It All Starts Here

Sometimes our ideas flow from an existing kit to bash, a house style to scratch (aka custom) build, or from an interesting doll who needs a place to live. Our settings are always modern-day (ca. 2001 when we started this hobby). We try to create things that will make people smile and feel good.

We think that if we had to build the same house twice, we literally could not do it! Fortunately, we have very unique little people who have definite opinions and so far, no one has wanted a house “like so-and-so” has.

We work as a family unit: my wonderful husband, my beautiful sister, and I. We don't always agree as to the direction of the build, but I think that we end up with a better dollhouse because of all our grumblings -- and we do have a lot of fun!

The Purpose of this Blog

We needed a place for all we wanted to say about the background of the build and the nuts and bolts of the design and build process. Thus this blog.

All our dolls' homes have families living in them and a story is built around their personalities and lifestyles. This story is an integral part of our building process. We would like to share these stories -- actually, the little people insist upon it!

Many of our houses are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia because that is my sister's favorite place.

Also, we have started a Rouges' Gallery with photos of our little people and information about the dolls.

If you would like to start with the dollhouse that "started it all", it is the Original Rowbottom Manse; if you would like to see the scratch-built Georgian that our first build gave us the confidence (or fool-hardiness) to do, it is Sunnybrook Farm.

Let the stories begin!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MacPherson Farm- The Plantation Style Home of Anne & George MacPherson & their children Celestine & Angus; McLean, Virginia.

The MacPhersons: Biographical Infornmation
This branch of the MacPherson family has been in Virginia since the early 1700s when Jacob MacPherson a Scottish Quaker received a small Royal land grant for land in what is now the town of McLean. Jacob named his property Clunie after the ancient seat of the MacPherson clan and turned the land into a tobacco plantation.

During the Revolutionary War, some family members became privateers in the American cause. Many privateers lived very well and were noted for their taste in fine houses, excellent wines, superb furnishings, and fine clothes. This branch of the family lived simpler. Becoming closely involved with politics, gave them friendships beyond Virginia. One friend who was to have a profound influence on their lives was John Dickinson of Delaware.

After the War, the family decided to “Americanize” and renamed the property simply MacPherson Farm . At this time, they decided that the main focus of their livelihood would be raising horses , followed by raising vegetables and flowers . Tobacco growing now became a small part of their business. Shortly after this, influenced by friend John Dickinson, they freed their slaves--some of whom remained and continued to work on the farm.

The present house is not original, but a "new" house built in 1782. Through the years the house has seen some changes but the house still retains its original look – a simple, comfortable, small plantation home for a country family. (In the late 1800s, one major change was to modify the kitchen dependency and attach it to the main house.) Fortunately, the MacPherson family was able to keep ownership of much of their holdings through the tumultuous years after the Civil War and later during the Great Depression.

The current owners are Anne Laurie Gilbert and George Catlin MacPherson. They recently decided to retire and to do some serious traveling. They left the running of the farm to their grown children Celestine Elspeth and Angus Robert .

Angus broke with family tradition and went to Stanford University. He enjoyed California and ended up staying to get an MBA. After a while though, all that “fun in the sun” paled and he decided to carry himself back to Ole Virginny and look for a job close to the farm.

Celestine is Angus’s little sister. She, too, left Virginia to go to college but went across the pond to St. Andrews in Scotland. She fell in love with golf and played so much of it that she kids that golf was her major! She loved Scotland, but she said “there’s no place like Virginia”, and came home after graduation.

Both Angus and Celestine are quiet, relaxed, and charming. In Angus’s case, the surface hides an interesting livelihood. Angus works for the CIA gathering intelligence worldwide. The family suspects that he may be doing cloak-and-dagger stuff-- or-- they may just have an over-active imagination! Anyway, in character and temperament he is more like Jack Ryan (hero of The Hunt for Red October), and definitely not a James Bond! His hobby is cooking and everyone turns out for a feast at MacPherson Farm!

Celestine does most of the farm management. She and Angus love the farm and have won awards for their horses, their horsemanship, and their flower gardens. For relaxation, Celestine gets out her golf clubs and heads for the links . She is a very good golfer (thank you, St. Andrews) and is always ready to participate in tournaments. Her flower gardens at the farm are also well known and she delights in bringing flowers to everyone.

Besides their horses (who tend to have Scotish names), they have an Old English Sheepdog named Mac Tavish.


  1. Well, is he or isn't he? I just loved Jack Ryan. Your stories are wonderful. Maybe you should publish them