The core of the collection comes from "Gracebear," a Steiff enthusiast who continues collecting to this day. Gracebear has shared this collection with her daughter and son-in-law, Nan and Steve, who are the founders of The Den. Gracebear's other collections rotate throughout the museum as temporary exhibits, including Madame Alexander dolls, Barbie dolls, Schuco toys and bears, and hand-carved wooden toys.
On Loan from the collection of the late Mary Couke is the exquisite and rare 1904 Rod Bear, considered by many as "The Holy Grail" of Steiff Collectors. This bear features an early design attempt at movable joints through three metal rods in the body - horizontal ones for legs and arms, and a vertical one for the head.
The museum exists in a very special space - a marvelous 1860 farmhouse, in which houses seven generations of "The Basten" family. The museum experience is enhanced by this context - the old wall paper, the slopping floors, the secret passage ways, the antique door knobs, the original shutters, and the stone wall of "the keeping room."
There are many, many more toys in the collection than there is room to show at any given time, so the displays and exhibitions change regularly. We hope you come back often to see what's new. If you miss an exhibit, digital tours are available to museum visitors.