The Ferris O’neal Senior Center was again the venue of the second annual Doll Show and Tea Party sponsored by The Old Firehouse Museum on Saturday, March 7, 2015. More than 2015 guests enjoyed the exhibits and refreshments.
In 2014, the initial Doll Show and Tea Party was held in conjunction with a county-wide focus on the life and works of Emilee Blackmore Stapp and her sister Marie. The sisters lived on Friendship Farm in the “Dolls’ House”, named for their international collection of dolls. Their investment in Stone County and the lives of children was unlimited.
Members of the Stapp Family again attended this years’ event. These included Eileen Day Gipson who grew up on Friendship Farm and exhibited on of the dolls from the sisters’ collection, and Betty Hearon of Hattiesburg. Additionally, multiple generations of families enjoyed the afternoon together viewing the exhibits and enjoying tea and conversation.
CALLING ALL DOLLS! – CALLING ALL DOLLS! – CALLING ALL DOLLS!
The Old Firehouse Museum is holding its 2nd Annual Doll Show and Tea Party on Saturday, March 7, 2015, at the Ferris O’Neal Senior Center, 1240 South Magnolia Drive, Wiggins. There is no admission fee and dolls are not judged.
This special Museum event for girls of all ages recognizes the contributions of the Stapp Sisters–Emilie and Marie–to Wiggins and Stone County. Young girls are welcome to bring their favorite doll and come to the Tea Party any time between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Anyone wanting to display dolls may bring them on Friday Afternoon, March 6, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., or Saturday morning from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. Doll Show viewing is open to the public on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Emilie and Marie Stapp collected over 400 dolls from their travels around the world. When they built their home at Friendship Farm east of Wiggins in the 1930s, their home was called The Dolls’ House. Upon Emilie’s passing in 1962, her nieces ensured that the vast collection of Emilie and Marie would be preserved. After the great nieces chose from the dolls (Suzanne got two, Dottie and Ripple one each), the remainder were donated with manuscripts, books, and other memorabilia to the University of Southern Mississippi and are now part of the Special Collections of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The McCain Library and Archives.
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.
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!
Around 1928, Emilie and Marie Stapp moved to the small town of Wiggins, Mississippi where they had acquired 80 acres of land two miles east of town on Mississippi Hughway 26. They named their new property Friendship Farm. In the quiet solitude of southern Mississippi, Emilie Stapp could fully devote herself to creative writing. Upon the fertile ground of Friendship Farm, Emilie and Marie Stapp established a pecan orchard and built their home named 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.
Soon after their arrival in Wiggins, Mississippi, Emilie and her sister Marie, became actively involved within the community. In 1932, they deeded 12 acres of land and a club house to the Women’s Club of Wiggins, and with a donation of over 4,000 books, they established the first lending library in Stone County. Becoming concerned with the dilapidated condition of the old post office, the Stapp sisters funded construction of a new post office for the City of Wiggins.
The collection of dolls and their personal papers are part of the McCain Library and Archives at the University of Southern Mississippi.