Nadine Earles was not yet five years old when she died in 1933. It was December, and all she wanted for Christmas was a doll house, a wish her father was busy working to fulfill for her. She died on the 18th, one week before the day. Her parents still made sure that her wish was granted, even if it was to be in the afterlife.
At the Oakwood Cemetery in Lanett, Alabama, that doll house (now made of brick, to ensure its longevity), stands among the gravestones, completed and moved to the family plot to keep “Little Nadine” company. The small brick bungalow has all the makings of a real house, with a front porch, striped awnings, a mailbox, flower boxes in the summer, and an evergreen wreath and Christmas lights in winter.
After the house was installed, parents Julian and Alma filled it with a collection of dolls, toys, a baby buggy, a high chair, all to be kept neat and tidy for Nadine. (Note: what might appear to be a bed is in fact her gravestone.)
For years after her death, Julian and Alma handled the upkeep and stocking of toys. Eventually they passed away, and are now buried in the same plot alongside the little house. The city has since taken over upkeep of the dollhouse. To this day, it’s manicured, cleaned, and tended, with the array of dolls and toys updated as they were when Nadine’s parents tended it.
Know Before You Go
Lanett is on the Chattahoochee River in east Alabama, on the Georgia border. Oakwood Cemetery is west of downtown. The dollhouse grave is right at the gate between 14th and 15th Avenues.