The Thompson-Ames Historical Society
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THOMPSON-AMES HISTORICAL SOCIETY
DOLL SOCIAL IN GILFORD VILLAGE
By Carol Anderson
Thompson-Ames Historical Society will hold its 1st Annual Doll Social
in Gilford Village on October 1, 2005. This event will take place from 10
a.m. until noon, at the Mt. Belknap Grange Building, 8 Belknap Mountain
Road. Weather permitting, activities will take place on the lawn outside
the Grange so that participants can enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
T-AHS board members Carol Anderson, Kathy Lacroix, Carmel Lancia, and
Diane Mitton have teamed up to create a morning full of fun and surprises.
Come and spend a morning with, Felicity, this year's T-AHS raffle doll.
Tour the historic John J. Morrill Store and the Grange's Homestead Room to
catch a glimpse of what life might have been like for Felicity. Dress up
or come as you are; wear a decorated hat, bring a favorite doll, and be
prepared to share a story or two with fellow doll enthusiasts.
Pre-registration is required since seating is limited to ten children, all
of whom must be accompanied by an adult.
T-AHS realizes that throughout history, a young girl's favorite doll
was not just a toy with which to play; it was also an instrument that
taught her basic sewing skills as she stitched clothes for this special
doll. Dolls today have become so much more than toys; many have become
To honor historic dolls and Gilford's rich farming history, participants
in the social will be able to make a farm-style, corn husk doll. These
old-fashioned dolls are a sharp contrast to the elegant dolls that we have
today. Still, their primitive charm intrigues us and makes us ponder a
simpler life. T-AHS board members have been gathering up corn cobs and
husks for this activity, just as farm girls did on those numerous Gilford
farms. Discarded pieces of corn were given new life as they were
transformed into dolls. Years ago, even a simple rag doll was not a
guaranteed birthday or Christmas gift, as even rags were needed by the
family to patch quilts or to make rag rugs. Corn husk dolls were,
therefore, the most common doll on the farm.
Also on display will be wooden penny dolls made by the many T-AHS
volunteers who make up our woodworking group. Stan Piper, a wonderfully
gifted, local artist carved the faces and bodies for these jointed dolls.
Penny dolls were extremely popular in the 1800's since wood, like corn, was
plentiful and not an expensive material to use.
As we think about the simplicity of these dolls, or observe the
wonderful details of today's dolls, we can understand the great desire that
all children have and that is to hold a doll of their own. This is
something that transcends time.
Dolls now are larger, the most popular being the 18-inch doll. In
October as the cool, crisp autumn weather arrives and leaves turn the
brilliant colors of fall, many children's thoughts turn towards Halloween.
In order to help celebrate this American holiday, Carol Anderson, who
created Felicity's raffle wardrobe, has designed a Halloween costume for an
18-inch doll. This costume will be given away at the end of the social
through a free drawing.
What would be an old fashioned get-together without refreshments? The
children who attend this event will, of course, be able to enjoy some
delicious treats, some of which will be doll-sized. Won't you join us for
a wonderful morning of camaraderie and activities as well as some great
Since pre-registration is required, please call the Thompson-Ames
Historical Society at 527-9009. You can also register via e-mail at
email@example.com, or in person at the Grange Building, 8 Belknap
Mountain Road, whenever the open flag is flying.
Children of all ages are reminded that they are always welcome to learn
skills such as doll making at T-AHS' Heritage Arts Bees. These bees are
held every third Saturday of each month (except November and December) at
the Grange Building in Gilford Village. This group meets from 10 a.m.
until noon and light refreshments are always available.