Walterboro Has a Treasure in The Hampton House
From The Community Times Dispatch, August 30, 2007
Derrell J. Chandler, Staff Writer
A Bed & Breakfast with An “in house” Doll Museum
Entrepreneurs and collectors Diane Forde and her husband Henry Ruthinoski came to Walterboro via Florida and opened their business in January 2006. Asked why a B&B, Diane stated that it was a wonderful way for she and her husband to share in a project together.Henry is a retired dock builder and Diane has long been an artist, collector and entrepreneur. She has dressed windows for major department stores in New York, owned an art gallery where she sold both her and other artist’s work before starting this venture.Each bedroom at The Hampton House is graced with a queen size bed and the two smaller rooms share a balcony, however each has its on bathroom. The larger suite has a private balcony in addition to the other amenities. Registered guests can enjoy the onsite pool and tennis court, take a leisurely browse through the doll exhibit or just sit in the garden and muse.The Forde Doll and Doll House Collection began with the dream of preserving, displaying and exhibiting in a museum like atmosphere, a collection of antique and contemporary doll paraphernalia. The collection includes international dolls, doll houses, toy kitchens, and a delightful variety of room boxes, antique dolls and paper dolls too. Diane wanted to share a bit of history with the public through these aesthetic, childhood toys.The Collection contains many toys, dolls, and miniatures that have survived many decades and generations of child play. There are examples from all over the world. Countries included are Germany, France, The United States, Japan, Jamaica, The Netherlands to name a few.
The paper doll collection dates from the1880’s through the 1960’s. The Collection has both male and female paper dolls, including Betty Gamble and Esther Williams. Also on display are large scale doll furniture as well as salesman’s samples.To view the exhibit or make reservations call 843-542-9498. Ms. Forde will give tours of the exhibit by appointment to the general public. The two smaller bedrooms at Hampton House cost $115.00 per night and the largest suite is $125.00.The Hampton House also offers afternoon tea parties at $22.50 per person which includes a tour of the collection, The Hampton House Bed and Breakfast and its gardens. Located approximately an hour or so from Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head and Santee State Park, The Hampton House Bed and Breakfast offers an ideal location from which to tour the Lowcountry.It is about 4 miles from exits 53 and 57 on I-95 and walking distance from downtown Walterboro’s antique shops, bookstore, restaurants, Great Swamp Sanctuary, Slave Relic Museum, Artisan’s Center, Library and Museum. The Hampton House Bed and Breakfast also sits next door to the Walterboro’s Colleton Center which hosts a variety of entertainment throughout the year.