Loretta Gorlitz creates Christmas village

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

For most of the year, the Gorlitz house in Seneca is known as Loretta’s Woodenworks. But when the holiday season arrives, it’s a different story. More than half of her living room is converted into a Christmas village—a very large Christmas village.

The project began in a simple enough fashion back in 1993, Loretta says.

“It stated off with just a couple of houses under the Christmas tree,” she said. loretta_front

It grew enough in the next couple of years that she decided to place the model buildings on top of a table. It grew a little more, so she decided to place the growing village on a half sheet of plywood.

“From there, it just grew,” Loretta explained.

Next came a full sheet. And now two sheets.

This year, 11 new buildings were added as the village grew to encompass a four foot by 16 foot area of the front room.

To grow any bigger in length, she’d have to give up the use of the bathroom and bedroom. To go any wider, she would have to remove all the furniture from the room. She already stores several pieces in the garage from about Thanksgiving to the middle of January.

Most of the miniature houses, stores and miscellaneous buildings—even an outhouse—are gifts she receives from friends and family members. She said her children get as excited as she does when they bring over a new purchase.

“I’m so glad I didn’t stick with just one brand,” she said. “It makes it look more like a real city.”

Among the companies creating the collector pieces are Dickens, LaMonde, Toy Town and Victorian. Many of the buildings are lighted through electrical cords hidden under the cotton “snow” of her fantasy countryside. A few are battery operated and have to be switched on when it’s time to show off the village.

Her layout includes an ice skating pond and a toy train and track. One of the new acquisitions is a home with fiber optic lighting that really bursts through in the windows and miniature Christmas decorations.

There’s nothing static about the display because she changes the arrangement every year to create a new design.

Among the dozens of structures, there must be some favorites.

“I don’t think so,” Loretta says. “I love each and every piece.”

So with half the room gone, is this the end of the housing boom in Loretta’s living room?

“Oh, it will keep growing,” she said. “I’ll just have to build up instead of out.”

Loretta will find a way. Look for some new housing in the mountains next Christmas.

    - Dec. 18, 2002

 

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017