288 N. Main St Mansfield, Ma 02048 (774)-284-4729
FOUND: DOLL HOUSE 5,000sq FT.
The journey to opening the museum was not a chosen path. It has instead been a walk on a rocky road. Three years after launching the Doll E Daze Project we realized that the next logical step would be to open a museum. We needed to find a home for the dolls and settle down. The wear and tear was beginning to take a toll on our health and the collection.
In 2008 the first Black Doll Collectors Convention was held in an attempt to raise awareness and funds for the museum. Awareness was achieved, funds not so much.
We worked with the city of Brockton for the next four years developing a feasibility strategy, and plan to open the doors. Unfortunately, the city of Brockton was unable to unlock any doors or locate an affordable space.
In May of 2012, the stars aligned and a divine intervention occurred. A new owner purchased 288 N. Main St., Debra Britt completed a circle of prayer, Felicia Walker ended a fast and Laverne Cotton read the prayer of Jabez. The National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture had found its home located on the first floor of a mixed use commercial & residential building. Just less than 5,000 square feet the space was in need of build out. Floors, walls, and ceilings need to be repaired or replaced. With limited funds, ingenuity and lots of sweat equity the space would be transformed.
All the ceilings were painted black to hide the water stains of a previously damaged roof. In some areas the ceilings are replaced with stockade fence pieces, the floors were sanded and restained. First time use of a sanding machine and staining technique resulted in the wave patterns of the floors. Water soaked and rotted wood adorn the walls of the Middle passage, lastly all of the display cases, and seating are/ were created from pallets.
This unique cultural and educational facility pays homage to recycling. It is also the first museum in New England and the second museum in the nation dedicated to preserving the history of black dolls.
There is still much to do and things that need to be replaced however, this space is the hope for those who feel hopeless and courage for those who feel discouraged. Anything is possible.