The presentation this Saturday at the Hotchkiss-Crawford Historical Museum is indeed a special one. Sue Newcomb will share about her personal passion for creating the Victorian dollhouse which she just donated to the museum.
Newcomb will explain the history of this historically-accurate home in miniature. Each room is meticulously appointed and has so many features that it is important for people to hear her presentation May 5 at 1:30 p.m. The museum, located at 180 South 2nd Street in Hotchkiss, opens at 1 p.m.
Newcomb was in her forties when she was asked to complete a dollhouse kit for a girl named Kelly. Her father didn't have time to build it. So, after five years, the parents asked Newcomb. That began Newcomb's passion for dollhouses. It took her three months of eight-hour days to complete her first dollhouse.
"I got the dollhouse bug. I went to the library and got a picture of a Victorian house," Newcomb said. "One snowy day I drew floorplans and the elevations. I worked on it for 10 years, on and off. I did many houses and room boxes. . . over that same period of time. In 2000, I finished it enough to where I displayed it in the Buffalo Collection window for Christmas."
Every year or two she would decorate her dollhouse and invite people to come see it at her place on Powell Mesa.
When she lived in Colorado Springs, she and her friends would make items for their dollhouses every week.
Kathy McKee, co-curator of the museum, said Newcomb had visited with Karen Martin, a member of the Hotchkiss-Crawford Historical Society and wondered if the museum would be interested in her dollhouse. Martin presented the idea to the society's board.
"It was decided to first see the display before making a decision. When the group arrived at Sue's house she was out in the field on her John Deere tractor!" McKee said. "She came to show the group the dollhouse, which was set up in her husband's shop. One look and the group knew that it belonged in the museum.
"Plans were made for the move and Sue arranged to bring it herself. First she had to disassemble all the intricate decorations and furnishings and then load the house in the back of her truck. She and her husband, Frank, brought it to the museum ready to unload. Carefully carrying it in, it was set up very quickly. Sue put it back together will all the trimmings and it was ready to display for the public," McKee said.
Newcomb has purchased some of the interior items for the rooms, but many she has handcrafted including furnishings and tiny rugs all herself. The dollhouse has an entire library of books, each one made by Newcomb. A desk on the second floor is full of stationery. She has wired the dollhouse for electricity, and the rooms glisten with light. The dollhouse has a carriage entrance and an orangerie.
Newcomb plans to change the decorations for different seasons and holidays. For autumn, 10,000 maple leaves will be placed on the lawn. She loves to decorate for Halloween, the harvest, Thanksgiving and Christmas. A one-inch scale horse and sleigh will be used for Christmas.
Newcomb gave the museum the dollhouse on the stipulation that it never be sold. She is preparing a detailed book for the museum which will have photographs, stories, the blueprint and room by room specifics.
On Friday, May 11 the museum will open for summer hours and special times for the Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials. It will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through the summer.blog comments powered by Disqus