RAGLAND, AL (WXTX) - Most of us remember the childhood fairy tale of "Alice in Wonderland," but in St. Clair County there's a real-life Alice with a real life collection of dolls.
She takes us on a trip back in time to see a collection that's Absolutely Alabama.
Welcome to Alice's Wonderland in Ragland. To say it's filled with dolls would be an understatement.
"I guess people come to the house and think they've seen it all but this is one of those, they come in here and it's like you haven't seen anything yet?" asked Raycom reporter Fred Hunter.
"They haven't, they are they are very amazed at how much is in this one house and they enjoy come in and see in what they had in their childhood or they what their children want for Christmas cause it's a wide variety from old to new," replied owner Alice Brown.
When you find yourself with so many dolls, you need an extra house to hold them all and she's got quite a collection going.
Alice says there are dolls in every room. Her collection even includes a few classic dolls.
"This is a Chatty Cathy Doll and she was poplar prob'ly in the early 1960s and I guess I don't know if she was the very first doll that actually talked or do something but she was one of the very first ones," Alice said. "You pulled a string and she would talk to you."
This Cathy's chatting days may be over but every doll here has a story, and so does Alice
"The place is Alice's Wonderland. It's a unique doll museum and I share it with people throughout the state," Alice said. "They can come by and drop by any time. They really need to call and make an appointment with me because I do work."
Caring for so many dolls seems like a full-time job, but for Alice it's a lifelong labor of love and a home for dolls who need one.
"I refurbish em. I bring em back to life, not to life but I bring em back to their former glory hopefully," Alice explains. ""They just bring em sometimes and say you know? And say these were my Mom's. We don't want em. Will you take em? We don't want em to get we don't want a take em to the thrift store. We want em to have a good home so I'll take em an out to the museum they go! This is the end result. Well not really the end result, it's still growing."
Alice's Wonderland of Dolls really is a place for the young at heart, says Alice, because you're always gone a find something that you recognize.
"Why not? But now I got a limit to what I buy. I mean I try to do like maybe Gone with the Wind dolls or a Holiday Barbies. I can't just buy everyone I see now but I'd like to," says Alice. "I was a I Love Lucy fan when I was little. When Lucy came on Alice was in front of the TV and I still love to watch the old re-runs of her. I was a big Lucy fan so I think that's why I gravitated to that doll."
"I could number them but it would take me quite a while to count em. I would say maybe 3,000, I don't know, I have no idea."
Alice's Wonderland is truly a life size doll house, but it's so much more. It's about memories and smiles and it's Absolutely Alabama.