Walking Tour: The Dolls
The magnitude of responsibility that we have here at the Plainsman Museum, to preserve the stories of Hamilton County, became very real to us one afternoon several years ago.
A woman came to the museum with her granddaughter and in her possession was a beautiful china doll given to her when she was 4 years old. The doll was in perfect condition and you could tell by the way she held it, even then, that it was a most precious belonging. She proceeded to tell the story of the doll and how she wished to donate it to the museum, as she could not possibly choose which granddaughter should inherit her. The granddaughter who had accompanied her explained that the family all agreed with this decision.
We thanked them for entrusting us with this family treasure and proceeded to fill out the necessary paperwork. What happened next will stay with us forever.
The woman carefully lifted the doll, cradled it in her arms and began to explain how they needed to say goodbye now. She talked about all the good times they'd had over the years and she promised this was a good place and she would be well cared for. She kissed her on the cheek, placed her back in the box, said thank you, and left.
That encounter was a defining moment for us. We realized we don't display objects - we display stories. We don't just have a job. We have a mission.
Thank you for trusting us with your treasures, trusting us with your story.
Note: The Doll House, pictured above, shelters over 800 dolls, the oldest known doll, a milliner's model, dates 1720. Some of the dolls in the collection include Shirley Temple, Charlie McCarthy, the Keupie doll, French flapper and Schoenhut dolls, marionettes, lamp shade dolls, china, bisque, rag, wax and composition dolls, dolls from other lands and many more contemporary collectors dolls. The dolls are displayed in proper settings with buggies cradles, iron stoves, trunks, tables and chairs, china closet and more.