What, Barbie is a part of Sarasota history? Well, believe it or not… yup. And you’ll learn more at History Day in the Park!
You see, the second and last owner of the Keith Mansion was Mae Hansen Prodie. She bought the home and its land from Nettie Keith, Edson’s widow, in the late 1930s.
Mae was renowned for her success as a travelling toy salesperson, and she developed her won Marie Mae dolls and other branded lines of dolls for retailers like Woolworth’s. Marie Mae, Inc. was well known for making shoes and even rollerskates for dolls as well as some other accessories, so it is possible that the company did supply Mattel with some small items, but not the doll’s wardrobe, as Mae seemed to brag at times.
Edit 3-21-23 Unfortunately, our friend Marl has broken her arm! She will not be able to attend History Day in the Park. For History Day in the Park, we are thrilled to present to you the world-renowned expert on Barbie dolls, Marl Davidson of Marl & Be. She’ll have collections for you to enjoy and, at her discretion, discuss the value of any Barbies you bring with you. There will be accessories, equipment (did you know Barbie had a plane!?!), and Marl is the author of several reference books, so we’re guessing you’ll be able to buy them too.
Find them in the sunroom inside the Edson Keith Mansion at Phillippi Estate Park during History Day in the Park on Saturday March 25, 2023. Breaking news on HDIP’s Facebook page, so follow us there.