Former Nebraska Citian transplants part of home in Georgia

Former Nebraska Citian transplants part of home in Georgia

Nebraska City News-Press:

Former Nebraska Citian transplants part of home in Georgia
News-Press by Josh Whitney – July 21, 2004

Thanks to former resident Michelle Bolt, there is a little bit of Nebraska City in Canton, Ga.

Bolt has constructed a miniature town and named the buildings after historical Nebraska City sites. The miniature town is appropriately sized for the miniature animals that call Tanglewood Farm in rural Georgia home.  Tanglewood Farm is home to a wide variety of miniature animals — horses, sheep, pigs, goats — you name it. The farm provides city youth from Atlanta and other surrounding communities the opportunity to interact with farm animals more their size.

The farm provides an environment that Bolt says they would not otherwise have an opportunity to experience. “In Georgia there are no farms,” she says. “They’ve all been pushed out of business.” Children who visit the farm are sometimes amazed by what they discover. She says that when they discover the animals’ purpose, such as a cow, they often ask in amazement, “That’s how we get milk!?”

Working with miniature animals, she says, makes them easier to handle, and they are “a better scale for the kids” that isn’t as intimidating as the full-size animals might be.

Following the death of her father, Chris Wurtele, she moved to Georgia and found an abandoned 10-acre farm that she spent two years working on, adding modern amenities such as electricity and plumbing. Bolt had worked with Harold Lowry of Auburn, who is renowned for his miniature horses, and once she discovered the wide variety of other miniature animals her path was set.

The animals, as well as serving as an entertaining education for kids, are also bred on the farm and sold. The farm also employs two full-time and six part-time workers that she says “all love children.”

In constructing her farm, Bolt says she wanted to include references to her hometown, which had been so important to her. So, amongst the miniature buildings at Tanglewood Farms one can find the Grand Hotel, the Last Chance Saloon, Wurtele Implement Company and the Farmer’s Bank.

While she says that she misses life in Nebraska, there were some things she can do without. “I love the Midwest,” she commented, “but I don’t miss the winters.” She still occasionally makes it back to visit her hometown and her mother, Berniece, who still lives here.

She says that the true satisfaction she gets from her farm is the interaction between the generations as parents and grandparents relate their childhood to the kids. “It’s a huge reward to be able to relive my childhood and see children, animals and grandparents interact.”
Josh Whitney is a reporter for the News-Press and can be reached at
jwhitney@ncnewspress.com