TAUNTON, Mass. — After 23 years of customizing and perfecting it, Raynham resident Kathy MacQueen is looking for a new home for her 46 by 28-inch dollhouse.
The 77-year-old retired bank worker bought the dollhouse as a kit in 1998, and has had fun working on it since.
"I had a bad year that year. I had a ruptured appendix. I was in kind of tough shape, and my mother was very, very worried about me," she said.
"So when I pulled through, she said 'I want to buy you whatever you want.'"
Thinking of what she might want, MacQueen remembered how much fun she had had playing with a dollhouse with her daughter.
"We bonded over decorating that when she was little, and she used to always say to me, 'Mommy, I want to do it the way I want to do it. Would you please get your own dollhouse?' So eventually I did," MacQueen said, laughing.
"I guess in the back of my mind, I always wanted one."
So MacQueen drove up to Earth & Tree Miniature Shop in New Hampshire and bought the biggest kit she could find.
MacQueen's husband built the skeleton of the house, and she did the rest.
"I loved decorating it and doing the wallpaper and all the little trim, buying the hardware and stuff," she said. "It took me a long time to get it to where it is."
The dollhouse has a lot of unique character.
MacQueen said the dining room set is a reproduction of the china from the movie "Titanic."
She also needlepointed the stair runner herself, and put a tiny picture of her mother, who is now 104 years old, in one of the rooms.
"Finally, at a certain point, I'm like 'I think it's done,'" she said, jokingly.
As much as MacQueen loves the dollhouse, when she moved houses a few years ago, the family downsized, and it ended up in the basement. Eventually, she said, she found space for it upstairs so that it could be displayed, but she still feels it's too big for the space.
"It's just dominating. It's too much of a dominating force," she said.
The dollhouse could be worth a good sum of money, MacQueen said. She's seen others of its size and quality sell for over $10,000, but she said she doesn't know of any buyers in the area and doesn't want to try to ship it.
Instead, MacQueen said, she'd like to donate the dollhouse to an organization where people will be able to see and appreciate it, such as a nursing home or a museum.
"If we can do some good with it, if somebody will get some joy out of it, that's all I really care about," she said. "Somebody else enjoying it as much as I just did."
MacQueen said she is open to selling the dollhouse locally if someone can come pick it up.
If you're interested in purchasing the dollhouse or having it donated to your organization, email MacQueen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.