BREWER — It’s not on display every year, so Christmas lovers are quick to find a place on their holiday calendar for Springheirville, the one-of-a-kind Christmas Village that will be on exhibit 1-4 p.m. the next four Saturdays — Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 and 18 on the first floor of the Brewer Historical Society, 199 Wilson St.
Village to page 7
The pieces are lighted, and many of them have a removable roof so that viewers can peek inside.
Here’s the bandstand with the choir, over there is a classroom with children. People are down front walking into the church.
And all of it is filled with miniature furniture collected by Lois Springer, the carpenter and architect who built Springheirville four decades ago.
Springer’s project wasn’t even finished when people started flocking to her lawn.
Year after year they came. In 1970, some 3,000 people viewed the Christmas Village.
The display includes a covered bridge, a jail, farm, stable, inn, bank, stores, railroad station, barbershop, homes and the post office of Springheirville, Maine.
Members of the historical society are ready to welcome new generations and old friends.
They especially enjoy watching the children look over every detail of the village, said Jean Lyford after dressing up the museum’s window box with poinsettias and greens.
“Is it a replica of a particular Maine town? No. It’s completely a thing of the imagination,” Springer said during a 1968 interview with the Bangor Daily News. “I wanted to do something a little different, and I thought of building a church and a creche. I like children and was interested in doing it for my grandchildren and the neighboring children. Then it sort of mushroomed.”
Carpenter Benjamin Nason, a neighbor of Springer at the time, gave her a good amount of help and advice, especially on the first few buildings.
Lois Springer died in 1999, but her Christmas Village comes to life during special holiday seasons. This is one of them.
Admission is free, but the historical society accepts donations for maintenance and repair of its Clewley Museum.
The Brewer Historical Society will hold an open house to display the Christmas Village, Springheirville, 1-4 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, at the Clewley Museum, 199 Wilson St., Brewer. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.