The Museum of Childhood originally opened in 1964 as Merritts Early Americana Museum. Its purpose then was to house Mary and Robert Merritts vast collection of remembrances of bygone eras. The collection has evolved over the years and in addition, contains a diverse assortment of 19th and 20th Century collectibles. Two full size 19th century rooms are featured, furnished with period furniture and artifacts. A Victorian garden, resplendent with a large cast iron fountain and period iron fur niture, has been recreated as part of our display area. A second fantasy garden is inhabited by a collection of gnomes who originally immigrated from Europe in the 1930s. Numerous cases house a fine collection of china, glassware, pottery, pewter, toys, games and other items from our nations early years. These artifacts reflect the interests and needs of our American ancestors, and give us a picture of their everyday lives and recreation.