The Tooth Fairy Museum, Deerfield, IL


The Tooth Fairy Museum (now defunct)  was located in the split-level ranch home on 1129 Cherry Street in suburban Deerfield, Illinois.

Created in 1993, the non-profit Tooth Fairy Museum was operated by Dr. Rosemary S. Wells, a former professor at the Northwestern University Dental School. She was considered be the world’s tooth fairy expert.

The museum portion of her home contained more than 100 tooth fairy dolls, about 700 drawings by kids, books, pillows, paintings, sculptures and boxes designed to hold baby teeth.

Local elementary schools often planed field trips to her Tooth Fairy Museum. During the 60- to 90-minute tour, Dr. Wells showed off her magical collection, ran a film about the Tooth Fairy, sang songs, and discussed the ritual of exchanging a tooth for a gift, usually money.

Upon her death on May 18, 2000 at the age of 69 at the Whitehall North Nursing Home, her husband sold all of her memorabilia which represented tooth fairies from many different ethnic groups and cultures

Besides her love of Tooth Fairies, Wells also performed as the principal violinist for the Evanston Symphony Orchestra,

Note: Some early examples of Tooth Fairy stories include:

“The Tooth Fairy,” a three-act playlet for children by Esther Watkins Arnold published in 1927.

“The Tooth Fairy” by Lee Rothgow published in 1949 (considered the first written reference to the Tooth Fairy in American literature)

One of earliest stories about Tooth Fairies was depicted in an 18th-century French fairy tale “La Bonne Petite Souris,” where upon a mouse changes into a fairy to help a good queen defeat an evil king by hiding under his pillow to torment him and knocking out all his teeth.

The Tooth Fairy Museum (now closed)
Dr. Rosemary S. Wells, Curator
1129 Cherry Street 60015
Deerfield, IL

Tooth Fairy Game (Website)
Tooth Traditions around the World (Website)
The Original Tooth Fairy Poll (Website)


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Thomasville, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Museums, Private Residences

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