The 'South Jersey S Gaugers' club is a New Jersey non-profit organization. Our goal is the promotion and support of all aspects of S-gauge model railroading including hi-rail, scale, narrow gauge, and tin-plate. We strive to educate the general public on the social benefits of model railroading.
Since we are a non-profit organization, we have officers that are elected from and by the South Jersey S Gaugers' membership. Click on the name to start an e-mail message.
Based on A.C. Gilbert Inc. American Flyer trains, "S" scale modeling has grown into a wide multi-faceted hobby. Many of our members are collectors and collector/operators of classic American Flyer trains. Others, who had a start with American Flyer trains have turned to other aspects of the hobby, such as scale and narrow gauge. And some are still "armchair" modelers who will someday have a layout when the time is right!
The SJSG holds at least one meeting per month to discuss club business and activities. We also hold meetings for workshops, seminars and road trips - and just plain having fun! Several of our committees also hold meetings as necessary, such as the layout committee to work on our sectional layout. We promote the "S" hobby by displaying our sectional layout at various train shows and other venues in the area and have won many "First Place for Presentation" awards. In the past we sponsored a bi-annual Train Show/Meet, and Flea Market (with the emphasis on "S" of course!)
The first meeting of the South Jersey S Gaugers (then known as the South Jersey S Scalers) occurred on July 29th, 1989 at Roy Hoffman's house in Cherry Hill, NJ. Judging from everyone's comments, the meeting was a huge success. The attendance peaked at 28 people drawn from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. In addition to a large supporting attendance from members of the Central Jersey S-Scalers were John Bortz, John Hall, Russ Downs (of Downs Model Railroad), Don Thompson (of S-Helper Service), and Don DeWitt (of S DeSigns).
Bill Lane was our first President and held that position until 1993. During Bill's tenure, the SJSG club members became involved in hosting the Valley Forge Express, which was the 1993 NMRA/NASG joint convention. The convention car was our first club project, a Pacific Rail Shops Pennsylvania X41b "Service Merchandise" Car kit, and it was a sell-out success!
In 1994, our new President, Bill Moore, took the club reins for what turned out to be a five-year term. The club successfully completed several more club car projects which helped fund the building of our first 10'x24' portable layout. One of the first public viewings of the layout was at our first club-sponsored train swap/sale meet in 1995. Our next public layout display was at the A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital in Delaware, also organized of Bill Moore. We have since taken the layout to other locations such as the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia as well as veterens homes, local elementary schools, train shows, and public events in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware.
In 1998 we settled into our first permanent meeting location at the Belmawr Fire and Rescue Station and started a string of bi-annual train shows. Our membership hit its peek at 48 members and our meeting attendance regularly held 20 or more members. For the next three years we participated in the Memorial Day event at Steamtown by taking our layout to Scranton, PA for display during Steamtown's weekend celebrations. In July 1999, the club celebrated their 10 year anniversary by publishing a special full-color 12-page edition of the Waybill.
In 2000 our next President, Dan DeSantis, manned the controls of our club until stepping down in 2002. Dan also took over the duties of publishing the Waybill in early 1999 and continued to refine the Waybill. He also started discussions to replace the now weary sectional layout. In February, 2002 we moved into our current meeting location in the Stratford Senior Center, Stratford, NJ. Unfortunately, we also had to discontinue our club-sponsored train shows.
Our currently elected President, Hank Worrell, took over in January 2002, and we are now well established at our new home in the Stratford Senior Center. In 2008, we finished the construction of our new 26'x12' multiple-level sectional layout. We have added a couple more children's hospitals, schools, and veterens homes to our tour of duty for the layout display. We've also expanded outside of the NJ/PA/DE area with excusions to Maryland and Massachusetts to attend NASG conventions.
The SJSG club regularly plans rail-fan trips and excursions for our members, and holds monthly meetings (typically the first Friday of each month) at the Senior Center. The meetings consist of club business planning, clinics, and presentations on all sorts of railroading and modeling topics. Someday we will resume holding our S-centric train shows in South Jersey, in the meantime, look for us at local and regional train shows! We will be celebrating our 30th year as a NJ non-profit club in July 2019.
The first club officers elections were held in 1994. In 1997, the club formally changed its name from 'South Jersey S Scalers' to 'South Jersey S Gaugers'.
The Newsletter Editor is not an elected position, they serve at the discretion of the President. The initial club newsletter was known as the "Hotbox". A survey was taken by Roy Hoffman, which ended in a decision to rename the newsletter to the "Waybill".