Art doll

American Girl Doll Samantha Parkington’s House Is Mount Kisco, New York Victorian – DIRT

I am an equal opportunity aficionado. Filming sites, pop culture landmarks, true crime scenes, literary locations – they all fascinate me. Today is perhaps a first, because I don’t remember having covered a spot made famous by a doll! Scrolling through Instagram recently, I discovered Theodore Carpenter House, a beautiful estate located about 35 miles north of Manhattan at 81 W. Main St. in Mount Kisco, New York, which played a pivotal role in the story. of Samantha Parkington, one of the first American Girl dolls. Fitted with a beautiful mansard roof with scalloped shingles, glorious ornamentation and a four-story central tower, the property is the stuff of which Victorian dreams are made! But it’s the pad’s place in pop culture history that really made me cringe. (Please remember this is a private home. Do not enter or disturb residents or property in any way.)

For women of a certain age, few toys are as revered as the original six historic American Girl dolls. A definitive piece of nostalgia for Gen X, Millennials and even Gen Z, Samantha, Kirsten, Mollie, Felicity, Josefina and Addy are as beloved today as when they debuted in the 1980s and 1990s. Made by the Pleasant Company, the 18-inch soft figures were designed by Pleasant Rowland, a former teacher and former vice president of the Boston Educational Research Company, who was inspired to create the line while on a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. . While touring the historic district, Rowland sensed there might be a market for dolls representing different eras of America’s past. His inclination was perfect.

Originally based in Middleton, Wisconsin, the Pleasant Company released its first three historical dolls in May 1986, with Samantha leading the pack. A book detailing the various stories of the moppets was included with every purchase. The line became an instant hit and additional dolls were soon introduced, each with their own clothes, accessories and books.

Although Rowland sold the company to Mattel for $700 million in 1998, just over a decade after its inception, doll sales never budged. American Girl characters remain hugely celebrated today, with children lining up in droves to visit the outcropping of official brand stores, sprawling high-end retail outlets with expansive retail areas, lounges ( for dolls, of course) and cafes, which have become hugely popular sites for birthday parties. Although countless historical and non-historical characters have been introduced in the years since, the original six remain the most beloved, with Samantha being the group’s senior OG.