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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Interesting Information about a Special Penny Wood Doll

Katrina, a member of TreadleOn, an online group to which I also belong, offers this interesting information about one of these "penny wood" dolls:
One of those (penny wood dolls) came across the plains from St. Louis to Sacramento in 1846 with Patty Reed, who was a member of the Donner Party. When the party got into trouble and had to abandon most of their belongings, the little wooden doll was the only thing Patty could take because it was small enough to fit into her pocket. (Many were about 4" tall, although Bonnie's two are 11.5".)
The book Patty Reed's Doll is the story of that journey, being trapped in the Sierra that winter, and the hardships the survivors encountered all written from the doll's point of view. When Patty later died, she donated the doll to Sutter's Fort, because that was the destination they were heading for. "Dolly" is on display at Sutter's Fort, and every spring, thousands of fourth graders descend upon it to see the doll as part of their California History curriculum. While this particular doll is important because of its unique history, these dolls were very common during the middle part of the 19th century.
Thanks, Katrina, for sharing this information.

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