many of the Boston boroughs, a small plot of land has been set aside
so that locals
can enjoy a bit of the outdoors right in their own backyard.
Woodland parks have been created by the state to preserve a bit of
nature inside the city boundaries. In Needham though, the
tables have been turned. Deep within the seclusion of High
Rock woods, human hands have created a small piece of civilization.
A man who goes by the name Chooch has laid the foundation for
a quiet community inside of the park. A village that looks
like a scene right out of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.
I first heard of this I found it hard to believe. Why would
someone build a model railroad depot in the middle of the woods?
Curious to see this, I ventured out for a
nice hike with a few friends. After many twists and turns
through a pleasant neighborhood, we parked on a dead end road and
entered the park. It really didn't appear to be anything
special. It seemed to be just an undeveloped area in Needham
with dirt roads and foot beaten trails. The path to the depot
randomly winds about through the forest. If it weren't for
having a previous knowledge of the depot and being equipped with its
GPS coordinated we might have never found it. How strange it
must appear to a hiker who stumbles upon it by chance.
I ventured deeper into the park my attachment to the real world
vanished and prepares me for a getaway into this miniature world.
We soon arrived and I was impressed by what I saw. The tracks
are the first thing to catch your eye. As you look around, you find
more hidden treasures blended into the natural landscape. On
the gentle slope near by were 3 houses complete with a manicured
lawn of moss. On the rock a lookout tower standing like a
sentinel on the mountainside. A trickling brook was dammed to
create a lake and waterfall. Even a dock was provided for the
Lilliputians to fish from. What
impressed me the most is the quality of the work. The trestle
was the most awe-inspiring piece. With a length of about 10-12
feet and a height of about 4 feet at its tallest point, it is a sign
of true craftsmanship.
Nestled between some trees is the depot itself. A small
deck complete with a bench and table. Above your head are a
lamp for a candle and a pole for a flag. An excellent spot to
rest and enjoy the sights. I could only imagine how much fun
it must be to run the train up and down the tracks on a warm spring
depot is a excellent combination of the relaxing
outdoors and the charm of a classic childhood toy. What could
be more pleasant after a hard day at work than to play with your
model train; but, instead of spending hours crafting a small piece
of reality on top of a table in the basement as most model train
hobbyist would, he uses High Rock woods as his canvas and the
landscape around him as his palette. What better way to escape
than to stroll out your own backyard, vanishing from the modern
world, into a quiet little village called Martini Junction.
our photo section for more Martini Junction Pictures.]