Miniature of the Month
The Garage of Megler Landing
Megler Landing by Pat and Noel Thomas is a storied structure for many reasons. Built in 1981, the sizable Victorian dollhouse stayed in the home of the family who commissioned it for more than 40 years before making its way into the KSB Miniatures Collection.
The Megler name was inspired by a rocky cove nestled on the Washington side of the Columbia River where a ferry called the Astoria-Megler once ran between Astoria, Oregon, and of Megler, Washington. It’s the name etched into the dustily opaque garage window, however, that curious miniaturists find themselves questioning most.
As visitors marvel at Megler and its dozen or so rooms, their eyes always wander outside the deep green clapboard house and over to its freestanding garage. Matched perfectly with its verdant paint, brown trim and shingled roof, it sports a bit of individuality on the exterior walls with board-and-batten siding. The floor is comprised of thick, wide wooden planks, the kind that have survived the years by pulling apart and springing upward. Uneven, yet still sturdy. The clay brick driveway leading to the garage appears to have succumbed to the same elements, its once-flat surface now heaving in waves similar to those the Astoria-Megler may have once encountered.
Inside, you’ll find items reminiscent of the lives lived in Megler: watering cans, flower pots, shovels and other gardening essentials; tires, tools, jumper cables and a snow shovel—the latter two quite helpful during those cold, rainy Northwest winters. The sink where grimy hands were washed after working on the family car shows remnants of iron stains lodged in its porcelain bowl along with dirt—the kind that in real life we know can never be totally removed. Above the sink is the name Brody. Written in upper and lowercase letters, it was scrawled by a pudgy finger no doubt, while the boy perched himself on a stool of some sort or even the sink for that matter.
Envisioning the lives of Megler’s imaginary residents is a pastime for many visitors to the KSB Miniatures Collection, but for the original owners, there’s no speculation surrounding the child’s signature. When they commissioned Megler, they knew there would be a four-year wait and during that time, their son Brody was born. The Thomases remember being pen pals with the family, watching the toddler grow as they themselves created a structure that would become part of the family for decades.
Other than the Thomases and the original owners’ family, no one really knows who Brody is, which adds another lure of fascination to Megler Landing. What visitors do know, though, is that through the creativity, craftsmanship and the collection of miniatures, real life and that which lives in the imagination is portrayed palpably through the art form.