Welcome to Danforth House!
A World In Miniature by Tom and Mary Stevenson
A charming one-room bakery set in the 1890s by Rosamond Forbes
"Jane's Bakery" is a 1/12th scale (1 foot = 1 inch) single-room structure, created by Mrs. Rosamond Forbes, the wife of CAPT Donald K. "Deke" Forbes, United States Navy, (Retired). Deke was a fighter pilot who flew many different jet aircraft throughout the 1950s and 1960s. We don't know exactly when Rosamond built Federal House (or even if she did), but we do know that she spent many, many hours over the years making her own creations to decorate it!
Around 2011, the Stevensons became friends with CAPT Forbes and his wife, Rosamond, who were nearby neighbors. Turns out that the Forbes and the Stevensons had a common bond: CAPT Forbes was the Commandant of Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD from 1973 through 1976 while Tom was a Midshipman attending the Naval Academy from July 1973-June 1977. Deke retired from active Naval Service in the same month and year (June 1977) that Tom was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy.
Mrs. Forbes health deteriorated in the 2012 timeframe, and she passed away on March 6, 2013. CAPT Forbes, knowing how much his wife had cherished her dollhouses, gave them to Mary Stevenson, knowing that Mary would care for them as much as his dear wife Rosamond had. Rosamond's creations became "Federal House" and "Jane's Bakery".
Jane's Bakery is an open-rear single room clapboard style store, completely hard wired electrically on one circuit hidden under the base.
The Bakery crams a lot of activity and miniature treasures into a single 15 inch wide by 9 inch high by 10 inch deep box. The store is very typical of what would have been a simple small business establishment one might find anywhere in America at the turn of the 20th Century.
Jane's Bakery was placed on public display in 2018 at the "Wee Christmas" Miniatures Exhibit at the Historic Kenmore House, 1201 Washington Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA, December 7-30 2019, along with the fan-favorite "Danforth House". This year, the "Federal House" will be on display at the exhibit from December 7-30, 2019.
Please join us for a fascinating glimpse into Victorian shopping at its finest inside of Jane's Bakery!
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This was the original configuartion of the Bakery when it was received by Mary Stevenson from Deke Forbes, in 2012. Notice the copper sheathing on the bay window.
Rosamond had a great sense of taste and style...look at the detail on the door, and the cute little "Teddy Bear Wreath" and Delft style pottery hanging on the exterior wall.
Outside the shop, a young customer awaits the treats inside.
Here's what the front looks like in November, 2019. It hasn't been changed much, just the addition of some outside decorations and the addition if the "sandwich" style street sign.
Mary added the lovely flower-planters on the left side wall. There are also some Autumn type decorations here about, along with the woodpile, rocks and a small intimation of a white picket fence.
Close-up of the cute flower planters on the left side wall.
A Bakery needs a lot of eggs to make those wonderful treats...so Jane's Bakery has it's own chicken coop! You can also see a milking pail, and some bee-hives for honey along the right side of the building.
This is the original interior, in 2012. As it was set up, it was very difficult to see all the wonderful baked goods in the display cases, and the "glass" in the display cases was yellowed with age.
Close-up of the original interior, in 2012. There are so many charming items in here, just really hard to see them all.
Here's Jane's Bakery dressed up for Christmas, sometime around 2015. Mary has done some re-arranging of the interior, and added some greenery outside.
This year (2019), Mary and Tom refurbished the interior. Tom replaced the yellowed display case "glass" with new plastic inserts, and Mary turned the cases to allow for easier viewing of the contents.
Closeup of the left side of the new interior design. The tea table was pulled forward, and all lights were repaired.
Here's a view of our Bakery customers, enjoying a nice cup of afternoon tea and some bakery treats.
Look at those delicious (miniature) baked goods! They look good enough to eat yourself (but not very filling!) The penny gumball machine was a new addition. Our child customer (and her dog) also moved inside to have a look at all the sweets.
In most circumstances, we cover the rooms with clear plastic acetate sheets, hung with "velcro dots". This keeps dust (and little fingers) out of the shop. The "sandwich" style nameboard was just made to scale in Photoshop, printed on cardstock, cut to shape and folded in half.
We hope you've enjoyed your little trip to the Bake Shop! Come back and visit again soon!