19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Abandon Doll Store in Oldenburg, Indiana

Once Upon A Doll 2020, The eve of All Hallows: My husband and I were exploring the Village of Oldenburg in Franklin County, Indiana, one of the oldest communities in the state, when we discovered an abandoned, decaying old shop looming forgotten at the end of an alley. Once upon a time, a very long time ago, it must have been a doll repair and sales store, for it was littered with broken doll parts, clothing, fixtures, and stuff toys. As I peered through the grimy cracked windows, staring in morbid fascination at the doll carcasses and stuffing guts, a single, unexpected tear rolled from my eye. My heart clenched as memories of the many special dolls and toys from my childhood flooded my memories. My first friends. My protectors from things that go bump in the night. The holders of my deepest secrets and most wrenching tears. A few of those dolls still sit sanctuary in my current home, others have been gifted and shared, but too many of my “friends” have become collateral damaged as I grew up and away from silly, childish dreams. Oh, what stories these broken toys could tell – the many histories, adventures, dreams, and promises – only to end up discarded and forgotten. And then, that single tear rolling down my cheek was joined by many others.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Oldenburg, Indiana, United States of America
Camera: moto z4
Copyright: © Tamara Bingham