ST. LOUIS — The Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis has many mini homes. The doll houses are a variety. There is a variety of dollhouses, from large homes such as a haunted house, a mansion, and a galleria, to small scenes like shake shops and a “squeakeasy.”

“The Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis has been an ongoing institution since 1988,” said Meg Dietrich, Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the MMGS. “A small group banded together to get a museum in this area. That way, their own collections could be enjoyed by future generations.”

The small original miniaturist group grew into a larger organization. They continued to raise money, so they could buy a permanent place for their museum. 

They raised money through the 90s by hosting auctions, garage sales, and miniature shows. The funds were all saved to buy a future home.

“They discovered this building, which was a furniture store and vacant. The organization spent the entire year of 2000 renovating and cleaning,” said Dietrich. “They opened here in June 2001.”

Dietrich said that they paid off the building on time as well. Since all the workers were volunteers, they didn’t have to pay for labor. 

Dietrich said once they get a donation to the museum, the volunteer group will add light fixtures to the displays. 

“We also had a behind the scenes crew of spouses who were not minis, but were married to minis and wanted to encourage the museum,” Dietrich said. 

These behind the scenes helpers fixed up the displays on the second floor. The’ve also made little fixes, such as making fireplaces look like they’re lit when the display lights turn on. 

The upstairs floor was completed in 2014. 

The museum functions on donations. Monetary or exhibit donations are accepted.

Dietrich said that the exhibit donations might also be used to generate money.

“They might be broken down and the best parts put in the gift shop, the least best parts, um, put in for a garage sale,” said Dietrich. “But it all benefits the museum in some way. We have two annual garage sales. One in August and one in April.”

“Each individual creates according to financial background and according to what their home will accommodate,” Dietrich said.

She explained that they have some houses that are huge that would need a truck to move them. They also have smaller houses that are easier to transport. 

Their miniature scenes include a home kitchen, a child’s room, and a holiday scene, just to name a few.

“Two of the most recent ones are a five-story doll house that came from a member. It was delivered in three trips. Each floor was separate and could be added in afterwards,” Dietrich said. “Another one is a vintage oak cabinet that has 15 rooms in it.”

To visit the museum, check out their website miniaturemuseum.org. Their hours are Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.