Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Grand Home...then and now

My Dad built this for Mimi it's a replica of the home
he was born in.
His Grandfather came over from Denmark
and built it in the mid 1800's for $3,200

we went back to Iowa when Mimi was a baby and my
Dad and I went through the home that My Grandma
was born in and then she raised her four children in.
they lost it in the Depression
but My Grandma and Grandpa rented it.
We called the owner of it at the time and explained
that we would love to walk through and asked if we saw something
like a board or a door knob if he minded
if we took a keepsake.
He said yes.
So I took some bead board from the kitchen walls.
which my dad
incorporated into this doll house for Mimi.

The house was in very bad shape the stairs had caved
in and the raccoons and Cattle had been through it
But the doors and trim were still beautiful.
three years later we went back and I couldn't wait to show
Phil and the kids this beautiful home or skeleton
of one.
and it had been burned to the ground.
I was heartbroken.
at least we have treasures like this to pass on.
Here's the house with my Dad and Mimi in the car seat
next to him. The last time we saw it standing.
My Mom and I always tease him the
dollhouse is missing the bay window.
Of course the Dolls are all Danish
from the Danish Immigrant Museum
in Elk horn Iowa.
If your Danish and your ever back there
it is amazing the genealogy department!!!
we were able to find out that my Great Grandma
came all the way from Denmark by herself
to meet up with my Grandpa and marry him over here.
she carried with her a purse that she had made
for the trip and it was donated to the museum.
I hope someday to see it!


  1. What a fabulous post! I loved every sentence. And the doll's house is maginificent. Your daughter will have something to pass on to her daughters with a beautiful story of her grandfather.

    That really was such a lovely post, Heidi.

  2. Wow, the doll house is fabulous and has a great story attached. Tam x

  3. What a lovely story. A cousin of mine has started a site for our family and it has built up so much we have hundreds of people linked. It is fascinating reading because so many of them have emigrated over the years and now are scattered all over the globe.

  4. What a special story about the house and your family. So the dollhouse is very special to you. It's very lovely.
    Thank you for showing to us, have a nice day.

  5. That is so sad about the house catching fire :( But how incredibly special to have a replica AND a picture!

  6. What a wonderful post!
    But what a terrible shame the house was burnt - it is so lucky that you wnet when did those few years ago, and took photos and the beading.
    The dolls house is beautiful,and will always be a reminder for you and your family.
    Thank you for sharing this - hope you have a great day
    Gill x

  7. A lovely - if sad - post, Heidi. Sad the beautiful house caught fire - it looked wonderful, as you can see from your dad's model. How great Mimi has the doll house! Abby x

  8. What a beautiful dollhouse, and the real house to.
    Thank jo for comments on my blogg.
    Have a real nice day, Laila

  9. Hej Heidi

    What a wonderful post!
    The Dolls House is beautiful and how fantastic that Mimi has a real piece of family history from the original house incorporated in it.
    Soo sad it burnt down, what a wonderful house it was, your great grandfather was very skilled.
    Isn't history just fascinating.

  10. Oh wow, how many amazing pieces of history, charm & family passion can you put in one post??!! Such delightful stories & history. Love it all Heidi, love Posie

  11. well. the danish. these stories seem to pop up regularly, in books, in films; how they moved heaven and earth to get to the americas.
    lovely how you put reality next to the doll's house, as if it is the narrator, which in a way, it really is! power to da house!
    great eye, great hearts, your family!!!

  12. Hi Heidi,

    I had such a lump in my throat when i heard the house had been burnt and then to hear your great nan had traveled to meet your great grandad it got even worse i could just picture her with her purse and imagin her nervous excitment at meeting him for the first time. What a beautiful story and such a beautiful house and the doll house is one to treasure always. I loved this post family history is lovely. Dee xx

  13. Such an amazing story and what a beautiful house...big and small x x x x x x xx

  14. How precious that you both should preserve this house for your family. It was a gorgeous old home, wasn't it. What a shame. But the dollhouse is a sweet remembrance. Blessings today Heidi, Diane

  15. What an amazing history! Your dad is not only talented but sentimental. What a sweetie. And what a terrific piece of history to hand down to Mimi (the dollhouse). Too cool!

  16. Wow what a keepsake, what a story.

    Too bad you could not drag a couple of whole doors with you!

    So sad it's gone and the cows were let in, what a makes me sad.

    What history!

  17. What an amazing story! i want to go to Denmark for you and see the purse,

    Victoria x

  18. Hey Heidi! Thanks for the have to be a follower to enter the giveaway, so make sure to follow before tomorrow! Kori xoxo

  19. It's amazing how much houses were then. Wouldn't it be wonderful if prices made more sense today. I actually posted late last night, but for some reason my post didn't come through. I loved this story it was really moving. Thank you for sharing it with us all. It must have been really difficult when the house burned down, like loosing a family member. I couldn't believe how big this doll house was when I first saw it, it's amazing! Mimi is a lucky girl to have it in her room.
    Your Dad did a wonderful job on it. What a treasure it is!!

    Chris :o)

  20. Dear Heidi,

    the dollhouse looks great and is so cute and the lovely story behind it is very interesting. I must show your pictures my father-in-law because he is a great fan of dollhouses and he will have much joy to look at your pictures.

    I have planned to visit Denmark in future because my husband was sometimes there for holiday and it must be a beautiful country. I´m absolutely interested in seeing other countries.

    Have a wonderful weekend my friend,

  21. Beautiful doll house and a great story. I'm sorry to hear that the house burnt down, good thing you still have the doll house and the photos :o)

    And to all of you who wants to visit Denmark; please do! :o)

  22. It's a BEAUTIFUL doll house! i love the furniture and the little dolls wearing their costumes; It is very precious; I love to read your family's story.Hugs Catherine

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  24. Oh WOW Heidi, what a fabulous dolls house and what a beautiful story attached to it!

    It's so loveoy to have things like that that can have so much history linked to them. Definitely something to be passed down in years to come!

    Have a super weekend my lovely!

    Vanessa xxx

  25. Ok I see what I can do about It...

  26. Wow! Such a gorgeous house and a fabulous family story. Soooo precious.
    Pam x

  27. Doll houses make the best heirlooms, and yours is so extra special!