Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bobbie's Doll House Opens in Moore

By Chad Cheyney, Butte County Chamber of Commerce
Bobbie McKee started collecting dolls more than 35 years ago after her friend, Harriet, started teaching her to repair and restore dolls. On Valentine’s Day, Bobbie realized a long time dream to open a doll museum, Bobbie’s Doll House. The Doll House in located in downtown Moore, Idaho between the Chop Shop and Glass and Moore. It is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. The museum is supported by donations.

Bobbie previously lived in Idaho, but migrated to California where she and her husband Chuck, lived near Merced. The pace of life, number of people and the divergence of ideas took their toll and the McKee’s were in search of a new home. They happened to see an advertisement for Elsie and John Traughber’s home, north of Arco, and called about it. After some false starts, they made the arrangements to purchase the home. While Elsie and the McKee’s were working out the details, Elsie and Bobbie discovered that their parents had been close friends, and that they had probably played together as infants and toddlers!

Bobbie has collected most of her dolls from garage sales and thrift stores, refurbishing and restoring them as a hobby. The museum has over 300 display items. The earliest item is a handmade sawdust filled doll, with a painted porcelain head that was made in the 1800’s. Her most current display was made in 2012! Bobbie has a large number of reference books. She is willing to help individuals learn about the history or their own dolls. She can be reached for questions on dolls or about the museum at 208-541-6646 or at the museum in Moore.

Members of the Butte County Chamber of Commerce and
Moore City Council join in ribbon cutting ceremony, (Left to
right:  Janet Thronock (Chamber), Lin Peason (City of Moore),
Bobbie McKee (proprietor), Susan Cote (supporter), Lanell Farmer
(Chamber), Lucy Gamett (City of Moore))
Bobbie pointed out that dolls have a lot of history. The Mattel Toy Company was started in a garage in 1945, manufacturing dolls. A year later, the company was grossing over a $1 million dollars. She says the most rewarding part of the museum experience has been to see a visitor recognize a doll that they had as a child and exclaim, “Oh! I had that doll when I was a child and loved it!”

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