Doll Museum at the Old Rectory: Perfect place for a quick mommy-and-daughter adventure

Perfect place for a quick mommy-and-daughter adventure


Exploring Worthington’s Doll Museum proved to be more of a treat than expected for my daughter, Rosie, and me one Saturday morning. The museum, located in the Old Rectory, provides a fascinating glimpse of hundreds of dolls and, curiously, is linked to a fantastic consignment shop that had us digging around for spare change.

Run by the Worthington Historical Society, the museum is contained in two rooms that are kept locked until you pay the $2 admission fee. Several other rooms contain the consignment shop, where you’ll find quality antiques and collectibles at reasonable prices. Unlike thrift-store merchandise, these items appear to have one day been someone’s favorite things. They included teacups and saucers with pretty rose designs, well cared for dolls with pressed outfits, and lots of doll clothes lovingly crafted.

  • Doll Museum at the Old Rectory
  • Perfect place for a quick mommy-and-daughter adventure
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We started our adventure in the museum. Visitors are given a two-sided, laminated sheet with information describing the collection. They come from many sources, but most were donated by Mrs. George Brinton Chandler in 1968.

Some dolls on display once served as fashion models, shipped overseas from Paris donning the latest fads of the 1800s in doll-sized proportions. Their well-coiffed hairdos are made from human hair.

Other dolls depict famous royals such as Countess Dagmar of Denmark, who was married to Czar Alexander III, and Empress Eugenie of France, wife of Emperor Napoleon  III.

It was fun learning about the interesting materials used to construct some of the dolls, like paper mache for heads, pewter for hands and feet, and wood, rubber, wax and even a wishbone for the bodies.

I enjoyed the Shirley Temple dolls and a collection of ornamental dolls from Japan that represented an emperor, empress and their court.

Rosie’s favorites were two doll houses that were chockfull of furnishings and tiny, detailed decorations that looked fit to welcome a fairy.

We ended our tour by perusing the gift shop, full of enchanting merchandise that we felt propelled to consider. I bought a dainty glass poodle with pretty eyelashes. Rosie selected miniatures for her own doll house and a homemade lacy dress for her American Girl Doll. The shop accepts only cash or checks.

The Doll Museum is located at 50 W. New England Ave., Worthington. Hours are 1-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday. Cost is $2 for a self-guided tour.

For more information call 614-885-1247 or visit www.worthingtonhistory.org.

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