Remember your childhood playtime as you view the dolls, toys, and trains on display. Discover the history of your matchbox car and the story of the original Teddy Bear. Watch the model train chug around the tracks, build a Lincoln Log cabin, and share your best toy memory.
Many of the dolls and toys on display are part of the HRHS Mary Spitzer Etter Collection. Mary Spitzer Etter (1912-2002) and her sister Ruth Spitzer (1914-1985) grew up on West Market Street in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Their father was a successful merchant in the town. The dolls and toys are in excellent condition because the Spitzer girls were taught to take care of their playthings. The quality of the toys suggests that the girls grew up in a well-to-do family. In most cases, there is two of each item, one for each sister. Mary labeled many of the toys, including the names of their dolls.
This original Teddy Bear, c. 1904, belonged to Mabel Spitzer, the mother of Mary and Ruth. HRHS Collection.
A colorful collection of tin toys will delight kids of all ages!
G.I. Joe, chemistry sets, musical instruments, construction toys, and more are waiting for your visit. And don’t forget about the model train, chugging around the track!
Wishing everyone playful joy during the holiday season!