We’re simply delighted that our original hometown of Olney, Illinois continues to make headlines with its gnome population!
Check out this awesome shout out from Matt Courter of the Olney Daily Mail:
“For more than a year, residents living near Vernor Lake have been building a small community of garden gnomes on the west side of Ill. 130, just south of Richland Country Club.
Dr. Don Abel, who lives along the lake, said the project began when he was driving to work. On his way down Ill. 130, he noticed an opening in the base of a tree and thought, “That really needs something in there.” He bought a gnome figurine and placed it in the tree.
Before long, another neighbor had made a “Knomesville” sign and the community began to expand.
Adding a domestic touch to the scene, Abel bought dolls from the Salvation Army, then used their clothes to hang on a small clothesline.
Cathy Fehrenbacher, who lives across the highway from the display, said she and her husband Ed have contributed both pieces and upkeep to the display. Abel said Ed Fehrenbacher serves as the unofficial groundskeeper for the village.
“It just kind of kept growing,” Cathy Fehrenbacher said.
A small pine tree, which Abel described as looking initially like a “Charlie Brown” tree, was also transplanted in the area and has been decorated with bulbs. It will likely be decorated for Christmas, Fehrenbacher said.
From their home’s nearby vantage point, Fehrenbacher said it’s interesting to see people’s reactions when they pass, with some even stopping and having their pictures taken by the village.
“It’s kind of stood on its own,” she said. “It’s a group effort.”
Neighborhood resident Marilyn Hartrich, who with her husband Rick has contributed to the project, also mentioned the attention the area gets from those passing by.
“It’s funny to see all the people stop and look,” she said.
Abel said he gets enjoyment from seeing parents walking their children through the display.
“That just really is what it’s all about,” he said.”