In Lanett, Alabama, there’s a dollhouse built over the monument for Little Nadine Earles, who passed away in 1933.
When she was four years old, she asked her parents for a doll house for Christmas. Her father started on it, but she became sick with diphtheria, and then pneumonia. Her parents gave her a tea set and life-size doll before the holiday, hoping it would help make her feel better, but she just wanted the doll house, and told her daddy, “me want it now.” She passed away December 18th, before he had it completed. After she was gone, her father hired a contractor to build it at the cemetery. Inside are several dolls, a little toy tea set…
The stone reads:
‘Our Darling Little Girl
Sweetest In The World
April 3, 1929
December 18, 1933
Little Nadine Earles
In Heaven We Hope To Meet
Me Want It Now’
Below is a photograph inside the dollhouse that shows her friends that came by for her next birthday. The pic is inscribed “Little Nadine Earles Birthday Party” and the date. So sad!
People still leave notes:
Her parents are buried outside the dollhouse, and Nadine’s brothers have deeded the area to the city of Lanett.
There are four other cemetery dollhouses like this that I’m aware of: one in Tennessee, one in Ohio, and two in Indiana.
Actually, after my latest graveshelter post, not a dollhouse structure per se, but reader Wanda (thank you again!) sent me this clip of a cemetery in Florence, Alabama, where things were left in a protected monument for a little girl:
…and that reminds me of the grave of Florence Irene Ford in Natchez, who died in 1871 at the age of 10.
From the city’s site:
Upon her death her mother was so struck with grief that she had Florence’s casket constructed with a glass window at the child’s head. The grave was dug to provide an area, the same depth of the coffin, at the child’s head, but this area had steps that would allow the mother to descend to her daughter’s level so she could comfort Florence during storms. To shelter the mother during storms, hinged metal trap doors were installed over the area the mother would occupy while at her child’s grave.
…you can see the trap doors behind little Florence’s tombstone, which covers the stairway her mother used. They can still be opened today.