The Delmonte Hotel, which has stood empty for years, is serving as the Christmas home for a magical display. This brightly lit miniature village features nearly 100 buildings and 150 "residents."
Elkins resident Adrienne Vance has been collecting and adding to her extensive collection since 1979. She and her daughters, Elizabeth Marshall-MacVean and Rebecca Nucilli, started the grouping after being inspired by a neighbor's Christmas display.
"Our neighbors around the corner, Dr. and Mrs. Donald Roberts, had a beautiful scenery display," Vance said. "Ceramics were very popular at the time, and we decided to start a display of our own with ceramic villages."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
A Christmas village display lights up the windows of the Delmonte Hotel on Railroad Avenue across from the Elkins Depot. The collection, owned by Elkins resident Adrienne Vance, above, represents more than 33 years of collecting and features almost 100 buildings.
Vance said she and her daughters really enjoyed painting and completing the buildings. All together, they crafted a dozen pieces.
Each year since, Vance has added to her village with items she purchases, those gifts from her family and about 40 that she has received from friends.
"I have friends who love my village and they will find special pieces to add," Vance said. "It has really grown over the past 33 years."
Vance said not all of her pieces are on display at the Delmonte Hotel. She said her village includes churches, restaurants, businesses, fire stations, trees, animals, people, two skating rinks and a ski lift with a trail.
In prior years, Vance set her Christmas grouping up around her house.
"The village is the first Christmas item we set up each year," Vance said. "My grandchildren, Sarah Marshall and Noah Nucilli, have helped set up my Christmas village pieces since they were able to walk."
Vance said she talked with Old Brick Playhouse owner Missy McCollam after last Christmas season about setting the village up at OBP this holiday season.
"Missy spoke with Karen Jacobsen about the village," Vance said. "They thought the village would add some sparkle to the downtown area, and she invited me to set it up."
Vance said it was hard work to set the collection up, but she is very pleased with the result.
"I am glad others have the chance to see and enjoy my Christmas pieces," Vance said.
Vance's many Christmas village pieces are on display at the Delmonte Hotel, located on Railroad Avenue in Elkins, across from the Elkins Depot.