Miniature replicas of twelve Fallbrook buildings primarily from the late 1800s are now on display at the Fallbrook Historical Society. The miniatures were created by Geno Somacal from 1950 through 1971 from historical photos and records.
Geno had never built anything like these buildings before, but after he was given a toy train in 1950, set about creating them for the fascinating setting for his train set. The buildings are made of 1/16" mahogany plywood, and many of the details were created using razor blades.
Edith Cornell created a delightful society of people and animals to complement the buildings, including school children, worshippers in churches, and hotel guests. The figures were made using clay molded over wire.
The buildings and Geno's train set were displayed for free for three weeks during the Christmas holidays at the Somacal house, viewed by over 9,000 children and adults from the 1950s to 1970s, and featured in national magazines.
Geno died in 1991, and his wife Babs Somacal and his daughter Jo Anne Stretton donated the buildings to FHS in January 2000. Jack Cornell set up the display at the museum, including the electrical work needed.
Source: VN 2/3/00, 1, 33.
Copyright © 2000 by Fallbrook Historical Society
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to the Fallbrook Historical Society at this source:
Comments and feedback: Elizabeth Yamaguchi
Last update: 8 February 2000.