Historic dollhouse, collectibles shown at Lincoln Senior Center

Historic dollhouse, collectibles shown at Lincoln Senior Center

LINCOLN - Hoping to raise some cash for the Lincoln Senior Center activities fund, Derek Meiklejohn is once again putting his handmade dollhouse set on display.

Just as it was four years ago, what he calls "the best dollhouse in Lincoln" will be accessible to the public for viewing and interaction Tuesday, Sept. 10, through Friday, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 150 Jenckes Hill Road.

The four-foot-tall, five-room colonial with its own farm and landscaping is free to look at and play with, but Meiklejohn hopes visitors will make a donation to help the Senior Center continue to plan trips and activities.

He will also sweeten the pot by giving away an antique milk bottle from his collection to anyone who donates $10.

Meiklejohn's call to the public is simple: Come out to support the Senior Center and view the dollhouse that has been in his family for three generations.

No stranger to running for public office, he even joked that if everyone who ever ran against him came out to see it, there would be quite a crowd.

"Friend or foe, please come out to support the Senior Center," he said.

The wooden dollhouse was originally owned by his grandmother and dates back to the 1920s or 1930s, Meiklejohn guessed. He has had it for the past 21 years. A total of four houses have been passed down through the family; the others are with his nieces.

He has expanded over the years, adding a six-stall barn at Ruth's Farm, named after his mother. New this year is a construction area where kids can get their hands on Tonka trucks and dirt.

The entire display will be set up on five platforms and surrounded by landscaping provided by Lincoln Gardens. Gravel roads connect the platforms, one of which has a camping tent set up, and there is even a pond featuring live fish.

One of the two fish from the display four years ago has been living at the Senior Center and will join the display again next week.

The house, with a scalloped roof and the original lace curtains, is fully furnished. Inside is a miniature version of the home, as well as tiny framed photos of Meiklejohn's family hung on the walls.

"It's family. It's a family piece," he said. "I don't have any venue big enough to display this."

So he said he is "very thankful" the Senior Center has been supportive, and why he will raise money for them in return.

"I think it's a worthy cause," he said, adding that he's a regular cribbage player there.

Four years ago, he raised a few hundred dollars, but he's looking for more this year before he passes the house down to his daughter.

"This is kind of my last hurrah here," Meiklejohn said. "I've had my fun with it. I'm having a ball right now getting this stuff together."