Local resident turns miniature village into a dazzling display

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:52 p.m.

There is a village inside Pam Wheat's house on Bower Hill Road in Scott.

Wheat built the miniature town for the holiday season featuring lights, hills, buildings and people in a room that is 14 feet wide and 16 feet long. “The Village” contains houses, churches, a hot dog stand, train and more.

For Wheat, 53, a native of Carnegie and the owner of PJ's Deli in Bridgeville, “The Village” is a dream come true.

“I have been working on this since I was in my 20s. I always had a fervent imagination, even when I was a child. I love having my family and friends come over to look at it. I am a very festive person and to me, this is a very big thing,” Wheat said.

Each year, Wheat begins building it at the beginning of September and is usually done by Halloween.

The display takes up her entire dining room.

She estimates that she has spent more than $10,000 on it so far.

Some of the more features of the display include:

“Christmas in the City,” which includes more than two dozen houses and stores. Here, there is a bookstore, several churches — including a miniature couple coming out of one church, a diner, pet shop, candy shop and a newsstand.

Also in the “city” is a football stadium that features miniature players — the Steelers vs. the New York Jets.

”The Village” also features a golf course, called the “Linden Hills Golf Course.”

“I love to golf, and I golf at Lindenwood Golf Course in Canonsburg. I named it somewhat after that,” Wheat said. The course includes 15 miniature golfers; one of them is a “motorized putter” who strikes his putts just about every time.

A carnival includes a moving roller coaster and Ferris wheel and a roller rink, with miniature skaters.

For good measure, Santa Claus flies from a moving parachute over “The Village.”

Wheat can remember putting her thoughts into place for what is now “The Village” when she was a child. “When I was a child, I would drive my mother crazy,” she said. “I had a fascination with miniatures, in terms of people and houses. I was just always thinking, ‘How can I do this, how can I do that?'”

Pam's mother, Joan Wheat, agreed that her daughter was “always on a mission.”

“She is always thinking of what she can do next. That's the thing about her. Her mind never stops,” Joan Wheat said.

Wheat is proud that a video of her display can be found on YouTube at PammyJ100's channel. There, four videos can be seen.

Wheat always had a fascination with cooking, also. That is why P&J's Catering is now in its 35th “season,” as she calls it.

“I call it that because in our business, you go from Lent, to graduation, to wedding to Christmas,” she said.

She also is proud that, for more than a decade, her village has remained intact.

“People remain fascinated. I think adults are even more mesmerized with it than children. It takes them back, I think, to when they were children.”

Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or jwidmer@tribweb.com.

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