John Dulude has made several dollhouses over the years, donating many of them to various organizations. This nine-room colonial will be raffled to benefit the scholarship fund of Webber-Lefebvre American Legion Post 74, which provides a scholarship annually to a Kennebunk High School graduate. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNK – John Dulude built dollhouses for his daughters years ago. Then, 20-plus years later, he took the hobby up again after retiring from the insurance business he owned.

He recently competed a nine-room colonial complete with wraparound porch and gazebo, which will be raffled by the Webber- Lefebvre Post American Legion 74 in Kennebunk, of which he is a member. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the scholarship fund – the Legion Post provides a scholarship for a graduating Kennebunk High school senior each year.

Dulude builds the homes from kits, favoring those from the Vermont Toy Company and a New Hampshire manufacturer, but goes much further – meticulously installing features like hardwood floors plank by plank, other flooring materials, wallpaper, and even the doors that separate each room.

“I made all the stairs in the staircase,” he said on a recent day. He installed the shingles one by one, row by row – shingling two rows before pausing and waiting for the glue and paint to dry, then adding two more rows, and so on. The wallpaper was a bit tricky, until he got the hang of using wallpaper paste, he said, and the result is a smooth surface, just as it is supposed to be.

The interior of the nine-room colonial dollhouse built by John Dulude, a Wells resident and member of the Webber-Lefebvre Post 74 in Kennebunk. Dulude has donated the dollhouse, which the Legion will raffle off to benefit its scholarship fund. Tammy Wells photo

The dollhouse sports six-over-six windows, and an oval glass in the front door.

It is the third one he has made and donated to the Legion. He estimated it took him three months to build, off and on.

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Member Bob De Clercq said the Legion Post will raffle 150 tickets, at $10 each. Tickets are available from him, at [email protected], or 781-264-5178 or from John Gouveia at [email protected] or 516-236-9244.

“John has been extremely generous in giving us these dollhouses,” said De Clercq. He noted the dollhouse is 40 inches wide by 30 inches high and 25 inches deep.

“This dollhouse is ready to be furnished and will provide many hours of fun and amusement for a child or grandchild,” said De Clercq. “The drawing for the winner of the dollhouse will be held on Dec. 7, in plenty of time for holiday giving.”

Dulude has made gifts of dollhouses to benefit other causes and organizations, donating houses to St. David’s Church and to an Ogunquit inn that used it as a raffle item to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Dulude, 84, said making dollhouses keeps him busy, and he is currently working on another – a castle, that will benefit St. David’s Church. He estimates he has made 20 dollhouses.

The castle, he said, is seven feet high. “I’m building it in two parts so I can get it out of the cellar.”

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