Benjamin Franklin Bennett of Baltimore built this dollhouse for my grandmother sometime between when she was born in 1916 and the mid- to late-1920s. She was my great grandfather's darling, but he was far from a perfect father and husband. Eventually, he and my great grandmother divorced, at a time when that just wasn't done. My grandmother ceased have a relationship with him. My mother only met her grandfather once.
But, just look at this thoughtfully-made, sweet gift for a daughter who was loved. It was repainted by my parents and me, too, between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s. As a result, the house is no longer as classy-looking as when it was first completed and it has lots of wear, now being a centenarian.
In the 1920s, my great grandfather was called upon to go to China with his family to help with the construction of a hospital. He was an contractor and/or and architect. I'm not really sure.
I grew up with reverence for this dollhouse and for all the fine things my great grandparents brought back from China. Beautiful things from China were all over my grandmother's house, including beautiful dolls in traditional clothing that she let me play with once in a while when I would visit in the summers.
Reverence for things perhaps to replace lost love. `
I don't know for sure, but I would like to find out more.
You can join me here on this journey.
One of my first steps on it has been to hire someone to help me renovate this house for my son, now three, and for any other children and my relatives so that it can be continued to be loved and played with.