This article will tell you everything you want to know about Blanchard House Museum, including the history of the place.
The Blanchard House Museum in North Port, Florida was built in the early 1900’s as a small home for Nicholas Godejohn and his wife Dee DeBlanchard. They had no children and were childless until Dee gave birth to Nicholas’s adopted daughter Rosewood in 1912. It was not until after Rosewood died in 1919 at the age of three that Dee became suspicious about her husband’s behavior. She later found out that he had been keeping another woman in their home and had been sexually molesting her. This was a real life case of Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy (MSBP) where a parent with a mental illness creates or exaggerates symptoms in their child. Nicholas had already been in trouble before this and was previously convicted of larceny and served time in prison. He was convicted again for this incident and sent to prison. Dee filed for divorce but she was convinced that Nicholas would never be jailed again and could come home to take care of their child. However, in 1927, Nicholas murdered Dee and their only child Rosewood in their home by beating her to death. He then proceeded to set the house on fire.
The Blanchard House Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the largest collection of dollhouse furniture in the world. Since its opening in 1987, thousands of visitors have come to see the dolls that were crafted by Nicholas Godejohn. The Blanchard House Museum was inspired by his mother’s childhood home, where she played with her dolls. The dollhouse furniture was donated to the museum by dee dee blanchard, the widow of Nicholas Godejohn. The collection includes dolls from around the world and from many different periods in history. The dolls are displayed alongside furniture and other items made from wood, leather, stone, and ivory. The museum features several rooms, including a doll’s bedroom, a doll’s kitchen, a doll’s dining room, a doll’s living room, and a doll’s bathroom. All the dolls are posed and dressed in their original outfits. They are not interactive with visitors, and they cannot be moved.
On October 14, 1888, nine-year old Nicholas Blanchard died from injuries sustained in a fire in his home. His body was found in the attic. The fire had started in the children’s bedroom and spread to other rooms of the house. Nicholas’ mother, Rosemary, blamed herself for his death. She committed suicide by hanging a few days later. The house was left abandoned until 1912 when it became a private residence. It remained there until 2007 when it was purchased by a developer who planned to turn it into a retirement home. However, the plans were changed when the developer learned that the home was built on an Indian burial ground. Local Native American activists objected and the state of Florida stepped in to acquire the land and prevent the mansion’s demolition. The mansion was restored and now it is used as a historic museum.