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Elaine Annen Biography

Elaine was born in 1932 in Mount Angel, Oregon. She was the 6th child of 9 children. Elaine was the first female child. She went to school in Mount Angel through high school. When she graduated from high school she went to Business College in Salem. Before graduation from Business College she was asked to work for US Bank. She worked there until 1982. During her tenure at the bank, she was able to finish college. But that wasn’t her only job. Her family was one of the first hop growers in Mount Angel. In 1964 she became the Executive Secretary of the Oregon Hop Growers. She held that position until 1991. At an international Hop Convention in Hereford, England, she became the first American woman to be knighted into the Order of the Hop. Elaine still lives on the hop farm that her parents started.

Elaine’s first doll was given to her in 1968. A woman she was helping to move into a care facility gave her the doll. That doll is still in her private collection and has a prized spot. In 1982 when she retired from the bank, she joined a doll club and that was the beginning of adding to her doll collection.   The rest is history.

One doll that alluded her was the one doll she wanted the most. In 1904, her grandfather bought a doll for his first daughter (Elaine’s mother) while on a trip to Germany. The stipulation was that the doll would be handed down to the first grand daughter. That doll was a large 34″ Heinrich Handwerk bisque doll with composition body. Her mother’s sister was in possession of the doll and unpacked her every Christmas to be viewed. The doll was dressed in an old, too big, child’s dress and was not being preserved correctly. Finally, in 1997, after a review of genealogical family records, Elaine proved her claim. As the first grand daughter, she was to be given the doll. At the same time, the doll’s stringing deteriorated and the Aunt, who had the doll, willingly gave her to Elaine.

Throughout the years, many people have enjoyed her collection. People brought their children and grandchildren to view her dolls. Many more could enjoy this beautiful collection if she could establish a museum. The opportunity presented itself with the building of the Mount Angel Community Festhalle. It was the right time and the right venue to house her dolls. Elaine, who was born, educated, worked and lived her entire life in Mount Angel loaned her dolls to be displayed for the people of Mount Angel.