David Griswold, son of Floyd and Gladys Griswold, graduated Johnson High School in 1959. After serving for one and a half years in the Vermont National Guard he joined the U.S. Army until his discharge in 1962.
My interest started late in life as a model railroader, however I was always interested in building. Many of the skills I used today were learned in shop class at Johnson High School.
In 2003 I started my first model train layout which was on a 4X8 ft sheet of plywood. A year later I expanded the layout to fill a 12 by 24-foot room, and by 2013 my layout covered a 12 X 72 ft area. All the buildings were built by me, and the Talc Mill which was on that layout was donated to the Johnson Historical Society.
As time went on, I found “scratch building” most enjoyable and challenging as it requires creating a building from scratch without plans.
In 2019 a neighbor asked me to build a replica of her schoolhouse from a photo she had. She was pleased with it and donated it to the historical society in the town where she lived. With that success I decided to make one of the Johnson High School I had attended. While researching the history of Johnson High School I found information on the Nye Block and decided to build both buildings. The Nye Block was a unique building and presented a lot of challenges. Once both buildings were completed, they were donated to the Johnson Historical Society.
In 2021 the Town of Johnson decided to remove the fallen down powerhouse building. I walked by that building many times back and forth to school. The building was adjacent to the Covered Bridge I also walked through. I decided I would create both buildings and design them to be displayed next to each other. The powerhouse building had a large metal pipe which ran up the river to collect water from a dam which was used to power the turbine. I used photos of both the powerhouse and covered bridge to design the project. After building the covered bridge I found the structure was not historically correct and threw it away. The covered bridge uses a queen post structure design, so I had to build it over. I
believe it was the summer of 2022 that I donated them to the Historical Society.
In the summer of 2022, I was exploring what building to make next and concluded the Johnson Town Hall was a good choice. After taking pictures of the outside, I created a replica of the building. I finished off the inside to represent my memory of how it looked when in the 1950’s. The Town Hall was donated in 2023.
From 2004 to 2014 I worked on Dave Myers layout located in the hay loft attached to his house in Waterbury Center and is one of the largest layouts in the state of Vermont. Throughout this time I was also involved in a group of local modelers that helped each other by working on our layouts addressing such things as building construction and scenery.
I now live in Florida where I volunteer at Give Kids The World and maintain their Model Train/animated layout. The layout is a 34 by 34 foot layout and includes five trains and 30 plus animated features.