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Cumberland County village of miniature buildings is a must-see - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County village of miniature buildings is a must-see Christmas season stop

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Even in daylight, this miniature village near Shippensburg is an impressive sight. And that's also when you might find its creator checking up on things.

"I built the foundation and everything, explains 89-year-old Ernest Helm. " Then I built the barn to fit the foundation."

At 89-years-old, Ernest Helm has a little trouble maneuvering around the half-acre hill-side display he calls "Tiny World, " but he's quick with a story for each of the two dozen structures he built over a thirty-year period. The miniature structures are based on Ernest's imagination and memory.

"That stone house you see over there is the one that's along the Walnut Bottom Road," he said in reference to a well known structure located outside of Carlisle.

Ernest admits he never dreamed Tiny World would draw the year-round crowds that it does, but he's happy that it does.

"I enjoy seeing the people, he said, "and I'm glad the people enjoy coming to see it, you know."

Ernest's daughter Donna Myers and her husband Wendell handle most of the leg work and maintenance involved with the village.

"Trying to keep the electric on and finding wires that go bad, that's a job," said Wendell." And there are more than 15-thousand lights to worry about.

"The visitors call it Christmas magic," he said. "They bring their kids here. Kids love it. And it's tradition. A family tradition."

Franklin county mom Jodi Mackey calls Tiny World a part of her Christmas season.

"I brought my kids over and over, when they were little," she said. "And now I'm bringing my grandchildren."

Each building is made to scale and many are filled with life-like furnishings. One home includes real vinyl siding and fiberglass shingles cut to size. A school house like the one Ernest attended in the 1930's is filled with individually carved desks, with miniature outdoor toilets just outside the school house windows. At another stop along the walk way, chipmunks make music with mallets on metal. And, a little farther along, in a wooden church, a moving choir serenades with songs of praise. There's a memory for everyone in this town without time.

Tiny World is located at 6720 Rice Road, Shippensburg, Pa. Open 7-days a week. No charge. Info at 532-7970 or check them out on Facebook.

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