DANSVILLE — Toys ranging from the late 1800s to late 1900s are on exhibit at the Dansville Area Historical Society until May 18.
On Nov. 3 the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to showcase the Toy and Game Exhibit. There are several interactive toys that people can engage in, as well as a couple board games to entertain families.
One of the most prized possessions in the new exhibit is the Connie Banker Kane Dollhouse, which is an exact replica of her childhood home in Groveland Station.
DAHS Member Nancy Helfrich curated the exhibit, which is close to her heart. Helfrich’s husband Jim, Jeanne and David Miller helped clean and present the dollhouse. There is a little I Spy Game that goes with the dollhouse, and those who win get a prize.
Among the dollhouse you can also view the early 1900s Stereoscope, and a Engineer and Switchman Puzzle given to a Dansville resident in 1894. The Blum Shoe Store gave a lucky 12-year-old one of these puzzles after he spent two dollars on shoes. That same boy, Jake Gregonus, donated the puzzle to the society in the 1960s as an old man.
“I really hope that kids come and play with the old fashioned toys,” Nancy Helfrich said. “Dan Rauber made us a replica of the Engineer and Switchman Puzzle, so that kids can play with that too.”
The museum has two board games unique to Dansville on display such as, The Game of Dansville in 1995, and The Millionaire Game in the 1980s. Both games were sponsored by local sports and businesses.
“We found a 1930s card table, which has over 85 local businesses advertised on it,” Helfrich said. “It is neat to see who was in business then, and who is still in business now.”
Connie Kane’s Great American Women collection is also on display at the exhibit. It has famous female dolls such as Clara Barton, Abigail Adams, and Martha Washington.
Some other items on display include a Jack-O-Lantern Halloween Parade Stick from 1906, Old Maid Card Game from 1800s, Al Hawk’s 1900 painted children’s sled, a 1950s Banner US Mail Truck, a 1929 PlaySax, the 110-year-old Goldie Bowden doll, and Ruth Welch’s doll and 1800s stroller high chair.
“Connie was a very beloved person in town,” Helfrich said. “She really loved history.”
“It was so nice of Dan Rauber to make us a replica of the puzzle too,” Helfrich continued. “These puzzles were used for promotional pieces back then.”
Helfrich is very grateful that these items are on display at the museum.
“It is interesting that so much of what was donated to the museum is late 1800s and early 1900s,” she said. “When you think about it the people donating these items in the 1960s were children around the turn of the century.”
This special exhibit room in the museum will continue to house the wonders of the area.
“We welcome anyone interested in being part of the museum to serve on the board and help with the committees,” Helfrich said. “We need some fresh eyes and new blood at the museum. The museum belongs to the village of Dansville, and not one person or group of people.”
The Dansville Area Historical Society meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. It is open the first and third Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is located at 14 Church Street. You can reach them at 335-8090 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org