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The house that Lynn built

Part of the interior of Lynn Cotter's dollhouse.

Gary Elkinton photo
Part of the interior of Lynn Cotter's dollhouse.


Lynn Cotter has another residence in her bedroom, a dollhouse measuring 50 by 37 inches and weighing nearly 100 pounds that she had built over many years.

How many people can say they have a house in their bedroom?

Lynn Cotter of Pomona Meadows does. Her dollhouse measures 50 inches by 37 inches and weighs nearly 100 pounds.

Recently, with her husband Gary’s help, the miniature house made the move from Dufur to The Dalles.

Sure, there were some struggles to get the structure through the front door and maneuver the miniature abode into the spare bedroom, Lynn said, but in the end it was nice to have this work of 40 years close by.

Lynn said the dollhouse came into existence from her dream of building her own home. She took a basic architecture course to learn how to draw a house plan. Once the plan was on paper, she decided to make a scale model.

She had so much fun creating the model she kept on with details, decorations, and finally furnishings.

Lynn said the dollhouse became her hobby while her two boys were growing up.

Did the model become a “real” house? “No,” Lynn said, “The dollhouse doesn’t look like any house because when I realized how big it would have been in reality, I knew I couldn’t even afford the property taxes on it! So I designed a smaller, more practical solar house, which only made it as far as the basement and framing stage before I had some life changes.”

These life changes would eventually bring her husband Gary into her world.

Today the front of their home in Pomona Meadows has a miniature house, hotel, church and school that Lynn and Gary built while living in Dufur.


Lynn said when she first built the model house, it was enclosed.

Over the years, the walls were opened up for visitors to peer inside and for little ones to enjoy playtime. Today, a young couple live inside the dollhouse with their son, baby girl and a maid. Tiny furnishings fill up the interior. The three-story dollhouse has brought a lot of joy and memories to Lynn.

She said, “I still enjoy looking at it and remembering all the work that went into it. When I look into the rooms at eye level, I can imagine it as a real house.”


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