Well that’s the question, isn’t it!
I don’t have any family connection. I’ve never lived in Port Rowan. In fact, my reason is purely practical. It comes down to available space.
My layout space is in a multi-purpose room in the basement and while it’s not small, it is awkward, with various no-go zones for utilities and such. Having designed several layouts for the space (and even built a few of them) I know that a point-to-point arrangement works best in this room, which means I’m limited to the classic “terminal to fiddle yard/staging” operating scheme.
When looking for a place to model, I discovered that at one time Port Rowan had a very compact branch line terminal. I’d hazard a guess that it was the smallest such end of the line on the Canadian National in Southern Ontario, with just five turnouts. But within that compact space, there’s a team track, elevated coal delivery track, a feed mill, a station serving passengers, mail and express, a turntable, and some interesting ancillary structures such as a section house.
Nothing dramatic, and the operating potential certainly won’t make a crew break into a sweat. But there will be enough to do to keep a couple of people entertained for 45 minutes to an hour, before retiring to the pub – and I have several very good pubs nearby.