300 stuffed animals part of Medina Historical Society’s holiday display

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 November 2021 at 7:00 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Georgia Thomas, a member of Medina Historical Society, is dressed in her reindeer costume as she fills the Historical Society with nearly 300 of her stuffed animals. They will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 27 to celebrate Christmas in Medina.

MEDINA – Georgia Thomas would be the first to admit she’s just a kid at heart.

As proof, she recently dressed up in a reindeer costume to show off most of her collection of nearly 300 stuffed animals which she has set up throughout the Medina Historical Society, for viewing on Nov. 27.

“People often think of museums as ‘stuffy,’ but I want everyone, especially children to know we are not stuffy, we are ‘stuffed.’” Thomas said.

The museum will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Christmas in Medina celebration on Nov. 27.

It’s the moose’s time to dine at the Medina Historical Society. Each room is filled with Georgia Thomas’ collection of stuffed animals.

Thomas’ collection includes everything kind of stuffed animal, including Teddy bears, Nemo, unicorns, Clifford the Dog, moose, Disney characters and superheroes.

Every spare inch of the museum’s entry way, three exhibit rooms, dining room, kitchen and back entry are outfitted for Christmas.

As visitors walk in the front door, they are greeted by an animated moose, a stairway full of small stuffed animals and a chair draped with a Santa suit, originally worn by Medina’s Santa and made by Elizabeth Babcock of Albion. Babcock is famous for making the Santa suits for the late Charles Howard, founder of the world’s only Santa Claus School.

In the parlor, stuffed animals are nestled among all the artifacts and a porcelain doll with a mink cloak Thomas got in Canada sits on the mantle over the fireplace. Next to it are two dolls made by Medina’s Elizabeth Cooper.

This room at the Medina Historical Society is filled with a variety of stuffed animals, some of nearly 300 belonging to Georgia Thomas.

On a display case in the military room sits a row of action figures and superheroes.

The dining room table is enchanted with a stuffed moose in every chair.

Thomas said she has liked stuffed animals since she was a child and had Teddy bears.

“I started collecting stuffed animals when I was living in Maryland in the 1980s and taught sign language,” she said. “Stuffed animals help children learn sign language faster. Then my friends started giving me stuffed animals, and it just snowballed.”

Three Nemos are positioned throughout the house, and children will be given a piece of paper on which they can write the rooms in which they find all three Nemos. The family of the winner chosen will receive a year’s free membership to the Medina Historical Society and Museum.

This is the second time Thomas has filled the Historical Society with her stuffed animals for Christmas. The first time was in 2019, and last year they didn’t open because of Covid.

Georgia Thomas stands next to a case holding her collection of action figures and superheroes at the Medina Historical Society.