Little Girls Tea dishes out the royal treatment

Little Girls Tea dishes out the royal treatment

Image Credit: Lori Feeney

The Carriage House at the Reeves Museum was full of little girls in their princess-best on Saturday, Aug. 6 for the Once Upon a Time Little Girls Tea.

Girls with their favorite books to share and their grandmothers, mothers, sisters and aunts received the royal treatment: tea in fancy cups, a book-themed lunch, face painting, craft projects and other goodies.

The hostess of the event each year is the Fairy Grandmother, portrayed by Patty Feller, who happens to be a descendent of the Reeves family and a board member. Waving her fairy wand, Feller called each girl to the front of the room to share her favorite book.

Later Feller read two books to the girls while an assistant carried enlarged pages to each table for the girls to see up close. The second story, “How to Train Your Dragon,” made for a natural introduction for a surprise appearance by the Dover Library’s Big Louie, himself a dragon.

Three-year-old Rachael Lucken attended the event for the first time with her mother Becky. “She just loves it,” Becky Lucken said. “She’s our miracle baby. We tried for seven years to get her, and she was born at 32 weeks, so she was a little 3-pounder.”

Melanie Materna, accompanied by her grandmother Michele Barnowski, wore a gown like Elsa’s, the princess in the Disney movie “Frozen.” When asked what her favorite part of the tea was, Materna said, “I like the fancy food.”

Cecilia Mollett also came with her grandmother, Missy Thomas, dressed in a princess gown and carrying her favorite book, “My Granny’s Purse.” The book is shaped like a purse and holds die-cut pictures of Granny’s passport, rings, sunglasses and other items.

Cindy Peterman accompanied her 8-year-old granddaughter Scarlett to what has become an annual tradition in their family. “It’s usually her, myself and my daughter who attend, but her mom is playing the harp at a wedding and couldn’t attend today,” Peterman said. “She was probably 2 or 3 years old when we started coming. It’s just a really fun thing for us to do every year.”

About the tea and the cups

Betsy Humphrey, a longtime staff member at the museum, served the tea as she has done for many years. “We are serving Mrs. Evans’ Tea,” Humphrey said.

Mrs. Evans was the head housekeeper for the Reeves family, and the tea is her very own cherry-berry blend. It’s decaffeinated for the young girls.

“Little girls don’t get many opportunities to dress up anymore, so this is special,” Humphrey said.

The cups are from the museum’s collection and have been donated by various people over the years. “Using the nice tea cups is an opportunity for little girls to get dressed up and have fun with mom, grandma, aunt or whoever,” Shelagh Pruni said. “It’s also an opportunity to sit down to something formal, eat properly and practice good manners.”

Lunch was book-themed and provided by What’s Cooking Cafe of New Philadelphia. Food included a green eggs and ham treat, Dr. Seuss; a taco station, “Dragons Love Tacos;” and a peach tart, “James and the Giant Peach.” The girls also took home backpacks filled with party favors including snacks, a pinwheel and a book.

“We have a very generous donor who loved coming to this event with her granddaughter,” Pruni said. “Her name is Kathie Judkins, and she just loves putting the favors together each year. We certainly could not give out such a nice party favor if it weren’t for her generosity and thoughtfulness.”

To learn more about events at the Reeves Museum including the Victorian Ladies Tea in the spring, visit their Facebook page or call 330-343-7040.