Parks Dixie Landin', Baton Rouge

This is so cool. I recently drove past this park on my way to Baton Rouge for the 3 days we were shooting there and remember thinking, what a very strange park in a very strange place. Also, your custom rides are amazing!
 
This is so cool. I recently drove past this park on my way to Baton Rouge for the 3 days we were shooting there and remember thinking, what a very strange park in a very strange place. Also, your custom rides are amazing!
Shooting?????? Gators???
 
This is so cool. I recently drove past this park on my way to Baton Rouge for the 3 days we were shooting there and remember thinking, what a very strange park in a very strange place. Also, your custom rides are amazing!
Wiow, my condolences. When you left, I thought you said you were going someplace excellent. I didn't realize you were stuck in the lousiest part of Lousy Anna the whole time. Should have told me. I'd have bought you a drink to cheer you up ;).

Anyway, thanks for the compliments. This park is a bit strange, I suppose. It began as a kiddie park and when it moved to the edge of town, it added both thrill rides and the water park. When I was there last year, the water park was very crowded but the amusement park end was fairly empty. I think the longest I had to wait for a ride was about 2 minutes, and fewer and fewer rides are operational. It would not surprise me if they start bulldozing rides and building more water slides.
 
The new sign looks much better and I too wish for smaller art shapes. Your doing a great job buddy :)
I fully agree! Fantastic work. And yes, where are those smaller art shapes? So many people could use them...[happy]
Thanks, folks!

The coloUrable (Brit spelling) panels in the Studio pack go some way towards being "smaller" art shapes. They're all 1m - 4m squares and rectangles, but they're paper thin. I'm finding many, many uses for them. Not on this particular sign, but just in general. They make wonderful sheetmetal roofs, for example.
 
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EPISODE 5: Xtremely Loco


Bullethead wiped the beer foam from his mausgras mustache, dried his wet hands by wiping them on his camp shorts, and looked at the uninspiring photo in front of him. It hadn't quite yet started to blister from the pepper fumes oozing out of the picnic table, but that was only a matter of time. Swatting away a few gnats that were thinking seriously about getting into his eyes, Bullethead carefully picked his beer back up with the minimum number of fingers and held it away from the table so it wouldn't drip on the documents. He glanced around the table at his senior boffins, who were wearing their usual expressions of calm frenzy, or maybe it was frenzied calm, he was never sure which. Looking them each in the eye in turn, he slowly took another sip of his beer and asked, in his coldest tone, "Who is responsible for this?"



Jaysef cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Um, that would be you, Sir. That's about the best we could do based on the crayon drawings you produced during you ayahuasca regression therapy, plus your booze-clouded recollections of some pics on the park's own website that, sadly, disappeared about a week ago. We did the best we could with the available source material, Sir."

Bullethead took another sip of his beer. "Hmmm, well, I guess it will have to do, then. But I seem to recall the corner flame panels being animated LED flames...."

"Correct you are, Sir," Jaysef replied, "you do recall that. Unfortunately, even it was true, there are numerous technical problems with implementing animated scenes on the billboards we can acquire, so we went for static images. Anyway, Sir, this whole ride is problematic. The real 'Hot Shot' is only about half as tall as the Screaminator we were able to acquire, and you say the real ride bounced up and down several times somewhat randomly for each group of customers, which the Screaminator doesn't do. So it's not very realistic even without the animated screens."

"Well, hopefully our client's enthusiasm at the taller tower will make up for problems elsewhere," said Bullethead. "OK, what else is new this week?"

Orbles' all-white eyes lit up and he leaned across the table, shuffling photos around without looking at them. He eventually moved an aerial shot of the Fun Fair barn to the top.



"Sir," Orbles spoke in his otherworldly voice, "I did a lot of touching up on this area. For starters, I installed another 2 or 3 miles of fence, both around the barn itself and the now-undefunct kiddie track ride. In addition, I installed a 'Frog Hopper' kiddie ride on the south end of the barn. As best we can tell, this was defunct during your visit last year, and the new photo of it on the park's revised website looks nothing like what's visible on Google Maps. So I compromised and used features of both versions. The multi-colored seats and white signboard behind them are from the website, the green bowl-like structure at the bottom is from Google Maps. The tower and base are all that's left of Fisherman's 'L'il Lighthouse'."



"In addition, Sir," Orbles went on, "I resurrected the previously defunct kiddie track ride into the 'Old 99s' shown on the updated park website. This required removing the dead chickens and making some 'Thomas the Knockoff' locomotives. It's possible these actually come in several colors but the revised website only shows a red one, so I made them all red. But it's easy enough to repaint them later, if needed, Sir. And note, Sir, despite my penchant for making creepy things, I did not exaggerate the facial features of the trains, but made them as close as I could tell to the real things. So on the plus side, they'll probably give many kids nightmares, which made my otherwise tiresome work the last few days seem meaningful."



Bullethead looked at the Old 99s and shuddered. "Yes, Orbles, those are definitely.... disturbing. Good job. What's next?"

Gergas who, being a zombie, was bothered rather more by the flies than the others, spoke up. "Well, Sir, I did a fair amount of polishing on the spinning coaster. Which seems to have been rather pointless as this ride is now so defunct it's been erased from the park's updated map, a fate that the 'chicken ride' did not suffer."



"An interesting feature," Gergas continued, "is the inconsistency in the spelling of the ride's name. If you look closely, you'll see 'Extreme' on the flag by the path but 'Xtreme' on the big sign at the back of the ride. In fact, the old version of the park's website, as well as RCDB, call it 'Xtreme'. So why the difference? I'm not sure, Sir, but I suspect budgetary constraints, miscommunications, and the like. Not that it really matters now, of course.

"Otherwise, Sir, I just did some adjustments to the supports and put proper gratings on the catwalks. Also, I tried to approximate the scenery on the wall of the station supports facing the queue. The latter was a collection of random, cartoony sci-fi scenes, which I could not replicate, so I just slapped some off-the-shelf sci-fi wallpaper on there."





"Our client definitely wants the 'Xtreme' (or is it 'Extreme'?) in the park so we're keeping it. It was a lot of work to build the copy. So I guess this will have to do. Anything else?"

"Yes, Sir," Jaysef spoke again. "I got the kiddie coaster done."



"This thing," Jaysef went on, "is called 'Loco Loco' on RCDB and on the new version of the park map, but on the old map it was called 'Cane Harvest Express'. It's an E&F Miler 24' Harvest Express, which probably explains the original name. I think it was relocated to this park from elsewhere, where it was simply the 'Harvest Express'. Note the 2 bare poles protruding from the station roof. Those certainly used to support a sign, but at Dixie Landin' there are a lot of trees, which we'll plant eventually, between the station and the path so the sign would be invisible. Thus, the 'Loco Loco' flag by the path. But they left the sign poles sticking up.

'Anyway, Sir, this ride required a full set of custom supports. Also, I had to use the standard 'Wendigo' to get the 2-seat cars, which I deemed more important than traction wheels instead of a chain lift. I started this project long ago, when cars determined the track. If I could have done it again, I'd have used a different coaster and then put the 'Wendigo' train on it, but things are as they are. Still, I think the supports came out very like the real thing."





Bullethead fished another beer out of the cooler, carefully letting it drip away from the table. "Well, gents, that'll have to do for now. Not very exciting, but I'm afraid that's the nature of this beast. We've still got a lot of work to do in this area before we start planting trees so get on it. I hope to wrap this area up in the near future and get on with other things."

Tune in next time for more boring stuff.
 
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EPISODE 6: Flat Ride Fandango


Summer had definitely arrived, bringing temps and humidity both in the 90s. That and the ongoing gnat plague caused the weekly BSI staff meeting to be held on the screened in back porch of Bullethead's bungalow. There, there was shade, ceiling fans, and an absence of gnats. And the cooler of beer sat comfortably on the plank floor. Bullethead looked around the soon-to-be-dilapidated card table. His senior boffins wore their usual expression of agitated torpor, or maybe it was torpid agitation, Bullethead was never sure which. They all had beers and stacks of documents in front of them. With all being as it should be, Bullethead brought the meeting to order.

"OK gents, the front triangle looks to be nearly done. Great work! Fill me in on the details."

"Yes, Sir," Jaysef replied. "I'm happy to report that all major construction in this area, as well as most of the touch-up, is now complete. We've begun the process of adding all the bins, benches, and lamps, and once that's done we can get on with the gardening.

"First, Sir, some old business, mostly touch-ups," Jaysef continued. "For starters, we found some new reference material on this park, so were able to improve the look of the signs around the Screaminator pretending to be 'Hot Shot'. It's an altogether better font now, and we also redid the inside signs. Note that on the inside, there are no animated flames at the corners."



"Ah, that's much better," Bullethead agreed. "Now it's just the wrong ride, not the wrong sign, too. What's next?"

"Well, Sir," said Jaysef, "you might recall the placeholder fountains in the 'Gasoline Alley' infield? I was finally able to kludge up something that looks more like the real things. They're far from perfect, but they look OK from the distance the riders will be in the antique cars."



"What is that, just blue paint on the bottom?" asked Bullethead with some surprise.

"Yes, Sir. We were unable to obtain an actual pool of water of the appropriate size and style. Also, the rest of it is made out of repurposed Xmas ornaments. But again, it looks OK from a distance."

"I'll take your word for it, Jaysef. OK, what else?"

"Um, well, something we're not too proud of, frankly, Sir. This pic shows our current attempt to light up the 'Ragin' Cajun' boomerang with the same placement of lights as the real park. Basically, it's got 1 pole by the station with lights going both ways for the benefit of riders, and then another out on the perimeter path to show off the lift hill for motorists passing on the adjacent I-10 freeway. Unfortunately, the only light we had available with sufficient range to work from these positions was the huge spotlight, which looks butt-ugly in this application. So, Sir, you have a choice. Do we keep things this way or do we add more, smaller lights in places that aren't true to life?"



"Hmmm," Bullethead considered as he reached for another beer. "This is indeed a problem. I'll run the options by our client and see what he thinks. But, of course, being a 'retired' politician, he's got even less taste and style than I do, so I dread the answer. Oh well, what's next?"

Orbles now spoke up. "Sir, I built a fair number of small things in the SE corner of the triangle, near the famous restroom building. Located kitty-cornered on the small plaza in front of the restroom is a 'Test Your Strength' game. Instead of the traditional level, this one uses a pneumatic plunger."



"On the opposite corner of the restroom plaza, there are 2 small snack stalls, and another across the plaza. A number of these are scattered about the park, and they're simply holding areas for food prepared elsewhere. These stalls don't take cash, they take tickets. There's another stall somewhere that sells the tickets. Apparently the park has had trouble with vendors pocketing cash. All these stalls are tiny things, not the hulking 4m-tall structures we were constrained to build here. They typically share the feature of having an entire wall painted as a billboard advertising their wares."





"Ah yes," Bullethead replied. "I remember being frustrated by this snack system at the real park. First, I had no idea I needed tickets. Then I had no idea where to find the ticket stall. Very annoying. And then the food was heat-lamp specials. Meanwhile, the actual restaurant wasn't open yet. Not fun. But hey, you built it pretty true to life, apart from the size. I must say, however, I'm not a fan of those roofs made of stacked umbrellas. Maybe you can come up with a better idea later. What else?"

"Well, Sir," Orbles said, "I also spiffied up the 'Sidewinder' and 'Flyin' Tigers' rides with railings and signs. In the "Sidewinder' pic, you can also see some of the perimeter lights for the 'Xtreme', which I managed to do much more realistically than 'Ragin' Cajun'."





"Finally, Sir," Orbles concluded, "I made a very simple skin for the 'Gumbo Yo Yo' chair swing ride. The real ride is much less ornate than the example we were able to acquire, just a narrow pole in the middle and no canopy. As such, it only has a 4-sided nameplate around the central column. I had to go with 8 sides to hide the unrealistic baroqueness of our ride."



"Not a particularly inspiring design, Orbles, but it's probably as true to life as we can get in the circumstances. So good job." Bullethead reached for another beer. After taking the first sip, he looked expectantly at Jaysef.

Jaysef looked uncomfortable. "Sir, I know this is your all-time favorite ride going back to your early youth. So it was with some trepidation that I attempted to recreate it. Still, I think it turned out reasonably well. Behold, what was once (and is still labeled as) the 'Scrambler' but which is now known as 'Jambalaya'. Its name is proudly displayed on the fence surrounding some of its machinery."





"The ride itself is now light blue with some bunting on top. And the ride side of the fenced enclosure sports about the only corporate sponsorship deal the park still has."



Bullethead took a long, slow sip of his beer. "Jaysef, that came out better than I'd dared hope. That's a true classic, built in the 50s I think. I can't begin to count how many times I've ridden it over the decades. Thanks for not totally ruining it."

Jaysef took slight bow. "Thank you, Sir. And with that out of the way, Gergas will now tell you about the major construction project we had this time around."

Gergas had been more silent than usual up until now. He remained so. Jaysef had to elbow him in the ribs. Gergas paled more than his usual pallor and started shaking uncontrollably. "Don't make me, don't make me," he started babbling.

Orbles hit Gergas upside the head with an empty beer can. "Snap out of it, dude. You're already dead. How much worse can this have been?"

Gergas shuddered and then regained his composure. "I'm sorry. It's just that this thing was so hideous, it brought back flashbacks of when I died. But I suppose building this would have killed anybody else, which is why the job fell to me. Anyway, this week I was tasked with building the 'Zydeco Express', which is the name the park gives to its Musik Express. In fact, the real ride has signs for both names, as shown here."



All around the table gasped and averted their eyes from the unspeakable photo before them. Gergas pulled a flask from his pocket and took a sip, muttering he needed something stronger than beer. The others did likewise. Thus steeled for the ordeal to come, they cautiously glanced occasionally at the photos Gergas was now shuffling through.

"This hideous thing, Sir," Gergas was finally able to say, "seems to have been re-themed in-house during the early 70s by somebody with more zeal than talent. It's got that then-popular folk-art style of indifferently executed dancers done in what looks like tempra paint on glass. The scenes are supposed to be the then-new abomination of disco, but the artist was still stuck stylistically in the 60s, so it's worst of both worlds. Hippy flowers festoon the lower walls inside and out, and the whole interior is a riot of clashing colors and excessive decoration."



"Despite all the garish, gauche, and grotesque glitz facing the outside world, however, the interior of the tunnel the riders actually go through is bare wood."



Gergas took another swig from his flask and continued. "I also had to put a lot of effort into the facade. The whole lower half is my creation, as are the miniature dancers on the upper half. The real 'Musik Express' sign is nothing but fairy lights spelling the words but I couldn't find any small enough for the job, so I had to use a conventional sign. Also, this ride doesn't completely match the newly discovered reference material, but it's fairly close. I believe it's actually not quite as terrible as the real thing, but I can make it so if required."



The others were still sitting in stunned silence, frequently taking nips from their flasks. After pausing for a response that didn't come, Gergas went on. "The rest of the building is mercifully devoid of similar excrescences. Looking at it from the back, you'd never suspect what horrors await around the front. And thankfully, that's the last pic of this thing."



For a while, the only sounds were sighs of relief. Finally, Bullethead pulled himself together. "Geez, Gergas, I salute you for struggling through this. You definitely deserve combat pay for that, and an extra week of vacation. Which you can start immediately. I can tell this took a lot out of you."

Gergas muttered, "Thank you, Sir," and shuffled away from the meeting, not be seen again for a while.

Jaysef at last showed a final picture. "In happier news, Sir, the park's starting to look better at night. We've still got a lot more lights to install but things are definitely better now."



"Ah, thanks, Jaysef," said Bullethead. "Yes, that is a good change of subject. OK, let's get this area squared away, so we can move on to the next. Meeting adjourned."

Tune in next time for more of the slow spiral into damnation.
 
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EPISODE 7 -- We Want ..... a Shrubbery!


Bullethead and his lead boffins had finally admitted defeat and retreated to the air-conditioned comfort of the conference room, instead of having their meetings outside. In the past couple of weeks, the heat and humidity had finally remembered they were both supposed to have been in the 90s for over a month already, so were now making up for lost time. And while the gnat plague was finally abating, a unusual (and rather worse) plague of horseflies was now starting. All in all, it was too miserable to be outside, or even on the screened porch--their sweat would have ruined the documents they were discussing. However, at least they had gotten the fancy office furniture hauled away and had replaced it with the card table and rockers from the porch, and had also dragged in the beer cooler.


Bullethead looked around the table, making sure everybody had a fresh beer. His boffins wore their usual expressions of perturbed steadiness or maybe it was steady perturbation, Bullethead was never sure which. With all seemingly in readiness, Bullethead opened his beer and called the meeting to order. He began with the obvious. "I see we've been busy gardening, finally."





"Yes, Sir," Jaysef replied. "And I'm pleased to report, Sir, that we've pretty much finished the whole 'triangle' ride area. It will probably need a few tweaks here and there but nothing major. At last, we can move on to other areas."


"Outstanding, gents!" Bullethead raised his beer. "Congrats! Here's to the future!" After they'd all chugged their beers and gotten new ones, Bullethead asked for details on the main points of the recent work.


Orbles took up the tale. "Well, Sir, the major construction effort came when we realized we needed to jack the 'Sidewinder' ride up about 2m to make it resemble the real thing more closely. This was a major pain. Sir, because we'd already put all the fencing and signage on it, but in the end, we got it done."





"That is the strangest ride foundation I've seen in a while," said Bullethead.


"Yes, Sir, that's actually surplus wall paneling from an old house that was being demolished. That was the closest we could find to the real thing, which is surrounded by garden trellis. You know, Sir, that narrow mesh of thin wood strips running diagonally? So the real thing actually looks a bit stranger than our version, Sir. Besides, this is all mahogany, which is readily available here."


Bullethead sipped his beer. "Hmmm. Well, I guess that'll have to do. What else happened?"


Gergas, recently returned from a well-earned vacation, produced another photo. "Sir, we weren't happy with the plaza at the SE corner of the triangle, by the restroom building. Due to the differences between how paths work for us compared to the real park, this area was just badly proportioned. The pretzel shop really needed to be closer to 'Jambalaya's' machinery. Otherwise, there'd have been too much of a gap here, which we couldn't fill with shrubbery without blocking the big sign on the machinery enclosure. So I made the plaza bigger, Sir, which enabled us to move the shop north a bit, and I think this improved the overall look of the area, Sir. Oh, and while I was at it, Sir, I tweaked the umbrella roofs of the other shops."





"Again, that will have to do," Bullethead said. "As you know, I've got a sentimental attachment to the real ride here, and I think you've done about as well as could be hoped with it, given the circumstances. And I do like the roofs better now. Next?"


"The only other thing I did, Sir," Gergas continued, "was running another path around the SW side of the 'Flyin Tigers' ride, thus cutting off the angular corner in the paths. This makes this area much more like the real thing, Sir, plus also makes things more convenient for customers. It also simplified the gardening here."





"That actually looks reasonably OK, Gergas. I see you also managed to hide the abortion next door as much as possible. Good job. Next?"


Orbles spoke again. "Apart from the gardening, Sir, which was Jaysef's project, there's not much else, Sir. I moved the fence on the west side of Ragin' Cajun out to the path, which is where it is in real life. Of course, Sir, the station itself is right on the edge of the path in real life, too, but we couldn't do that due to the exit ramps. So at first, Sir, we had the fence even with the station edge, as in real life, but this created the issue of how to garden the intervening space, which really doesn't exist. So ultimately, Sir, I moved the fence to create a bare yard within, which seems a bit more realistic all things considered, Sir. And while I was at it, Sir, I beefed up the supports for the coaster's floodlights."





"Also, Sir, I added some lights to the kiddie biplane ride, to match a recently discovered photo of the real thing."





Bullethead muttered his mild approval of these efforts and then looked expectantly at Jaysef. Jaysef had been looking uncomfortable but, now that it was his moment, he finished his beer, took a deep breath, and began with only a slight tremble in his voice.


"Sir, as you know, the main effort this time was in the gardening, which includes the benches, bins, and lamps. Hard decisions and much compromise was necessary in all these areas, Sir. I'll begin with the path objects. You have said yourself, Sir, that there weren't enough of any of these things on your last visit to the real park. And believe me, Sir, I carefully scoured Google Maps and all other references I could find, and couldn't find many, either. So I put the benches and lights few and far between, Sir. The lamps don't matter so much as the real park isn't open at night anyway, Sir, but the scarcity of benches will certainly be a source of complaint from customers."


"That's our client's problem, Jaysef," Bullethead soothed. "We're getting paid to be realistic here."


"That's a relief, Sir," Jaysef replied. "Moving on, on the plus side, Sir, we were able to obtain benches and lamps that are almost an exact match for the types in the real park. With the bins, it was another story, though, Sir. The real park uses large, rectangular, black plastic garbage cans, very utilitarian, Sir. Unfortunately, Sir, all the bins would could source were much more ornate. In the end, Sir, I chose to use the stone ones more suited to untamed jungle, and hastily spray-painted them black. I think they look pretty close to the real examples from a distance, Sir, but definitely not when up close. You'll see some in the photos I'll soon be showing, and you can judge for yourself, Sir."


"Jaysef, don't tell me you're stressing out over trash cans...." Bullethead said. "That's not a big deal. What you should be stressing over is the decisions you made regarding the shrubbery. Which I expect to hear about now."


"Um, yes, Sir, the shrubbery.." Jaysef chugged another beer before continuing. "In the NE area of the park, this wasn't particularly difficult. This area is densely filled with fairly large trees, which shade the ground so much that there's no shrubbery to speak of. In fact, Sir, from the park offices there's a veritable oak alley of total shade running down the main path beside the Fun Fair barn. Oh, that pic also has one of the dubious bins, Sir. And I think the antique car track came out nicely, too, Sir."








Bullethead snorted. "Great bin. Forget about bins now, OK? And nice oak alley. It would be reasonably pleasant under there right now except for the maudite horseflies. But I see some distinctly pink shrubbery along the path around the carousel. That's what I want to discuss."


"Yes, Sir!" Jaysef's composure wavered again. But he recovered and pressed on. "Sir, this was the most difficult decision I've ever had to make. The truth is, Sir, we really don't know what is appropriate for the shrubbery. It's apparent, Sir, that many of the paths are edged with rose bushes and other flowering shrubs, but of varieties that don't bloom all year. Thus, Sir, you don't remember any flowers at all, just bedraggled, weedy-looking greenery. And yet, Sir, we have a few photos of the real park with the shrubbery in bloom. Those pics indicated predominantly red and pink flowers, Sir, But the vast majority of photos, Sir, don't show any flowers, just the green tangles you remember. Probably because the park doesn't open these days until spring is over, Sir.


"So on the one hand, Sir, I was able to match reality almost tree-for-tree. Maybe not always the right species, of course, Sir, due to size and space constraints, but close enough for BSI work. On the other hand, I could tell where I needed to put some sort of shrubbery, but usually not what color, if any, to make it, Sir. And besides, Sir, we couldn't acquire any roses anyway. We're trying to be realistic here, Sir, but we also don't want to get sued by the real park for making it too ugly. So, I fudged it, Sir. I did the best I could with what I had, Sir, and tried to provide a mix of green tangle, which is apparently what customers mostly see, and red or pink rose stand-ins for the apparently rare times when the shrubbery is blooming while the park is open.


"Here, Sir, are the main areas where all this came into play, Sir. These pics show both ends of the path between the boomerang and the spinning coaster."








Bullethead took a long, slow sip of a fresh beer. Then another. Jaysef sweated heavily despite the air-conditioning. Orbles and Gergas pretended to be elsewhere, busying themselves with their tablets. A couple of horseflies that had somehow gotten inside butted their heads against the window. Finally, Bullethead set down his beer and shook his head slowly.


"Jaysef, this is not your fault. Relax. Is it good? No. Am I happy with it? No. But that can't be helped, and there's no fixing it. It'll just have to do. I'm sure I can get our client to accept it. And I'm cautiously hopeful we won't get sued., as we've put all the reasons why this is what it is on record.


"In the meantime, let us never speak of this again. The less said, the better. So, let's start planning the next area."


Tune in next time for more of the slow spiral into damnation.
 
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I joined this forum just to give some history you all might like. I got here looking online for my Great Grandfather's old store for a personal project. See the Kleinpeter store, far as I know, was never sponsored by my family. Its named that because it literally was the Kleinpeter family store and is over 100 years old, The owner of Blue Bayou bought it from the family when he built Dixie Landing in the 90's and had it moved to its current site. It used to be down the street on Highland Road where the railroad tracks are - currently a bank. This was because the Kleinpeter train station was next to it and offloaded supplies for the store. Just thought you all would find interesting.

Kleinpeter General Store.png
 
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