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Vintage dolls in spotlight at Huntington museum

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak Intricate carriages and exquisite dolls are prevalent throughout the exhibit.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak
Intricate carriages and exquisite dolls are prevalent throughout the exhibit.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A new attraction at Heritage Farm Museum & Village is geared to show Appalachia beyond farm and rural living.

Bowes Doll and Carriage Museum includes elaborate displays of dolls, carriages, miniature furniture and appliances, and other items that bring history to life.

The exhibit fills a building where visitors may enjoy the mesmerizing tour thanks to the unselfishness and hard work of Connie and Don Bowes of Charleston. The couple loaned items from their extensive collection and spent three years putting together the displays.

Dolls and carriages can be seen in outdoor family activities with scenes depicting skating, sleigh riding or swinging in a park. Indoor scenes are detailed from miniature furniture and appliances to wallpaper and pictures on the walls. The faces of the dolls are exquisite with many handmade by Connie and others purchased as antiques. Vintage carriages have been restored by Don.

There is also an upscale Victorian setting that is virtually breathtaking with exotic gowns, elegant carriages and elaborate scenery.

Don notes the displays are meant to show the diversity of Appalachian life and the wealth brought about by steam power, railroads and developing industries.

Connie, an award-winning doll maker, has had a lifelong love for the art.

“I had an incredible childhood…

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