Trains show features homemade village

Westport Road resident Moira Craw donated her family’s Christmas village to the Wilton Historical Society’s Great Trains Holiday Exhibition this year.

The show opened Nov. 23, and features different train layouts that wind through tiny towns with numerous buildings, tunnels and two working Ferris wheels, as well as buttons that activate lights, bells, whistles and more.

Craw is a Wilton Historical Society volunteer of more than 20 years and and a self-proclaimed “Christmas nut.”

“I’ve always decorated our house to point where people think I’m crazy,” she said, “but I just love all the traditions.”

Craw said when her children were little, she started a “little Christmas village” in the family’s dining room.

“I would add a little something to it each year,” she said, “and as I kept adding more stuff, the village eventually took over the dining room.”

Craw said her children are now in their 40s and the village takes her more than a week to set up.

After learning that their children would be visiting in-laws this Christmas, Craw said, she and her husband Kevin decided to “take a break” from the Christmas village and instead hand the reins over to the historical society.

Donating the village not only gave her a break, said Craw, but it allowed her children and grandchildren to see the village — as well as the train show — this year.

“It’s a tradition that when my kids come for Thanksgiving, we all go to the train show,” she explained.

The Great Trains show is a “really fun” annual event for people of all ages, said Craw, and “so many volunteer hours” go into setting it up.

“It takes the trainmen who work there two-and-a-half weeks to set up,” she said, “and these guys work tirelessly.”

The train show is not just about the trains on display, said Craw, but about their history as well.

“It’s not just electric trains — it’s the history of electric trains,” she said. “The historical society has trains that were popular in the ’40s and ’50s and they have all these different gauge trains — but that’s just one of the setups.”

There’s also a LEGO train setup, which Craw said is “pretty amazing,” as well as two tables with trains in the historical society’s toy loft where they are surrounded by a collection of antique toys.

The Great Trains Holiday Exhibition runs through Monday, Jan. 21, and is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 to 4, and Sundays from noon to 4.

Admission to the show is free for Wilton Historical Society members, $5 per non-member child, and $10 for non-member adults.

Information:, 203-762-7257.