Dollhouse presents a unique point of interest at the Wilder Museum | Way of life


It’s fun to take tours and see the museum’s exhibits through the eyes of visitors. What I used to see and take for granted becomes interesting in ways I haven’t noticed! I had a wonderful and enthusiastic visit last week which refreshed my display of our dollhouse.

The museum has a 17-room, 5-level dollhouse, which includes a garage/man cave and a small horror shop (part of the attic) known as the “Corell Dollhouse”. Blanche Baldridge designed and commissioned the dollhouse for her niece, Judy Corell. Robert Stech of Williamson, Iowa spent two years building the dollhouse, cutting and painting each of the wooden “bricks” for the exterior. Even the exterior windows are made of glass. Each of the rooms has been furnished and decorated by Blanche and Judy. They included a mouse going into a mouse trap in the lower level garage, several cats with toys, several miniature dolls, one of which is an Elvis Presley lookalike. The activities in the attic by the kids make me think of a “little shop of horrors” (shudder).

We have a notebook they used that includes a catalog to browse and order dollhouse accessories. I’m sure Blanche, Judy and everyone who was with them had a great time picking out items, arranging and rearranging furniture. They are said to have shared many memories and stories associated with the house, including the location of the photo of Blanche’s mother, Grandma Hamlett, and the inspiration for the Rock House Kitchen, based on Blanche’s childhood home. . There are many unique rooms and decors in the big dollhouse that can spark the stories of the imagination!

We also have several other dollhouses which are all unique and interesting. Blanche has a second, smaller dollhouse with one created by Father Robert Spahn, who served at St. Mary’s from 1970 to 1980. Several other dollhouses were created by Marilyn Fayram and her Strawberry Point family. Marilyn suffered from multiple sclerosis and working with dollhouses was something she loved. Judith Martin of West Union made a large light blue dollhouse that depicts a 4th of July picnic and could easily have been placed on the shore of a river or large lake. It includes a cupola on the roof with a telescope and a map on the wall.

Share your family stories whenever you can. They are important and part of you, who you are, your growth to date, and your legacy. The past to the future will lose much understanding by you, your family and family friends, when hardships, work, games and celebrations are forgotten.

The Wilder Memorial Museum is located at 123 W. Mission St., Strawberry Point. For more information on tours, contact director Kris Morarend, 563-419-5329 or email: [email protected]

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