Spreading Cheer: Holiday village on display at museum - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Spreading Cheer: Holiday village on display at museum

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 6:00 pm

A tiny Christmas village that once belonged to the wife of Alton Gloor is currently on display at the Historic Brownsville Museum through the first week of January.

Set up in a front room of the old Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, the Department 56 Miniature Holiday Village Collection consists of over 500 ceramic homes, businesses, municipal buildings, and schools that Gloor collected over the course of over 30 years.

Trees, snow, and individual citizens of the tiny village have been set up according to photographs taken at the late June Gloor’s home after she passed away in 2017.

“You would mostly find these at Dillard’s and other high-end retail stores during their Christmas season. It became something of a passion for her to collect all of these individual pieces,” said Ricky Garza, programs and events coordinator at the Brownsville Historical Association.

Gloor’s husband owned and operated Gloor Lumber Supply for many decades. The business was inherited by his sons, who donated the collection to the museum on the condition that it would be displayed annually in honor of their late mother and her work.

Garza helped install the collection alongside BHA’s Collections Manager Aubrey Nielsen. The tiny village is housed on a group of tables taken from Gloor’s home made of 2 x 4s, topped with a white fabric that looks like snow.

Mrs. Gloor had holes cut into the tops of the tables where electrical cords pass through, lighting up shop window displays, the inside of cafes, and fireplaces inside of homes.

Near the center of the display, children skate on a frozen pond next to the local Starbucks.

Elsewhere in town there is a post office, a city hall, an elementary school, and a Hard Rock Cafe.

“It expanded over the course of 30 plus years at her home to the point where a room in her home was strictly this, up all year round. If you add up each individual piece, it’s actually over 1,000,” Garza said.

During her lifetime, Gloor was known to be quite generous with the display set up in her home, often inviting people over who wanted to see it. The exhibit aims to honor that legacy.

“She was very generous with the Christmas village,” he said. “It wasn’t just a private, family thing. The family would call us the first year we put it up to say how thrilled they were to see people enjoying it.”

The exhibit officially begins on Nov. 30 and will run until Jan. 4.

Additionally, BHA has the annual Christmas Tree Forest Exhibit planned for the holidays. The program will run from Dec. 10 to Jan. 4 at the Heritage Museum.

Garza said last year’s event was a huge success, and BHA is currently accepting applications from individuals, families, and local businesses who want to set up a Christmas tree and decorate it for the exhibit.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com

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