Doll house exhibit supports Case-Barlow Farm restoration efforts

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by Laura Freeman | Reporter
Hudson - Many of the doll houses displayed at Case-Barlow Farm in November and December were built by fathers for daughters and passed down through the generations.
The Doll House Exhibition is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 2, 9 and 16, with the $20 adult and $5 child fee going 100 percent toward the restoration of the house and other buildings at Case-Barlow Farm, 1930 Barlow Road.
There are four rooms left to restore at the farmhouse, including a children’s room where a doll house will be on display, said trustee Connie Price.
“We plan on restoring the children’s bedroom next in 2013,” Price said.
This year, 35 doll houses are on display at the farmhouse, with some as small as matchboxes and others larger scale models of Victorian houses furnished in the 19th century period.
This is the third year for the fundraiser. People bring their doll houses, set them up, and then tear them down after the last show.
The owners range include children and adults, with some purchased, others made from kits and others made from scratch.
Catherine McDonald Savitz owns a doll house made by her father from a bookcase for round-faced dolls from the 1970s.
Meghan Stein has an 18-inch scale doll house for her American Doll built from scratch by her father, Ed Stein, who started it in 2010 and made it from cherry and cedar from a family cabin in Michigan.
Gabrielle Kempton, 11, created a Santa Room in a break-away box that folds up into a gift box.
Heather Talbert has made eight houses, including the large Victorian doctor’s house in the dining room that took two months of work to complete 15 years ago.
The smallest doll houses are the size of matchboxes, like Linda Widdowson’s series of secret books.
Two doll houses from Mattel for Barbie are on display. The 1962 Barbie Dream House is made from cardboard. The furniture is folded up cardboard with tab and slot assembly. The stereo console includes several albums. Owner Pattie Hester received the doll houses when she was 5.
A modern version is the pink Barbie Malibu Dream House displayed next to it.
Some of the doll houses tell a story, whether its the one showing a daughter running away from home or a witch crashing into the roof of another.
A toy train exhibit and a hands-on children’s room are also part of the exhibit. A contest challenges children to find pets in the different doll houses.
Any organization that comes as a group on Dec. 13 can view the doll house exhibit for half price from 2 to 5 p.m., Price said.
Families can bring a camera and schedule a photo opportunity in an Albany Cutter sleigh in the newly restored wagon shed by calling Price at 216-956-0848. Donations will be accepted.
Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com
Phone: 330-541-9434

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