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The Garden Railway

It's a Real, Awesome, Thing!

One of our favorite couples in Grants Pass are the Leib's that live up the hill from us. Formerly from Chicago, they were the first people to invite us over for dessert. They are hilarious and kind and have given the best advice on how to prod my city person into becoming a country person. Since we moved in the winter, Michael had shown me some of his miniature railroad trains that were on a hearth in the dining room. And he casually told us that he had a full railroad in the garden with shops and all. It reminded me of my grandfather's trains and I thought that would be nice to see. But I really underestimated the Garden Railway.

Michael Lieb

You see garden railroads are a thing. They are a hobby followed by people around the world. You can read more about them here. And in the cold hours of winter Michael has been building his trains over the years. Now it has two towns! Every year after the last frost they host an opening of the railroad.

Michael was part of a group of local people with garden railroads but they are hard to maintain and keep up. Many have stopped having them. So he is not only keeping his own trains going but he is keeping a tradition going as well. And every year the railroad expands with a new house here, or new store there. One of the neighbors contributed farm animals to the railroad. It really is a sight to see.

Every single one of the buildings was made from hand - even down to the "interesting" signage. What makes this even sweeter is that our other neighbor Glenn helps cut the wood to make all the buildings. It truly is a neighborhood railway. 

In this town the buildings and businesses are named after family, friends and neighbors past and present.

The level of detail is amazing - even down to the tire tread.

and every single individual shingle.

The railway goes past the koi pond. But look closer. There is a beautiful red dragon fly landing on the telephone pole. The koi and the dragonfly are alive. Such beauty in such a small space.

ok back to the town.

Their son is a doctor in real life so of course he is the doctor for the town.

The whole neighborhood came to the annual opening. And for the kids Michael had a quiz and prizes. I think they had to count the number of animals along the railway.

Marshan explained that when people went on long drives across the US, in times past, advertisements would be in the form of small signs you passed along the road. This one is for Brylcreme shaving cream.

I am loving my days here in Grants Pass where I get to anticipate the opening of the railroad instead of the latest tech keynote. Check out the videos below and let the calm flow over you.

Check out the videos!

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