Doll Show and Tea Party Honoring Emilie and Marie Stapp

Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon – Today this doll of Emilie and Marie Stapp is in the personal collection of their great-great niece Kathleen Day Woods.

The Old Firehouse Museum of Wiggins and Stone County will honor the legacy of Emilie and Marie Stapp and their contributions to the history of Stone County by sponsoring a Doll Show / Tea Party on March 15, 2014.

The Stapp sisters lived in Stone County from the early 1930’s until their deaths in the 1960’s. The sisters collected dolls from all over the world and displayed them in their home – The Dolls’ House – on their home place known as Friendship Farm. Doll Shows were held there for the young girls of the community. Many adults in the area still remember participating in these shows.

The event will be held at the Ferris O’Neal Senior Center in Wiggins. Doll lovers, children and adults, are welcome to display their favorite dolls at the show. Categories include: Bride, Barbie, American Girl, Baby Doll, Fashion Doll, Vintage Doll (40+years old), Homemade Doll, International Doll, and Miscellaneous (Collector, Character, etc.).

Exhibitors may bring their dolls for display on Friday, March 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 pm and Saturday, March 15th from 8:00 – 9:30 am. Dolls will not be judged. The public is invited to view the dolls from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday, March 15th.

Young ladies and one of their favorite dolls, not on display, may participate in the Tea Party any time between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm.

The event is open to the public. Please join us in this special tribute to these special citizens of Stone County.

For more information, call 601-928-4970 or 601-928-5757 or come by The Old Firehouse Museum on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Doll Show and Tea Party

Dolls of Mike Annis Cain
Dolls of Mike Annis Cain

Join The Old Firehouse Museum as we celebrate the life of Emilie Blackmore Stapp, children’s author, philanthropist, and collector, with her sister Marie, of dolls from around the world.

The Museum will host a Doll Show and Tea Party on Saturday, March 15th from 10AM-4PM at the Ferris O’neal Senior Center.

The dolls in the photo are from the personal collection of Mike Cain. The Indian doll is from late 40’s, given to her by her grandfather, Rev. N.J. Lee.    Doll in the chair is a “Toni doll”… early 50’s.  This doll was entered into the doll show at Stapp’s home…sister Carole’s bride doll won, but Mike’s did not!  The rag doll was made for Mike in 1947 by her grandmother, Mrs. N.J. Lee and is named Suzie Q.
Save the date. You will not want to miss this.


Fun Fact: The Scarecrow Convention

Wiggins is in the midst of a “scarecrow event” called THE SCARECROW CONVENTION (This is also known as “Scarecrows on the Hill”.  This event is now three years old and headed up by “The Pine Hill Ladies (Mary Webb, Nina Shaw, Ruth Ford, Norma Batson, Christa Tanner Seals, Carole, Edyth Baer, and Mike Cain.)

Many of the scarecrows reflect on Stone County history.  Rosie, the Riveter, pictured below, represents women from our community who were real-life Rosie’s at the Pascagoula Ship yard during WWII.

The other photo is old Fine Engine #3, the icon of The Museum.

“Evening on the Hill” – A Great Success!

An Evening on the Hill” was hosted by the Old Firehouse Museum in Wiggins on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Events included a meal (pre-purchased tickets) at Serendipity, local entertainment, hotdogs, drinks, popcorn, and snacks, a live auction, and a silent auction. Luckily, Tropical Storm Karen did not attend and a great time was held by all who attended.

Entertainment included everything from dulcimers to “Patsy Cline”.  Supper, served both inside Serendipity and on the Hill was delicious. Both the Live Auction (held on Pine Hill) and the Silent Auction (held in the Over the Top building) were a great success.

Thanks to the great support of the community, The Museum raised sufficient funds for a large format printer and a fireproof storage container for The Museum. The Museum Board is “amazed and delighted” and says thanks to all for supporting this great evening.

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Fun Fact: Emilie Stapp

Emilie Stapp
Emilie Stapp

Emilie Blackmore Stapp, an American children’s author and philanthropist, and her sister, Marie Graham Stapp, were women with a mission. Their lives are documented in an extensive collection of lively correspondence and letters, published and unpublished manuscripts for children’s stories in books, periodicals, and newspapers; original plays, illustrations and publicity materials; and, personal items, such as photographs of friends and notables, fragile scapbooks documenting Emilie Stapp’s from 1904 through the time of her death in 1962 can be found in the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, McCain Library & Archives.

The Stapps lived in Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, and finally in Mississippi during a significant historical period, covering two world wars and the tumultuous Jim Crow era. Emilie Blackmore Stapp probably was years ahead of her time in her work with children of all races and creeds, raising funds for two World Wars, and other philanthropic efforts.  Some of these, commencing soon after their arrival in Wiggins, include deeding the land and facility for the Women’s Club of Wiggins, donating over 4000 books to establish the first lending library in Stone County, and funding construction for a new post office.

The Stapp sisters bought a farm they named Friendship Farm out Highway 26 East.  There  they established a pecan orchard and built their homenamed The Dolls’ House. The home received its name from a rare collection of over 400 dolls of historic significance, that the Stapp sisters acquired from their world travels and prominently displayed there during their lifetimes.

You will be hearing more about Emilie Blackmore Stapp in the months ahead as The Old Firehouse Museum and The Stone County Arts Council jointly will celebrate her life and accomplishments in several very distinct ways. You will not want to miss those events so stay tuned for dates to be published!

Fun Fact: The Stone County Industrial Board

The following is an excerpt from  “The Story of Stone County Industrial Board”  written by Brax H. Batson  (July, 2009):

The Stone County Industrial Board 

 The Stone County Industrial Board, which had a brief life of about  12 years from 1957 to 1969, but had a profound effect on the Wiggins and Stone county we know today.  It is a story of what can be done with good leadership and a group of civic-minded citizens, working as a team for the greater good.

The Board composed of ordinary business and professional men of the community, all volunteers, at times using their own money, facilitated the following projects between 1957-69:

 Wiggins Lumber Co. — employing 70 persons at the plant

Neely Lumber Co. — employing 30 persons at the plant

Brown – Miller Pickle plant expansion — saving 200 jobs for 30 years

Southern Paper Co. –employing  180 persons  (changed to Coastal Paper)

Kuttnauer Enterprises, a sewing plant –  employing 30 – 50 persons

International Plywood Mill  (Now Hood Industries)

International Wood Treating Plant

Wiggins- Stone Airport

Flint Creek Water Park

New Post Office Building

Fun Fact: Bill Sawyer

From the W.P.A. Research Project

Subject:  Local Press and Other Publications

During the year of 1919, a person known to the readers of  the Stone County Enterprise only as Bill Sawyer  wrote some very interesting and entertaining letters to the paper. Mr. Sawyer ‘s true  identity was never established except , perhaps by the editor of the paper.

Below is an excerpt of Bill Sawyer’s entertaining letters to the paper.  Date: June 21, 1919

Bill  wrote that a reader had asked him why he didn’t get into politics and he gave his reply. He said he had “throwed his hat in the ring “several years ago and made a race for a county office.  At the beginning of the race, he decided to keep a close tab on everything he did and what it cost him.  He wrote it all down in little black book.  Here are some of the items he listed:

Lost 4 months, 23 days canvassing

Lost 1,1013 hours of sleep thinking about the election

Lost 23 acres of corn and my entire potato crop

Donated $11.00 to church and other charities

Gave away 2 pair of suspenders, 4 calico dresses, and 13 baby rattlers

Kissed 123 babies

Kindled 100 kitchen stoves

Cut eleven cords of wood,

Walked 920 miles

Shook hands 986 times

Told 10,101 lies and talked enough to make, in print, 1,000 volumes the size of a patent office report

Got baptised 4 different times by “emersion” and sprinkled twice

Gave $50.00 to foreign mission

Got dog bit 39 times

And then got defeated.

Fun Fact: Young Men’s Business Club

From W.P.A. Research Project

Subject: Stone County

(This was written around 1937.)

Young Men’s Business Club

The Young Men’s Business Club was formed in 1935 by some young business and professional men of Wiggins and Stone County for the purpose of developing a civic and industrial improvement program (similar to a Chamber of Commerce).

“The Business Club is a local organization and is not affiliated with any national organization.  Small monthly dues are paid by each member.  Applicants are carefully selected and investigated before being voted into membership.  It was mainly through efforts of the club members, that the W.P.A.S. Gymnasium Building was built in Wiggins, as they sponsored the project for the erection of same.  The building was completed several months ago and has been of great benefit to entire county, for athletic events, exhibits of different kinds, etc.”