Welcome to Danforth House!
A World In Miniature by Tom and Mary Stevenson
The Danforth Mansion, a 1/12th scale (1 foot = 1 inch) dollhouse, was placed on display during the month of December 2006 in our bay window, fully decorated for a Christmas as it would have been in Alexandria, Virginia, on a hill overlooking the Potomac River in 1899.
The dollhouse is a converted Greenleaf "Van Buren" style dollhouse, modified by adding a conservatory on one end and a kitchen on the other, redoing all the window openings, adding pine shingles,
and numerous other touches. The entire dollhouse is wired for electric lights in each room, with a separate circuit for flickering fireplaces and candle lights. The front
porch is New Hampshire marble. Santa can be seen on the roof, getting ready to climb down the chimney (Santa is an authentic 1899 reproduction of how Jolly Old Saint Nick was envisioned during that
timeframe; he was made by Mary for this year's Christmas celebration). Construction and all electrical work done by Tom and Mary Stevenson, Montclair Virginia.
The Danforth House was placed on public display in 2018 at the "Wee Christmas" at Kenmore House in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia, from December 1, 2018 through January 14, 2019, where it was voted as the public's #1 favorite display at the show.
Come join us for a whimsical trip into Christmas past! The house is the property of the (fictional) Mr. John Wesley Danforth, Sr., President of the Dominion Bank of the Commonwealth of Virginia, located in Alexandria. He and
Mrs. Elizabeth ("Ducky" to her friends) are relaxing in the Conservatory. Their children, Grace and John Jr. (though everyone in the family calls him "Flea") are playing in their rooms. Toby, the groundskeeper, is driving a wagon full of wood and coal for the five fireplaces and new cast-iron wood stove imported from Germany, along with some Chrtistmas trees for
decorating the house and grounds. Zelda the cook is nowhere to be seen - she must be rounding up the ingredients for a fabulous Christmas dinner on the Potomac!
Here's the pix:
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Kitchen. Winnie the cat has spotted a mouse hiding under the new cast-iron stove, recently imported from Germany
Another view of the kitchen. All of the fireplaces are on a separate "flicker" circuit from the main lighting.
The Dining Room table is set for dinner. The plates and tea cups on the buffet were hand-painted by Mary Stevenson and match her real-life china pattern. The cake was made by Caitlin Harpin.
Downstairs Hallway. Ducky's left her bonnet on the chair again!
Downstairs Hallway. Christmas poinsettia on stairs. Elephant leg umbrella stand was made by Mary Stevenson.
Closeup of the Hallway. A painting in the impressionist style of Pierre-Auguste Renoir is hanging on the left wall.
The Living Room with Ducky's main Christmas Tree. Some presents are already there!
The Living Room fireplace is a Christmas showpiece for Ducky! Flickering coals in the firebox keep the room cozy and warm.
Just look at all the presents! Grace and Flea can hardly wait for Christmas Day!
John and Ducky relax in the Conservatory before dinner. The puppies want to play!
Lots of plants here. The miniature hanging Moravian Star, made by Bridget Stanley, matches a life-size version hanging over the dollhouse.
The Music Room, which doubles as papa's Study. The desk is by Master Miniaturist Artisan Orvin Fjare.
Music Room/Study. Federal mirror over the fireplace matches a real-life mirror in Mary's home. Piano has a wind-up music box from Mary's mother, installed by Tom Stevenson.
Upstairs Hallway. The bust is a miniature version of a real-life sculpture done by Tori Reppert, which is in the Stevenson's home.
Master Bedroom, on the second floor. Ducky's gold chain purse, hanging on the bed's footboard, was hand-made by Caitlin Harpin.
Grace playing with her kitties in her upstairs bedroom on the third floor.
3rd floor Bathroom. It has all the "modern conveniences" of the day. Rug and towels made by Dixie Terrell.
Flea is playing in his third floor bedroom.
Closeup of the kitchen. Winnie the Cat was hand-made by Beth Stanley, a miniature of the Stevenson's beloved real-life pet..
Dining room table with a spread fit for a king and queen!
Rear view, sitting in the Stevensons' Bay Window. 1st Floor (L to R): Kitchen, Dining Room Hallway, Electrical closet, Living Room, Conservatory; 2nd: Music Room/Study, Stairs/Hallway, Master Bedroom; 3rd: Flea's Bedroom, Bathroom, Grace's Bedroom.
Front view of Danforth House, decorated in the finest traditional Christmas trimmings. Who is THAT on the roof? Santa made in 1899 stylings by Mary Stevenson.
Another view of the estate. Note the miniature Nativity on the right - that IS what Christmas is all about, isn't it?.
Long-range view of Danforth House in the Stevensons' Bay window. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!