All dolled up in Adamstown

By on July 26, 2017
Librarian Sharon Heaney and Jennifer, daughter of the late Mary Hartman whose American Girl doll collection was made available to the Adamstown Area Library, marvel at some of the collectibles. Items in the photo, along with 600 others will be for sale. Photo by Michele Walter Fry

Librarian Sharon Heaney and Jennifer, daughter of the late Mary Hartman whose American Girl doll collection was made available to the Adamstown Area Library, marvel at some of the collectibles. Items in the photo, along with 600 others will be for sale. Photo by Michele Walter Fry

Extensive American Girl collection to aid library fundraising efforts

The Adamstown Area Library received a surprise donation recently about which the public will be excited to hear — boxes and boxes of American Girl dolls and items, which will be for sale to help the library reach its fundraising goal to renovate a building on Main Street for a new and bigger library.

Mary Hartman of Sonny’s Country Store Antiques had an entire room full of more than 600 American Girl items at the store — but no one knew.

“It wasn’t open a lot as my parents got older,” said Sonny and Mary’s daughter, Jennifer. “They would always joke around and say they would open when they were in the mood!”

Sharon Heaney, lead circulation assistant, said she has pulled out of the boxes, evening gowns, fur stoles, velveteen outfits, accessories, watches, purses, glasses, backpacks, veils, hand-knitted items, even christening gowns.

“Everything you can imagine for the dolls, they are gorgeous!” said Heaney.

“There are tea sets in there, too,” said Heaney. “Molly’s bicycle was spotted at one point. Every time I pull something from the box, I say to one of the other girls: ‘Look at this! They’re so cute and adorable!’”

Mary passed away in September 2016 which is why her children are clearing the store.

“My dad died in December,” said Jennifer. “He had Alzheimer’s and we felt he really knew she wasn’t there.”

Mary liked to sew and some of the items are not American Girl, but her own creations.

“She just kept making them,” said Jennifer. “Some items are handmade to fit the dolls and some are purchased American Girl items. Most all the dolls are American Girl dolls.”

“There’s a couple that aren’t, but some girls can’t afford the real American Girl go to Target and those places to get the look-a-like, so we have some of those so the girls can still have the American Girl experience,” said Heaney.

“A few girls don’t have dolls but come for the enjoyment,” said Heaney.

Heaney has been leading American Girl events at the Adamstown library for more than a decade and currently hosts three a year.

“I usually have a program where we learn about the culture of the doll and the time setting that the doll was in,” said Heaney. “We usually do a craft and a game and a snack. In October, we’ll have a masquerade party where the dolls can come dressed up in costumes.”

The events are popular for girls ages six to 12.

“Sometimes we have to turn them away,” said Heaney. “Sometimes I can do 20 girls, sometimes 25 depending on the program and how much help I have.”

The sale will be Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the borough room in the same building as the library at 3000 N. Reading Road in Adamstown.

“We’re going to have everything priced with stickers and laid out,” said Heaney. “Dresses will be on one table, shoes on another table, quilts, hats.”

Library staff decided there are too many items for one sale, so the second will be next spring.

“We are going to price them accordingly, but we also want people to get a good bargain, too,” said Heaney. “They will be priced fairly. Some of the shoes will be a $1.50, some will be $3. It’s going to be color-coordinated.”

“It’s going to be so exciting,” said Heaney. “I’m so happy that the children will come in and have smiles on their faces. It will be like coming in toy land. It’s going to be a busy day here!”

Mary Hartman had a store at Doneckers, so Mary’s doll handmade clothing might be better quality than American Girl clothing.

“She would have parties for girls at Doneckers where she first started making doll stuff,” said Jennifer. “She would be thrilled with this. She always thought the library was important and education was important.”

Heaney profusely thanked Jennifer and her brother, Michael Hartman.

“This will go a long way with helping us with our goal,” said Heaney.

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