Her Father Built the Doll House His Daughter Wanted as Her Grave
Little Nadine Earles was only four years old in 1933. Christmas was coming in just a week and she told her young mother and father that all she wanted for Christmas was a doll house.
Unfortunately the young child, of Lanett, Alabama, died of Diphtheria on December 18 that year; but her 24 year old father had promised his precious little girl that she would have a dollhouse, and Julian Earles was not about to break his promise. It took him almost a year and a half to finish the job but he eventually constructed a child sized permanent brick house to contain not only Nadine's tricycle, baby buggy, and high chair, but her crypt as well.
If you look to the right side of this photo which was taken through a window of the locked little room, you'll see what looks like a bed with a doll in a blue and white crocheted dress sitting on it. This is actually Nadine's burial spot and headstone.
Nadine would be their only child. Nadine's parents are both deceased now. Julian died in 1976 and her mother Alma passed away in 1981. They kept up the little brick doll house during their life as a tribute to their little girl and added an item or two over the years. They are buried just a few inches from the structure that houses their daughter. The city of Lanett has taken over the upkeep of the site.
Many people visit the gravesite and leave toys, flowers and even snacks. There is a small mailbox that you can see in the main photo above that is usually stuffed with notes to Nadine and sometime even money.
Lanett, Alabama is near the Georgia-Alabama line on the Chattahoochee River. My friend Lamont was nice enough to video a tour of the gravesite and the "Dollhouse Grave". It's a very interesting and a wonderful story about a father who insisted on keeping his promise to his little girl. If you have five minutes to watch this video--it just might make your day.