A dollhouse lovingly hand-crafted in Sooke 20 years ago is bringing wonder and joy to a new generation of children and adults.
The original owner, Lynn Lodge, won the dollhouse made by Shelley Kattler in a draw that was part of fundraising efforts in Sooke for Megan Gallant. The former student at Edward Milne Community School was left unable to walk or talk after a minor diagnostic procedure in February 2001 at Victoria General Hospital went tragically wrong.
Lodge, a professional house stager, said she treasured the dollhouse for years before shipping it to Dundas, Ont., for the daughter of her sister, Diane Robertson, to enjoy.
“Hearing it’s going to a new home for another child to enjoy is heartwarming,” Lodge said. “My sister sold it recently to a lovely lady for her daughter’s fifth birthday.
“As a kid, I was obsessed with dolls, and I loved that little house and the effort and incredible detail that went into it. It was so adorable with its little patio and outdoor porch, the tiny individual tiles on the floors and all the handmade furniture and appliances.”
Robertson said her daughter, Shelby Lynn, 22, loved the dollhouse and used to have her friends over to play with it when she was growing up.
“We had it prominently set up in a common area so several children could play with it at the same time,” she recalled. “I added some appropriately sized items over the years and some cats and dogs. Shelby Lynn’s happy it’s going to a good home where it will be displayed and used instead of taking up space in our attic.”
One of the proud new owners, Katherine Mittermaier, said her daughter, Emma, is also very happy with the dollhouse.
“We love it, and we’re still collecting more furniture for it,” said Mittermaier, who lives in Carlton Place near Ottawa. “It’s become a beloved little centre point in our home. Knowing the story behind it gives it a spiritual life of its own, having been part of a larger story.”
Her husband, who writes a feature on old houses for an Ontario publication, has taken a keen interest in it as well, she added.
Megan’s mother, Yvette Gallant, was surprised and happy to hear the dollhouse has found another new home.
“It’s wonderful to hear it’s going to make another young girl happy,” she said.
Gallant said that Megan’s health is good, and she’s doing really well.
“My husband Mark says he doesn’t know anyone who’s as happy as Megan,” she added.
The family moved to Metchosin from Sooke in 2002 to find accommodations better suited for Megan’s ongoing care and to be closer to the assistance she requires.
The dollhouse was part of a community effort to help the Gallants with medical expenses that raised almost $18,000 in 2001, with the dollhouse auction bringing in nearly $1,000.