Winter wonderland|Christmas comes to Redwood

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 21, 2009

A winter wonderland can be found right here in Warren County — at least a small version.

Jane and Johnny Griffin of Redwood have spent about 20 years creating a snowy bliss composed of more than 100 buildings and thousands of smaller pieces, including people, trees, animals and vehicles.

The collection of villages fills the space of an entire room — from Elvis Presley and his pink Cadillac in Graceland on one side of the room to The Ritz hotel halfway across town to a partially built Habitat for Humanity home on the other side and down the street from American Band Stand.

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Jane Griffin, a Vicksburg Medical Center retiree, said she started with three pieces including a pink house, which was her first. Now, Snow Village, Christmas in the City and a few Charles Dickens pieces make up the white spectacle.

Her nephew provided the newest structure to the collection — a Harley Davidson water tower, which fits perfectly next to the Harley Davidson bike shop down the street from people walking around a Christmas tree in the bricked square.

“You just never know what people are going to bring you,” Jane Griffin said.

She said many additions came from family members and friends. Others she bought from stores in the area and estate sales.

The buildings cost about $50 each — a really good deal for a McDonald’s, Starbuck’s coffee shop, The Home Depot, a Coca-Cola bottling company and a Ford showroom with a rotating Mustang. But, she said, she thinks she’s invested “way too much” into the project.

The village has two levels with half sitting 3 feet above the floor and the other sitting 12 inches higher.

An aerial winter landscape of Redwood countryside, painted by Johnny Griffin, complements the scenery by adding named roads and 13 deer partially hidden by grass to entertain the Griffins’ grandchildren, who are in their 20s now.

Johnny Griffin, a Cooper Lighting retiree who does not claim to be an artist, said he only spent a few days painting each of the six boards nailed below the scene.

Along with the acrylic painting, Johnny Griffin maintains a campground equipped with a camper, deer and a bridge overhead.

“I used to love to hunt,” he said.

He also runs the Victoria Train Station near the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry.

When Jane Griffin began setting up at the beginning of November, she sorted all the pieces.

“I put my stuff together, and I gave him his pieces,” she said.

The couple finished building the city the day before Thanksgiving, and Jane Griffin said she does not know how long after the holidays she will leave the scene up.


Contact Tish Butts at