‘The doll that created havoc in the West End’
Museum worker Carla Davidson shows off the doll she and her husband, Allen Parker, brought to the West End Fair museum by motorcycle in 2009. ASPEN SMITH/TIMES NEWS
If they look carefully, fairgoers who visit the West End Fair museum this week will find a large, curly haired doll sitting in a highchair among other antiques in one of the roped-off exhibits.
There isn’t a plaque with this doll’s story, but you can learn it from Carla Davidson, a worker at the museum and daughter of director Dorothy Davidson.
In 2009, Carla Davidson and her husband Allen Parker bought the doll at a flea market to go with a highchair that had been recently donated to the museum.
They had come on a motorcycle and didn’t have a bag large enough to carry the doll, so they set off down Route 115 with the doll tucked under Davidson’s arm.
As they rode, Davidson saw drivers stare at them, get upset and start talking on their phones.
When they arrived at the intersection of Routes 115 and 209 in Brodheadsville, they saw a tall police officer standing in the intersection and motioning for them to pull over, Parker said. At the same time, four other police cars converged on them: one from each direction on Route 209, one along Route 115 the way they had come, and one from Route 715.
Their lights and sirens were going and the officers had their hands on their guns, Parker said.
“(They must have thought) we are the world’s worst parents and we are going down,” Davidson laughed.
“We were surrounded,” Parker said. “It was fun,” he added, remembering how he laughed when they were pulled over.
“I just think she should be immortalized,” Davidson said. “The doll that created havoc in the West End.”
Director Patricia Schneider was one of those who started the museum in 1996 in the smaller building at the front. Later, the larger building at the back was built for the museum to expand into. The museum now boasts 3,064 items, and every donation is tagged and recorded in the museum binder.
Most of the donations came from locals, though some were donated by visitors from other areas.
One of the most recent donations is a wedding dress donated by Lila Mae Schultz Kleintop that she wore at her wedding in the 1950s.
“They hear ‘museum’ and people just think, ‘nothing but dusty junk,’ but there’s so much (here),” Davidson said.