NORTH AUGUSTA - A local man and his wife spent the recent months of isolation building a very special structure. Several structures actually.
Paul and Janice Asbruk of Zeran Street off Dixon Road in Augusta Township had time on their hands and space in their yard. So why not build a scale-sized village complete with ringing church bell?
The couple already had a nicely-landscaped property, but decided they could do more. Paul, a former home builder, had already mastered birdhouses last year, so thought he would be a little more ambitious in 2020. The result is a small village, all hand-made, which is the delight of their neighbours.
"All the materials were donated by the neighbours," says Paul. "I used a scale of one inch to one foot, and all the doors and windows are also to scale. It took several days to make each building, and hours and hours to give it the antique look. Then it was on to the next one."
All the buildings have lights which the Asbruks turn on at night. The log cabin homestead has curtains and Christmas lights in the windows and the church features a stained-glass effect which also glows from the inside. There is also a barn, a pond with a working fountain, a windmill and a woodshed. The buildings are surrounded by a small 'forest' of shrubbery and a sidewalk runs in front of the whole thing.
The roofs of the home and school have an original rubber-coated finish, making them both authentic looking and waterproof. And of course, there is a scale-sized outhouse to make the project complete.
Will the creative couple add to the village?
"It's a great retirement project," laughs Paul. "As long as the neighbours keep giving us the materials, I think we could find room for a few more buildings, maybe make it into a real town." He says that won't be until spring though, as the existing settlement has to come inside and be stored for the winter.
"Once you get going it's hard to stop. Especially when everyone in the neighbourhood here seems to appreciate it so much," adds Janice. "We have lots of yard left to work with so you never know what might come next!"