Look inside the home of this 95-year-old LSU fan and discover a lifetime of unique collections
Photos by Ben Hillyer
NATCHEZ — On the right side of the intersection at North Meadow and Temple roads sits an otherwise plain house, except for the LSU decal on the mailbox.
Inside lives Dotty Stubbs, 95, and what could be described as a treasure trove of gems — her 14 large collections, including an array of dolls and LSU memorabilia, among others.
“I am a collector,” Stubbs said. “That’s my motto. I am not a pack rat.”
Upon entering her house, visitors are immediately taken by her collections, including dried moss dolls and several crosses, including a miniature of the Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Christ the Redeemer statue, all placed on a brown stand in the front entryway.
To the left, in the first living room, sits an arrangement of dolls, some made by prisoners and some that are Mardi Gras-themed.
“I have Mardi Gras dolls like you wouldn’t believe,” Stubbs said.
But the heart of Stubbs’ collection sits in a little crib in the left-hand corner of the room.
“It all started right there,” Stubbs said. “In that crib with that Bye-Lo Baby. When I was a small child, it was the first of my dolls. I just haven’t stopped.”
The Bye-Lo Baby Stubbs owns is an original, which she said she believes is worth approximately $500.
Stubbs said Bye-Lo Babies were among the first dolls to be sculpted to look like actual babies. Since it was made to be life-like and it is near and dear to her heart, the doll sits in a crib that is also close to her, Stubbs said.
The crib the Bye-Lo Baby lies in was used by her dad, her uncle and two aunts when they were babies.
“The Bye-Lo Baby and crib are priceless,” Stubbs said.
In the opposite living room is where Stubbs’ LSU memorabilia is displayed.
Stubbs describes herself as an “insufferable” Tiger fan.
Stubbs said she has met former LSU coach Les Miles and even had a personal meeting with Mike the Tiger.
Upon entering the LSU area of her collection, Stubbs’ love of the purple and gold is apparent.
“I know, I have tigers everywhere,” Stubbs said.
An LSU-themed totem pole is included along with multiple LSU Tiger banners and even a football signed by former LSU great Billy Cannon.
For the first 60 years of Stubbs’ life, she lived in Baton Rouge. Plus, she went to LSU, which is where her obsession for all things LSU started and continues today because whenever she sees something with a tiger, she buys it. Even her children send her LSU items once in a while.
“They indulge me,” Stubbs said.
Stubbs’ two living rooms are not the only rooms in her house that are jam-packed with collectibles.
At the end of a hallway in her house is a room devoted to her doll collection.
“It’s hard to go anywhere (in the house),” Stubbs said.
A Winnie the Pooh is part of her collection along with a Yogi the Bear and multiple Beanie Baby teddy bears, multiple figurines of angels and Santa Claus, but the collection is highlighted by an LSU gnome.
In the middle of the room sits a table that is covered by dolls of famous opera singers, toy dinosaurs, He-Man action figures, and in the middle of the table, in a glass vase, is an antique doll from China.
The other components of Stubbs’ collection are her photos — she is a photographer — 500 sets of wise men kings and Pinocchio books in different languages, Walter Anderson paintings and snowmen.
Although Stubbs has treasures galore, she cannot pinpoint which collectibles she likes most.
“I couldn’t say,” Stubbs said. “There are too many.”
Stubbs, however, does know she is done adding to her collection and she said she hopes her collections will find good homes one day.
“I have about had it,” Stubbs said. “What else is there to collect? I would love to find them a home.”