With the powerplant up and running it created job openings for almost 200 sims who would have to manage, run and maintain the facility. People from both Coldwater and Westwood got on a two hour train ride every day to get to the plant and another two hours to get back home. Needless to say, it didn't take long before the first employees started to complain about the long distance.
To help these people out a bit, the city of Westwood decided to offer housing for factory workers. Any employee who worked at the plant for 3 or more days a week (pretty much everyone) would be eligable to live in a small home next to the railroad. Construction on the first homes began not long after that decision.
The first few dozen homes are done. You can see the steel factory in the background.
By the time the first 100 homes were built and requests for more kept coming in at the Westwood city council, it was decided to also built a steel factory to produce steel for construction a little closer to the construction sites. Afterall, continuesly shipping and unloading cargo through the railway would clog the damn thing up. After the factory was finished more homes started appearing in rapid succession.
The need for beer and TV-dinners triggered the first commercial development.
The town was doing well. Workers were happy, finally being able to sleep an hour or two longer each morning, even if it wasn't in their own home. The homey feeling returned a little when a bar and some stores opened in the small community and things became even more routine. For a while it all seemed to go better then you would expect a little remote settlement to do. Then disaster struck.
A fire started in one of the homes. Only problem, no firefighters...
With no fire station in town and no real fire fighting hardware, the fire was allowed to swallow up half a block of houses before it could finally be contained by the combined efforts of the citizens.
The burnt down houses. Luckily no-one was killed, but there were several injuries.
After this sudden wakeup call, citizens got together and set up a voluntary fire department, with people taking shifts around the clock.
The brand new firestation, with a firetruck and equipment donated by the WFD (Westwood Fire Department).
While the houses were being rebuilt and the community settled down after a slap-in-the-face event, elsewhere there were a few smart sims who thought they could make a buck or two from the daily traffic to and from the power plant.
Stores set up on the road to Mount Jordan, hoping to lure passers by.
And some activity brewing around the power plant, where homes were built for people on call and have to be at the plant quick in case of emergency.
One year after the first house was completed, the town had already grown to accomodate over 200 people. More factories had been built in the meantime, more people needed homes to stay in and with the luxery of stores and electricity in a beatifull piece of nature, other citizens from the nearby Westwood and Coldwater were moving in as well, escaping the busy city.
In June 1907, the Westwood city council decided that the small settlement was attracting so many people and was growing so quickly that remote management was no longer an option. In order to keep a better eye on the development of the town, and lessen the involvement of Westwood, a town mayor was appointed. And while the small settlement was officially still part of Westwood, it was quickly becoming an independant town.
The mayor's house.