The "New England Village" depicts the buildings and people of the New England area with its many churches, lighthouses and the farm areas. Our village was started when we were still living in our native New Jersey, years before we thought of relocating to NH.
Grenville started collecting these Department 56 pieces in 1996 because he liked the theme. It was a bit out of place during the 12 years we lived on the VA eastern shore, and was only set up once. It's right at "home" now in our New England apartment.There's also a train that's not running this year because of space. However, next year, the village green will be enlarge to include the rest of the train car and track.
Setting up the village has been a fun task this year. It will remain set up throughout this winter season and it already has the snow.
Thanks to several well-priced eBay purchases and great deals at a favorite local thrift store, we added to the village this year. If this expansion continues, the village could become a city. Recent additions have included several businesses, houses and many new figures. The village includes a butcher shop, sign company, boat works, hook and ladder company, stove works, bed & breakfast, fish cannery, cutters and sleigh works, and the Nashua Manufacturing Company, in honor of the mill apartment building where we now live. There's also a lighthouse, church and town hall.
For those not familiar with these collectible villages, Department 56 is a manufacturing firm well known for its collection of various lit Christmas villages, ornaments, giftware, and Snowbabies figurines. It is owned by Enesco and has been based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota since the late 1980s. Department 56 was founded in 1976 and celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.
It's called Department 56 because that was the number assigned to the wholesale gifts import division of its former owner, Bachman's, a Minneapolis, MN retail florist.
Do you have any holiday or winter collectibles in your home at this holiday time?