Friday, July 31, 2009

ROUTE 66



On the south side of our little lake as you drive the eleven miles around....you come across this street sign....ROUTE 66....which directs us down a dirt driveway....



Over the last few years, often in the evenings after our ice-cream cone at the King of the Frosties....my Dad has taken us for a drive around the lake and down ROUTE 66 to see the sights and handiwork of local friends ...Mr. John Van Buiten and his lovely wife Hester.....
This series of 6 red signs say...."IF HUGGING.....ON HIGHWAYS...IS YOUR SPORT...TRADE IN YOUR CAR...FOR A DAVENPORT...BURMA SHAVE"....this was an old advertising slogan .....
The red signs lead you down this dirt road to almost a dozen little buildings.....all built by John, a retired builder from New Jersey ...
Among his charming diminutive buildings are a church, a schoolhouse, a service center, a bus stop, a post office, a barber shop, a lean to and an outhouse...



John has been an antique car buff for many years and he has collected not only classic antique cars but vintage gas pumps and all kinds of memorabilia.....The gas pumps and other items you see here are all authentic antiques...



He has outfitted one little building, inside and out as a post office...



Of course, there needs to be one of these...



A wonderful vintage weather vane adorns the top of this small building...



A miniature replica of a service station....Now when I say miniature....I mean small....you can walk inside all these buildings and they are outfitted as a normal size building....with counters and furniture and appropriate accessories...







This was my favorite building....a tiny chapel.....



The top of this sign was salvaged from John's home church in NJ which burnt down in 1946.



John and Hester renewed their vows here to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.....There was just enough room for their children and spouses to sit on the two pews (cut down from original old ones) and for their grandchildren to stand around the perimeter of this little house of worship....



A little school house complete with an antique school bell on top....







The General Store was filled floor to ceiling with all sorts of memorabilia and some antique tins and other utilitarian items which would have been found in an old store...



Here is John, posing at my request, inside the General Store....he has his carpenter's apron on as he and a friend are in the process of building a replica of an old ice cream parlor!



His Barber shop has this authentic old barber pole on the outside...



And inside are these two mannequins with this authentic antique barber chair...



Just look at all the old barber shop items he has on display!

The other morning, John and Hester let my Dad and I spend some time taking a closer look at all his little buildings...both inside and out...I took so many pictures....incredible and wonderful details! I hope the photographs shown here give you an idea of the love behind all the work that was put into creating this charming "village".... This lovely couple are so gracious and generous in sharing their ROUTE 66 with all who are interested....
Hope you enjoyed this little tour!

17 comments:

KarenSue said...

How wonderful is this! I learn so much from blogging around the world. I just love it.
Thanks for a great blog.
Sue-Orlando,Fl

Carole~Maynard Greenhouse said...

That was just the cutest story. That John sure has a lot of imagination to create something as charming. He must just like seeing people smile when they come visit.
Wonderful post Laura!
Funny I was just thinking the other day about my parents when they first came to this country they were told that to get to California from the East all they had to do was follow rt 66. They soon learned that wasn't the case! lol

Sharon said...

Love it. Just great. Sharon

Julie@beingRUBY said...

This is very strange. Only yesterday I was driving to work remembering when I drove along Route 66 from LA to Grand Canyon on my Californian vacation [17 yrs ago]. Beautiful story and images Laura. Have a great weekend. Julie

Brynwood Needleworks said...

What a wonderful idea...to have all these little, quaint buildings on one's property. And the fact that he built them all himself! I bet you had a great time looking inside and outside all of them.
I love the little chapel the most, too!
Hugs,
Donna

Alicia said...

What a magical place!! All this work is a gift to all of us so send John & Hester thanks. I'd love to take the kids here...including the one inside of me!!
Wishing you a refreshing weekend.

Jacqueline said...

That was brilliant, Laura...I thoroughly enjoyed seeing those little buildings all perfectly replicated...John must love doing it and look at everything that he has collected over the years...amazing,If I'm ever in the area ,that's on my list for a visit. XXXX

Floss said...

Oh how incredible! My boys would adore these buildings, with all the little details, and so would I!

If you would like to see inside a real old English schoolhouse, Marble Rose has a wonderful one on her blog today.

Thanks for these great photos, and thanks to John for making and sharing the buildings.

lia said...

What a beatiful photo's from a lovely place.
It looks great.

greets Lia

Nancy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful little spot! I am in disbelief that someone was able to create these sweet replicas! Amazing! He surely has made so many people happy happy by his workmanship!
~Nancy

Andrea - Faded Plains said...

What a darling place...how nice of John to let you share it with us.

Bellamere Cottage said...

What a great tour! Thanks for sharing.

Blessings,
Spencer

cheryl kuhn said...

Wow, thanks for taking us on this amazing tour of this fanciful place! What a great achievement he has created and how lucky you were to see it in person.

The Green Pea said...

Thank you for sharing your story. That was so much fun and great pictures. The little buildings are so cute. John and Hester married 60 years, how wonderful is that! Have a nice weekend. Sandi

Brambleberry Cottage said...

This is just so neat! How wonderful that John and Hester have their collections displayed so that they can enjoy them everyday! I wouldn't know how to act, if I could actually see ALL the things I've collected on a daily basis - most are stowed here and there in boxes and crates. And I'm pretty sure MY hubby has no intention of building separate buildings to let me display it all. lol

Blessings,
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Lyn Van Druff said...

John.
I loved seeing all those adorable and incredibly designed small buildings. They were the best kept secret in Spec. Loved showing our visiting friends your work. They were always amazed. Thank you so much for sharing your creative passion with us.
Continued blessings to you and your family. John and Lyn Van Druff

Lyn Van Druff said...

John.
I loved seeing all those adorable and incredibly designed small buildings. They were the best kept secret in Spec. Loved showing our visiting friends your work. They were always amazed. Thank you so much for sharing your creative passion with us.
Continued blessings to you and your family. John and Lyn Van Druff