Although we’ve had a few inches of snowfall this morning, I am still excited about the thought that spring is right around the corner! Although our village St. Patrick’s Day parade was postponed until next week due to the snow, I’m sure that people will still turn out with enthusiasm as we do for every community event.
Today, I thought I’d share a bit of history with you. If you are like many people that I know, you have most likely had your own Raggedy doll sometime during your lifetime. I thought you might like to read about the story behind the beloved Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls.
Raggedy Ann The True Story
I just love the Raggedy Ann that my grandmother made for me when I was a little girl, so I decided to do a bit of research on the doll’s history. Here’s the true story about Raggedy Ann, the museum that chronicles her creator as well as her history.
As the story goes… The birthplace of the beloved Raggedy Ann was Arcola, Illinois. She has captivated our hearts for over 80 years, but very few know of her beginning. She is the creation of a gentleman named John Gruell.
Before World War 1, John’s daughter Marcella was just a preteen. She found a tattered rag doll in her
grandmother’s attic. John was somewhat of an artist, and when Marcella showed her dad the doll, he drew a face on it. He cut out a paper heart on which he wrote “I Love You,” thus the I love heart on each raggedy.
A few years later, in 1917, Marcella died an early death from a contaminated smallpox vaccination. Of course John was grief-stricken, and started writing stories about his little girl and her doll Raggedy Ann. I wonder how many little ones know that they are reading about a real life “daddy’s little girl”?
Today you can find two beautiful brick buildings in Arcola that share a wealth of Raggedy Ann memorabilia. Each year, the town celebrates two festivals featuring Raggedy. “The Raggedy Ann Festival” is held in the summer, and “A Raggedy Ann Christmas” is held during the Christmas season.
Visit the museum website here