Raggedy Ann Museum in Arcola, Illinois (Closed)

Yesterday I shared the sad news that the Raggedy Ann Museum in Arcola, Illinois would be closing its doors later this year. A couple of years ago I headed to Arcola on an Illinois road trip (where I also saw the Gays two-story outhouse and the World’s Largest Cross), unfortunately I didn’t have time to go through the museum, but I did take a look through the gift shop, see some Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, and peruse outside!

Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois
Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois

Raggedy Ann is a rag doll with red yarn hair made popular in a series of children’s books by John Barton Gruelle. She was created in 1915, in 1918 was introduced in a book titles “Raggedy Ann Stories” and in 1920 her brother, Raggedy Andy appeared in its sequel “Raggedy Andy Stories.” In 2002 Raggedy Ann was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. In 2007 Raggedy Andy was inducted too (and, I’m proud to say, I signed a petition that helped make that happen.)

Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois

Arcola, Illinois was the birthplace of the doll’s creator John Barton Gruelle, so it was fitting for Arcola Illinois tourism to memorialize him and his works.

Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois

The Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum officially opened in 1999 (just down the block from the hippie memorial). According to their website they are the only officially licensed Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in the world and their mission is to “preserve the life and times of the man who created the storybook characters, and to promote the inspiration, values, and spirit of imagination that has made them an American institution for so many years.”

Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois
Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois
Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois
Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois

Unfortunately, the museum closed in 2009. After closing, much of the collection was donated to the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. 

Today, the building serves as A Walk Through Time Museum, featuring a history of Raggedy Ann and Andy along with Vietnam War memorabilia; displays on Arcola’s rich history, industry, and sports, murals; and more.


Raggedy Ann Museum

Former Location: 110 East Main St., Arcola, IL 61910
Former Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 4:30pm, closed major holidays, closing for good at the end of 2009
Note: Museum Closed in 2009
Date: July 14, 2007


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Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum in Arcola, Illinois

VAL BROMANN

Founder & Head Road Tripper

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown up near Berwyn's famed car kabob, The Spindle, and a restaurant with a cow on its roof, her fascination with roadside attractions started early. Today, Val has visited hundreds roadside attractions across the United States and is constantly on the lookout for the next BIG thing!