Victorian Life Dollhouse
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This Victorian Era dollhouse was donated to the museum by Marilyn Scozzafava in 2009. It was made to order over forty years ago. It was fashioned on life in the early 1900s as accurately as possible. The carpet, wallpaper and decor were selected from materials that were available in that period and it was painted by the craftsman. All furnishings were purchased separately, many from the catalog, Horchows.
The family, consisting of a Mother, named Grace and a Father named Ned. They have a son, Earl, two daughters, Kate and Della, and several dogs, cats, and even a bird. When you look into their home, they are going about their daily routines. Mother collects Wizard of Oz collectibles, both figures, and porcelain plates that adorn the stairway.
Creating the dollhouse was a hobby that ran amok, subsequently becoming too intricate and delicate to ever be a toy. For this reason, it was given to the museum for people of all ages to enjoy.
The "Victorian Era" refers to the time period shortly before, and directly after, the reign of England's Queen Victoria - from June,1837, until her death on the 22nd of January,1901. Her long reign was an extended period of prosperity for the British people and for those in the United States. Throughout this time period, which included the US Civil War, there was huge growth in America, especially in the Northeast. The Industrial Revolution accelerated this growth, as did an influx of new ideas and labor from recent immigrants. Towns like Gouverneur flourished into the 20th century, thanks to new technologies in mining and farming.
This prosperity was demonstrated in a more ornate architectural style which was a hallmark of Victorian times. Houses were very large with many small rooms. Interiors were dark with dark wood and wallpaper and wall to wall carpeting. The public areas of the house were rich with displays of wealth and virtue. Many of these "Victorian Ladies" are still lining the streets of Gouverneur, trying to keep up with our modern times.