News & Notes: Sept. 4

Sept. 4, 2012

Washington County Historical Society moves a house

West Bend - The Walter A. Zinn Dollhouse has a new home at the Washington County Historical Society.

After decades of being on exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, the enormous house and its gardens were moved across the street and up the hill to its new home last week.

Begun in 1911 by Walter Zinn for his daughter Lenore, the house was added to for 46 years until Walter's death in 1957. The tiny residents of the dollhouse are the Swepet family and the Swepet's home furnishings were both constructed by the Zinn family and collected by family and friends on their trips around the world. With 27 rooms and more than 1,200 objects, the Zinn Dollhouse always has something new to discover, including miniature original artwork by Melitta Billa and Joan Pick.

The Melitta Pick Foundation presented the Washington County Historical Society with a $3,000 grant to restore and exhibit the house. The landscape and electrical requires extensive restoration and the house itself needs minor touchups.

The Walter A. Zinn Dollhouse exhibit will open at the historical society's annual Christmas at the Old Courthouse Museum on Dec. 15. The house will be decorated for Christmas in keeping with family tradition.

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