Toys from the past were on display at the Henry Fearing House museum Sunday afternoon, including a couple pieces of doll furniture that apparently belonged to some of the Fearing children in the early to mid-1800s.
"They're my favorite antique toys in the museum-the small chair, and especially the very ornate doll bed," said docent Mary Alice Hoffman.
She said Henry Fearing, the prominent area businessman who built the Fearing House in 1847, had two daughters and three sons, and the doll furniture likely belonged to the girls or some of the Fearings' grandchildren.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Docent Mary Alice Hoffman looks over the “Toys of Yesteryear” exhibit at the Fearing House museum in Marietta’s Harmar district Sunday.
The doll chair and bed are located on a nightstand in one of the home's bedrooms, and are among a group of toys from years gone by on display at the Fearing House this year.
Glen Wolfe with the Washington County Historical Society noted dolls and doll furniture would have been common toys for young girls in the 19th Century.
"A lot of the toys back then were designed to help teach children about their future roles of parenting," he said.
If you go
What-Toys of Yesteryear exhibit.
Where-Fearing House museum, 131 Gilman Ave., Marietta.
Times-May through October, Friday and Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m., or by appointment.
More information-Call (740)373-1788 or visit the Washington County Historical Society web site at www.wchs-ohio.org
Toys from a more recent era are also on display in the museum's changing exhibit room.
"Most of those toys go back to the 1950s," Wolfe said. "Many belonged to (historical society president) Ken Finkel. And some were loaned to us by (vice president) Gretchen Otto."
Many of those toys include metal cars, trucks, tractors and other vehicles. A working metal model of a carnival roller coaster ride is also included in the collection, along with a model train set, buses, and a variety of brightly-painted metal race cars.
"Visitors will probably see many toys from their past in the 1950s exhibit," Wolfe said. "It's one of the changing exhibits we've had here over the years that have also included quilts, clothing, and household kitchen utensils from the past."
The Fearing House "Toys of Yesteryear" exhibit will be on display through October, when the museum closes for the season, Hoffman said.
Located at 131 Gilman Ave. in Marietta's historic Harmar district, the Fearing House represents the Victorian lifestyle as it existed in Marietta during the mid 1800s. Henry Fearing resided in the house until he died in 1894.
The house was also home to Civil War Brigadier General Benjamin Dana Fearing. And U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes courted his future wife, Henry Fearing's granddaughter, Caro Blymyer Dawes, in the parlor of the Fearing House.