A REFURBISHED Tiny Town was put on display May 9 with city officials and citizens who played a role in preserving the collection of miniature buildings turning out to admire the handiwork of a work crew who spruced them up.
The collection, originally built by Jim Allen as miniature replicas of 20 buildings in his Youghal, Ireland home town, now sports fresh paint and minor repairs sitting on a freshly-graveled surface with plenty of walking around room right next to the George Little House on Kalum.
Tiny Town began life in the front yard of Allen’s Agar Ave. hometown, becoming a bit of a tourist attraction year round and a lighted winter village during the Christmas season.
When circumstances dictated the buildings be moved from Allen’s yard and with the real possibility they might be taken to the landfill, a volunteer group was quickly formed to take them instead to an empty storefront in the Skeena Mall. And when the mall was bought and extensive renovations began there last year, the same group arranged for the move to city property next to the George Little House.
“They were really saved twice,” noted Yvonne Moen, one of the volunteer group involved in both moves. “I think this project has been very important to all of us.”
She singled out former Skeena Mall manager Judi Hannon and city council member Brian Downie as playing important roles. The work crew came from a Terrace and District Community Services Society employment skills program.
Christine Lozier from the services society noted the combined effort of the crew, volunteers and businesses in making contributions to the refurbishment. “We really need to beautify things here,” she said of the downtown area.
“It’s very important to do these downtown projects,” Lozier said.
City councillor Stacey Tyers, representing the city, said this project and others undertaken by groups and volunteers are important to the city given that it does not have a lot of money.
“You should know how much we appreciate the work and effort you put into the community,” she said.
The buildings are replicas of a post office, a butcher shop, a shoemaker, a barbershop, an info centre and two pub buildings, one of which also contains an undertaker’s business.
One structure was designed by a person from Holland and built with brick from that country, said Allen during a tour.
“The brick is red and that’s why it’s called the Red House,” he said.