a lot of help with the project, which is set up each December as a focal point in the Halifax Holidays in Lights celebration. “I’ve been very lucky,” he said.
John Nolan, son of the town’s accountant, with Guy Bosworth, both friends and classmates at Silver Lake, took over setting up the village, and helped out for many years, through high school, college, and beyond.
Last year Nolan “retired” from the position, giving it over to another helpful model train enthusiast Griffin Kelly, 13, a student at Silver Lake Middle School. Griffin, with help from his dad Bill, has set up the village and its train last year and this year, and hopefully for many years to come.