Duluth doll clothes-makers receive long-distance request from Girl Scout historianAs a child, Beverly Hansen Miner and her brother delivered copies of the Duluth Budgeteer News in their West End neighborhood, earning $1 a week for their services.
By: Tom Olsen, Duluth Budgeteer News
As a child, Beverly Hansen Miner and her brother delivered copies of the Duluth Budgeteer News in their West End neighborhood, earning $1 a week for their services.
Hansen Miner, a 1961 Denfeld High School graduate, moved to Bowling Green, Ohio, when she got married nearly 50 years ago, but she still has a subscription to the Budgeteer.*
She was thankful for that when she saw the cover photo of the July 3, 2011, issue. The picture featured a Duluth doll-accessory shop owner next to an 18-inch doll dressed in a Girl Scout uniform.
“I saw the article in the paper and I had wanted to have a doll uniform made from an old uniform,” said Hansen Miner, who volunteers as a historian for the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.
Hansen Miner asked the woman in the newspaper photo, Colleen “Coke” Sellon, to craft a retro doll uniform from an actual scout uniform that was used during the mid-20th century. After waiting a year and a half, the uniform was finally delivered to Hansen Miner last week.
“When it came in, I was absolutely delighted,” she said. “Everyone was so impressed.”
The doll will be included in a display featuring dolls from different eras of the Girl Scouts’ history at a museum at Hansen Miner’s local council. The exhibit, opening Sunday, coincides with Girl Scout Week, which runs March 10-16, and the 101st anniversary of the organization, which was celebrated on Tuesday.
Hansen Miner owns the doll, but she said she’s happy to loan it to the museum so others can see the uniform.
The exact date of the uniform is unknown, although Hansen Miner said it matches the style used from 1948-63. The uniform was at the council office, but was not suitable for display due to some holes and stains. So Hansen Miner purchased it from the council and delivered it to the Duluth shop when
she attended her 50th class reunion later that summer.
The owners of the Crafty Co-Op, formerly known as Dream Time, went to work on the uniform. Sellon, her partners Carol Timm and Mary Brutger, and Marion Green and Sharon Biskey, both of Duluth, were all involved in the effort.
The project was delayed due to health issues with two of the women, but Hansen Miner remained patient.
“They kept telling me it was going to take a little while longer,” she said. “And I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ve been waiting all these years, I can wait a little while longer.”
Hansen Miner said the uniform is special to her because it’s the same style she wore when she was in the scouts. She has remained active in the organization over the years as a scout leader, a trainer for leaders, and now as a historian and member of the Green Hat Society, an alumni group of former scouts and leaders.
Even after more than a year of work and some headaches over the complicated pattern, Sellon said it was all worth it in the end.
“We are all excited,” she said. “We just thought that with it going to the museum, it was pretty special.”
It was only after a strange turn of events that the picture of Sellon with the scout doll ended up on the front page of the 2011 Budgeteer issue in the first place.
“It was fate that did it, because we had a picture taken with my two dogs, and then one of them died,” said Sellon, whose service dog Cheyenne, a Chihuahua, stills comes to work with her and serves as the store mascot. “So we retook the picture and I wanted the Girl Scout in it, and that started the whole thing.”
The Crafty Co-Op has had numerous Girl Scout accessories since it opened. Besides the scout dolls displayed in the shop’s window in the Skywalk above Duluth Camera Exchange, the store also has Girl Scout cookies, as well as tiny cookie accessories for the dolls.
* The Budgeteer is delivered, free of charge, to every household in Duluth, Hermantown and Proctor. For those living out of town and interested in subscribing to the Budgeteer, please call (218)723-5265.