Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Dolls of Memory

Today, at sundown, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins.

In Binghamton, we have a Hanukkah House museum in a historic mansion near downtown Binghamton, run by a local synagogue.

Hanukkah House has  a different theme every year. This year, it is a theme of local history - the history of the family that once owned the mansion, and it is a fascinating history.  But, for me, one of the highlights has always been a collection of dolls and dollhouses.

The late owner of these dolls and dollhouses, Roberta (Bobbie) King, was a teacher and a mother of eight. Her life was tragically ended on April 3, 2009 when a gunman entered her adult education classroom and killed her and twelve other people, before ending his own life.  

During her life, she owned thousands of dolls.

Mrs. King was involved in our community, and with Hanukkah House, and her family honors her by containing the tradition..

Today, in what has become a tradition on my blog, I share some photos I took this year at Hanukkah House to honor her memory.

This year, the display was smaller than usual.
Here are two pictures of rooms in the dollhouse displayed this year.  In the midst of our most gloomy time of the year, I can always depend on the sun shining on the day I visit Hanukkah House. I love this doll sunroom.
And I just love this miniature room.  Would you know it was a miniature if I didn't tell you?

Mrs. King refused to retire, and she died doing what she loved.  What an example she set for all of us, with her love of family and community.

A true heroine.


  1. What a lovely post, Alana! What a wonderful person Mrs. King sounds like she was!
    I, too, collect dolls. I started a long time ago in my travels as a way of bringing different cultures home to my nieces. For example, I'd buy several different (simple) ones representing a Guatemalan family. Then, I'd explain their clothing and why the mother was carrying wood on her head and her baby on her back. The cloth prints were so varied and colorful! I started buying the dolls for myself too. And now my nieces are grown and their international collection stays at their parents' house for their kids to clamor after. It has turned out to be a fascinating collection for me, too. Brings back so many memories and it's still a great tool for bringing culture to life!

  2. Oh, Alana, what a nice tradition for your blog! I would love to see this museum. I still have lots of dolls squirreled away from when I was a little girl. I was one of those little girls who always had a doll in her hands. What a sweet way for this family to display her dolls.

  3. What a fantastic post! Learned something new today :) Thanks for sharing, enjoyed!! Have a great day!


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