Models of landmarks created

 Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
 Canal Winchester resident and craftsman Newton Behaggen makes final adjustments on a display of local landmarks in the window of Bolenbaugh Hardware in Canal Winchester. Behaggen created the scale models, which are individually available for a $50 donation to the local historical society, out of scrap lumber and used office folders.

The window at Bolenbaugh Hardware takes a step back in time with handcrafted models of local notable and historical landmarks, including a Canal Winchester covered bridge, toll house, and log cabin in Groveport.

New York transplant Newton Behaggen, who moved to Canal Winchester with his wife, Anne, three years ago to be closer to their children and grandchildren, constructed the seven scale models out of recycled wood and used office supplies.

Included in the display is a miniature replica of a "Winnie the Pooh" children’s playhouse created by a garden center for a home and garden show along with the Burgstresser/Dietz Bridge, and a pair of original Columbus Street locales.

All of the models are available for a $50 donation to the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society, except for the over three-foot long bridge, which Behaggen gave to the society and is usually on display inside the Prentiss School museum.

"I work in the evening because I don’t like to watch TV," said Behaggen as he and a friend assembled the display in the window of the store. "I used all scrap lumber and most of it came from a friend who took out the wooden seats in an old Lancaster gym.

"The roofs are made out of used file folders that I cut apart and score and the clapboard siding is made the same way. I try to be as accurate as possible when making the models. I get permission from the owners to take pictures of their homes or, like the bridge and log house, I drive by and take pictures. I want to draw people’s attention to the neighborhood."

The covered bridge was one of the first local scale models Behaggen built and when he donated it to the historical society, he mentioned to member Carol Note he was constructing others, including Note’s historic tollhouse home. Note encouraged him to share his work with the community.

"I said I’d talk with (Bolenbaugh’s) Joe (Bitler) about displaying them in his window," continued Behaggen.

Bitler said he was happy to volunteer his space.

"It’s great to be able to share this talent with the community," added Bitler. "I’m just proud to be able to share this with the people."

Before moving to Ohio, Behaggen was a commercial cabinet maker. While he considers his leisure-time art "just tinkering," the woodworker also creates museum-worthy grandmother, granddaughter, and mantle clocks embellished with hand painted images.

He does not sell his work, but prefers to give it away as gifts to family, friends, and organizations.

"Years and years ago, I made elaborate birdhouses, including one that was seven feet high," said Behaggen. "I made a lighthouse birdhouse once and one in the shape of a Russian Orthodox church. When my wife’s father died, we donated it to the church. But my biggest hobby is making clocks.

Before we moved from New York, I had 27 clocks, but I gave most of them away. I also make jewelry boxes in different sizes."

For information on houses still available by donation, call the historical society at 833-1846.  

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