Yesterday I shared the sad news that the Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum would be closing later this year. A couple of years ago I headed to Arcola, unfortunately I didn’t have time to go through the museum, but I did take a look through the gift shop and outside!
Raggedy Ann is a rag doll with red yarn hair made popular in a series of children’s books by John Barton Gruelle. She was created in 1915, in 1918 was introduced in a book titles “Raggedy Ann Stories” and in 1920 her brother, Raggedy Andy appeared in its sequel “Raggedy Andy Stories.” In 2002 Raggedy Ann was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. In 2007 Raggedy Andy was inducted too (and, I’m proud to say, I signed a petition that helped make that happen.)
Arcola, Illinois was the birthplace of John Barton Gruelle, so it was fitting for the town to memorialize him and his works.
The Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum officially opened in 1999. According to their website they are the only officially licensed Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in the world and their mission is to “preserve the life and times of the man who created the storybook characters, and to promote the inspiration, values, and spirit of imagination that has made them an American institution for so many years.”
Unfortunately, 2009 will be the last year the museum will be located in Arcola, Illinois.
Site: Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum
Location: 110 East Main St., Arcola, IL 61910
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 4:30pm, closed major holidays, closing for good at the end of 2009
Date: July 14, 2007