Recently while just getting an idea of what was in storage, I encountered 3 rather large boxes that felt as if they were empty. Did I get a surprise when I opened them, and found dolls, dolls, and more dolls, all handmade and beautiful.
18 of the dolls are wearing bridal dresses in period styles, from 1786 through 1966.
30 of the dolls are men and women dressed in period costume, starting in 1640 to the 1880's.
The dolls were made by Bernice Parfitt, of Ripon. She used a book, called 'The Doll Book', by Estelle Ansley Worrell, which included not only sketches of the costumes, but patterns for making all of the dolls and costumes shown in the book.
Bernice started making the dolls in 1976, and made 1 or 2 dolls each year. In 2008, when she and her sister broke up housekeeping, she donated the dolls to the Historical Society.
Here are pictures of some of the extraordinary dolls:
Showing her 'hoop' slip
1776 and 1786 brides
1815, 1820 and 1834 brides
Martha and George Washington?
1860, 1860 and 1870 dress styles
Three 1880 style dresses
1812, 1812, 1830 and 1850 men's styles