Fennimore Doll & Toy Museum Summer 2021 Newsletter

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Physical address: 1136 6th Street Mailing address: PO Box 53 | Fennimore, WI 53809 608-822-4100 | dollandtoymuseum.com | dolltoy@fennimore.com

TALES FROM THE TOYS Hello friend! 2021 has brought a lot of changes in everyone’s lives. The Fennimore Doll & Toy Museum has had its share of changes, but is also holding steadfast to the idea of doing its best to share with others the treasures that have been such an important part of people’s lives. Therefore, a newsletter has been developed to update you, one of the many individuals who has generously shared your treasures throughout the years with the museum. Without your help, the Fennimore Doll & Toy Museum would never have become the treasure trove of memories that it is. So, whether you have helped us in recent times or supported us in the past, we are very grateful.

This project was made possible through a collaborative effort with the City of Fennimore Community Development Manager and volunteers.

2021 HOURS Thursday—Sunday (through September) 10 am—4 pm (or by appointment)


The Fennimore Doll & Toy Museum was created by the City of Fennimore in 1991. It was to be an attraction for area residents and tourists, and that is exactly what it is. Currently, the museum is operated by the Friends of the Doll FREE & Toy Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With ADMISSION! the support of the Randy and Paula Sheckler, Fennimore residents and business owners, the City of Fennimore, many volunteers, and generous donors, we were able to relocate from our original location on Lincoln Avenue to our current location in May of 2010.

OUR PLANS With the reemergence of activities as the pandemic, thankfully, is lessening, the need for support and volunteers remains. As an all-volunteer organization, we are dependent on you! The museum was open for only six weekends in July and August of 2020 and for three weekends in December. Although we had a surprising number of visitors, a few donations, and a good amount of sales, we are starting 2021 grateful and optimistic, but with needs. The care, upkeep, and general overhead remain big factors in the operation and continuance of the museum. Any financial support you could offer to help cover these costs would be greatly appreciated. The museum continues to take additional donated or loaned items, however, due to space limitations, we need to be selective. People who have items they wish to donate should call the director, Connie Neal, 608-822-7920. Pictures of items are

helpful. See what’s happening at the Fennimore Doll & Toy Museum! Follow us on Facebook!


THANKFUL FOR YOU! At the museum, we continue to care for and share the many items and treasures that have been entrusted to us. We are very aware that this would not have been possible without each of you who in some way partnered with us. Your name is written somewhere in our records.

OUR VOLUNTEERS Thankfully a large majority of our volunteers are back to help and new members have joined!

Perhaps you physically worked to prepare the Building for us? That was a mammoth task! Did you volunteer inside or outside the museum? Maybe you brought your treasures for us to sell at our two big auctions in the Memorial Building?

Our volunteers usually work a morning or afternoon shift choosing the day or time that works best for them.

Did you bake pies and other goodies for our ice cream and pie socials? Did you donate items for our raffles? Did you help again and again on Heritage Day? Perhaps you helped with our big doll parties?

Perhaps you financially supported us in our ONLY campaign for funds in 2009-2010. Is your name etched on the plaque hanging in the museum designating you as a display case sponsor or right on one of the cases? Or did you bring items to our tent sales?

Wherever your name is,


and we thank you most sincerely.


One exhibit can especially welcome visitors because it came to us unexpectedly on our Opening Day in 2010 when a visitor from McFarland, WI saw our opening ad and brought this wonderful collection to show us. It consists of farm toys from the 1930s and 40s. Made of cast metal, they are smaller than today’s steel examples but are well made and include various farm machinery, a barn and animals. Additional items from the same donor have joined this exhibit over the past years. MUSEUM TOYS TALK! THEY SAY


Items from Fennimore and other area donors also make the museum an interesting place to visit. Information about the item may be displayed in some cases; however, many displays speak for themselves!

NEW EXHIBITS Several new exhibits are being readied and information on those can be found in future newsletters, the Fennimore Times, on our Facebook page, or at dolltoymuseum.com.


Have you seen the Butterfly-Pollinator Garden? This lovely addition to the museum was developed by Master Gardener Marsha Schneider, a Fennimore community member, in 2019 with assistance from the area Master Gardeners. We are so grateful! The plants are all growing and we are awaiting butterflies. We are delighted with this addition.

THE GARDEN Look carefully at the plantings around the building and you will see new treasures residing among the flowers donated very recently by a Fennimore community member.


We do not purchase dolls. Beautiful fashion and collector dolls, many in their original boxes, are given to us with permission to sell. These dolls are lovely, but are not the kind that work for museum display or fit our mission of preserving treasures of the past. We are very grateful to receive these donations. We do purchase some small new toy items to sell and other donated toys in the shop are very gently used. Christy Cooley, a Fennimore resident and our Gift Shop manager, does an excellent job. It was her efforts during the sale weekends last December that brought in buyers who kept us going during the pandemic!


The small gift shop is literally exploding with dolls and toys for sale. This is an important part of our revenue stream, even though people tell us our prices are ridiculously low!


The past year brought changes to all of us, but, in spite of that, The Fennimore Doll & Toy Museum is committed to carry on with its mission. Thank you for your support in the past, the present, and into the future. And while you are viewing the displays, never forget the part you played to make this happen.

We truly are grateful. YOU’RE INVITED! You’re invited to visit the museum to see for yourself what you have helped create. If the open times are inconvenient for you, just call Connie Neal to arrange another time.

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