HO Scale Diorama & Christmas Village


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Naperville, Illinois – the inspiration for Oak Valley

Our New England ancestors arrived in Naperville (a small town near Chicago) in 1833. At that time, it was a farming community, but the evangelical college had just relocated to Naperville.  It was at the college where our great-grandparents, Guy and Nannie, met and fell in love.  I have great fondness for several small towns of my ancestral towns, but for Oak Valley, I needed a flat terrain with snow.

Naperville has a river, and Oak Valley only has a stream.  In his diary, our great-grandfather, Guy,  mentions taking  Nannie for a buggy ride to see a hill, because she was so homesick for the hills and mountains of East Tennessee.

The Johnson Family



Oak Valley is an imaginary small town in northeast Illinois in 1912, and I like to believe that in 1912 there was a small, but growing, black middle class in Oak Valley.  All manufactures of HO scale figures include black and Asian figures.  Early 1900s figures are becoming scarce, and there are NO black figures in this era.  I have “converted” several individual figures over the years, but always longed for a middle class African American family for Oak Valley.  I need a little more practice with color, but  hope to have more AA residents in the future. I took this photo in the middle of town, so it is fairly dark.  Here’s an image of the daughter, Emeline. Johnson_Daughter

After The Funeral

For awhile, I have been considering a patio in the church yard, and I just painted it  under the existing tree, and added a drive into the yard.  I really like the added color and dimension. funeral_patio_lg

Mr. Miller’s Ambush

I enjoy seeing the transformation when a new citizen is placed in a natural situation.  Poor Mr. Miller is chopping firewood, unaware that he’s about to be pounded with snowballs.  They remind me of the boys in the neighborhood where I grew up!

The Fountain

The Fountain is the result  of a boring Saturday night, when I decided to wreak havoc to the traffic patterns of Oak Valley.   I save bottle and jar lids, just in case I find a use for them. I just messed around with lid sizes and colors, and did a little painting.  I will look for a more historically accurate  Oak Valley “Founding Father” statue, because this part of Illinois was not settled by white people until the early 1830s.  I hope to update soon!fountain_1_sm

Just stopping by to say that I have ordered a small bottle of Woodland Scenic’s new Realistic Water in blue. The large bottle was ridiculously expensive for the little bit that I need. I look forward to trying it out. Since the fountain is made from bottle caps, I don’t have much to lose!  When you next visit, I hope it will be in place.