Bunnell, FL – (March 9, 2021) Preserving one more piece of Flagler County history, onlookers stopped to watch the transport of the 1955 playhouse belonging to one of Flagler County’s early founding families, as it made its way to the Holden House Museum in Bunnell on Friday morning.
With help from locally owned Cline Construction, the tiny house was lifted with care from its longtime perch at the William Henry Deen home, built in 1919 and located 805 E. Moody Boulevard, to the historic property housing the Flagler County Historical Society’s archives and Holden House Museum at 204 and 206 E. Moody Boulevard.
Under watchful eyes the transfer was managed by Flagler County Historical Society members James Fiske and Preston Zepp, who said they were honored to be part of the project.
“So many pieces of history both local and national are disappearing at a rapid pace that saving even just a small part of our local history is a blessing,” said Zepp.
“We hope that saving and restoring tis little building that has been a landmark since 1955 will start a resurgence and love of our local history and that it will continue to make people happy create more memories to add onto the ones that have been made for the past 66 years. Flagler County area has a rich history dating back to the 18th century and so much of it hasn’t been discovered by the younger generations. Our goal is to change that, even if it is one little playhouse at a time.”
Preparing the ground last weekend, Fiske said it was the suggestion of local historian Sisco Deen that led to the historical society gaining the building that sat out front of the family home for decades.
“A lot of people have seen it going by, and now there will be more people to see it,” said Fiske. “The ladies here at the historical society are already planning tea parties, and we’ll be fancying it up.”
The custom made ‘dollhouse’, a gift to Delores Deen for Christmas in 1955, features panels of miniature windows along the door and across the front, and is spacious enough for a six foot tall person to stand up inside according to Fiske.
“It’s going to have quite a bit of restoration,” explained Fiske. “We want to get it back looking almost like new and it’s going to be a lot of fun for the kids. It really is.”
Delores Deen was excited to see the cherished building, enjoyed by several generations of her family and friends being preserved for future generations.
“I am so relieved that it is going to be restored, preserved and continued to be loved,” said Deen, whose aunt’s stepfather Perry Hunt, built the playhouse for her.
“I was thrilled and enjoyed having my friends come over to play in it,” she said. “Because the house was still in the family all this time after I had left home, my mother’s friends would bring their children and grandchildren over to play in it.”
The historical society has plans to restore the building and make it accessible for viewing by public once completed.
“We’re very excited to have this donated by the little girl it was built for, Delores Deen, and as we now place it next to the Holden House Museum, we have plans to restore it, renovate it,” said Flagler County Historical Society president Ed Siarkowicz.
“We’ve got a marker sign that’s going to go in that talks about the history of it, and as we start to have tours come through we’ll have children come in and have special events around this house.”
It’s a first step in creating an historic complex within the crossroads area, with the next building slated for installation being the addition of the Seventh Day Adventist Church from Espanola for a Florida Women’s Voting Rights Museum in 2021-22.
Featured Photo: It takes a team, and they were on deck for the transfer and installation of the 1955 “Deen Dollhouse” on the Holden House Museum property Friday, April 9, 2021. From left, Ed Siarkowicz, Tonya Gordon, Preston Zepp, James Fiske, Michael Snyder and Fred Stefancik. Not pictured: Bunnell Police Officer Jake Sanders