Sugg Model Train Garden
Located behind the Pratt Welcome Center, the Sugg Model Train Garden is a popular feature with the young and the young at heart. A big draw with model train enthusiasts, the G-scale garden railroad was built to represent the two businesses that Verna Cook Garvan, the Gardens’ benefactress, owned: the Malvern Brick and Tile Company and the Wisconsin Arkansas Lumber Mill.
The brick factory consists of the brick manufacturing plant, two drying buildings, several kilns, and storage facilities. They are all made of concrete. Most of the original structures no longer exist; however, Acme Brick now owns the brick production plant and refers to it as the “Ouachita Plant.” The other business once owned by Mrs. Garvan was the lumber mill, which produced hardwood flooring. The wood structures, located opposite the brick mill, represent some of the lumber mill buildings as replicated from photographs. The original structures no longer exist.
The layout consists of 389 feet of track and 259 trestles and encompasses three independent operating loops. A freight or passenger train runs on the lower outer loop while a train hauling cars filled with clay for the brick factory operates on the lower inner loop. The upper loop simultaneously carries a logging train taking logs to the lumber mill. Construction of the Model Train Garden was a joint collaboration of Garvan Woodland Gardens and the Greater Hot Springs Garden Railway Society, who constructed the buildings and trestles and laid the track.
Sidney and Joy Sugg of El Dorado, Arkansas, honored their grandsons, Matthew and Jonathan Sugg, with naming rights.