A piece of history for one Beaufort family at St. Peter Catholic Church will be auctioned off to benefit some of the children who attend the church's school.
The silent auction will be held Friday as part of a gala to kick off the 11th annual Beaufort Homes for the Holiday Tour event that takes place Saturday and Sunday. The gala and home tour will help raise money for the St. Peter Catholic School Endowment Fund.
A handcrafted dollhouse built by Father Albert Faase in 1971 is the centerpiece of the silent auction.
The two-story dollhouse is divided into several rooms on the first floor and has two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor. It comes fully decorated and furnished.
Adelaide Fletcher donated the dollhouse to the auction as a way to give back to the community. According to the story behind the dollhouse, Fletcher had mentioned to Faase she had seen a dollhouse she wanted for her then 5-year-old daughter Suzanne. Faase built the dollhouse based on a picture. Fletcher then spent the next few years filling it with furnishings and details with her daughter.
"My daughter loved it," Fletcher said. "You know you outgrow everything."
Fletcher's daughter had sons and with no other young ladies in the family, Fletcher decided to pass it on to another family with the hope another young child will enjoy it.
Paula Lowe and her granddaughter Emma Burton, who attends St. Peter Catholic School, helped to refurbish the dollhouse, which had been stored in Fletcher's garage for decades. Lowe spent the summer repairing the piece, adding updated wallpaper, rugs, curtains and more.
"Paula did a beautiful job," Fletcher said. "It's prettier now than it was when I had it because ours was a dollhouse in action."
Money from the auction will go toward the endowment fund, which helps with financial assistance for children at the Catholic school. About 40 percent of the students receive some help, according to Elizabeth Dardes, co-chair of the gala with Mary Cunningham.
Faase served as pastor to St. Peter's from 1942-1944 and through most of the 1970s. He served at a few other South Carolina churches during his tenure. When he retired, he purchased a home in Beaufort and served as pastor emeritus at St. Peter's until he passed away.
"He just loved the people in Beaufort," Fletcher said. "He was a wonderful priest."