Leslie Johnston

Craft tradition:

Model maker/carpenter

Inspired by a panoramic photo of the hamlet of Markerville, Leslie Johnston has built 26 scale models of buildings to replicate the village as it was ca. 1905. The models are built of plywood, paint and Plexiglas. Johnston’s first model was that of the Markerville creamery built to mark the creamery’s centenary in 1999. Other models of the Markerville Lutheran church, Iounn library and Fensala Hall followed. Johnston lays out the models in the same grid as the actual hamlet. In 2004, Johnston built models of buildings that were located in the Hola settlement – the school, the Stephansson and Christianson farmsteads, and the bridge across the Medicine River – to mark that settlement’s centenary. Nine buildings represented in his model village are still in use, a century after they were built. A cow-calf operator by trade, Johnston has put in more than 400 hours building his village for an average of 30 hours per building.

Above-Model builder Leslie Johnston with Markerville Creamery workers and exhibit interpreters Jeremy Robinson as pioneer John Hillman, and Kelsey Gamble as Helga Stephansson. Markerville Hotel model in foreground.

Leslie Johnston with some of his models. No date