Historical society unveils unique exhibit

The Lawrence County Historical Society unveils a unique exhibit honors one local resident.

Posted: Nov 23, 2018 7:20 PM

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - Dolls, walk into Lawrence county's history center and you'll see plenty of them. It's a new exhibit that wasn't exactly planned.

Nancy King from the history center says, "Actually when we first found out we were getting them we didn't realize how many there were."

The answer was 342 dolls.

King says, "It was box after box. So yes it was kind of overwhelming it was like 'oh my, where will we put all of these.'"

The collection came from the late Elizabeth Dunseth. Dunseth was born in Lawrence County in 1918.

Donna Burton from the history center explains, "She was a pilot. She had her own airplane. She was a glider pilot. Flew the glider planes. She was a race car driver."

Dunseth's lifestyle took her far away from the confines of Lawrence county. Every new destination brought back a new souvenir.

Each doll made in its native land. From famous to not so famous. Each doll tells a story.

King says, "I learned so much about dolls themselves but I learned so much about the countries and their costumes and traditions and their cultures."

The collection may have taken the history center by surprise. But one woman's trips around the globe will now teach a new generation about the world outside of Lawrence County.

Burton says, "The dolls tell our story. It's a lady's passion. Everybody has a passion for something. And most people collect something. This is just one lady's collection."

Telling the story of one woman's life, one doll at a time.

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