Carefully opening the Carroll County Farm Museum's display cabinet Thursday afternoon, tea room manager Laura Rogers showed off the variety of teddy bears on loan through June from the Miss Carroll's Doll Study Club.
The bears will be featured during three child-friendly Teddy Bear Teas at the farm museum next weekend.
"The kids are getting to have a grown-up experience," Rogers said. "Our teas are always fun. Everyone has a good time and they're very laid back."
Rogers explained a three-course tea will be served at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10. After tea, a costumed docent will lead participants on a guided tour of the museum's farmhouse. The tea menu is provided by the Gypsy's Tea Room in Westminster and Stonehouse Cakery and Cafe in Taneytown.
"The kids can also bring their own teddy bears and they will be served tea in smaller cups," Rogers said.
Rogers said the display includes teddy bears from the Teddy Roosevelt collection, the Ideal Toy Company and Germany's Steiff Toy Company. There is also an assortment of novelty, miniature, costumed, literary and artistic teddy bears.
Miss Carroll's Doll Study Club president Nicki Alban, of Hanover, Pa., said the exhibit features some of the first teddy bears ever made.
"The Teddy Roosevelt collection and some of the Steiff Company collection was made in pre-1905. It's quite a conglomeration of older bears," Alban said.
Alban said the club's members are always on the lookout for antique toys.
"We find them at shows, flea markets, antique dealers and even on eBay," Alban said. "For me, I'm not necessarily looking for toys in perfect condition. I like the idea that some child has loved it."
Alban hopes the display will be a success with all of the museum's visitors.
"There's something for everybody and there's all kinds of interesting details on the bears," Alban said. "I think the kids will be fascinated with the old toys. They're really cute."
Carroll County Farm Museum's curator Stefanie Strosnider said she is grateful for the loaned teddy bears.
"We encourage collectors to contact the museum if they'd like to loan us something," Strosnider said. "We're really trying to partner with community collectors to add variety to the museum and the visitors seem really interested in it."
If you go:
What: Child-friendly Teddy Bear Teas
When: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, April 9, and 2 p.m., Sunday, April 10.
Cost: $20 per person. Reservations are required by Friday, April 1. For more information, call 800-654-4645 and ask for the tea room manager.
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Where: Carroll Tearoom, Carroll County Farm Museum, Westminster