As a high school senior, Pam Molleson was hooked the first time she visited Disneyland. She started collecting Disney mementos - historic pieces found in thrift stores, or new toys bought during her annual vacations to the Magic Kingdom.
After 15 years, Molleson's collection fills her bedroom. A portion of her collection is currently on display at the Roberts House at 1207 N. Carson St.
The 48-year-old Carson City woman, who is a teacher's aide at Seeliger Elementary School, said Saturday that her collection contains about 300 Mickey Mouse items and 100 general Disney pieces. Molleson broke her leg last week while taking out the garbage, which interrupted her from moving her entire collection into the museum.
"My favorite piece is a book that Walt Disney passed out to his investors the week before Disneyland first opened," she said. "I found it in a thrift store for free. I was getting books for my goddaughter, and the lady just tossed it in my bag and said it was free."
She's had many offers of up to $500 to buy the book, which features Cinderella's Castle on the front cover and is tucked into a plastic sleeve. Molleson contacted experts at Disneyland, and they told her to hang onto it. Apparently, the Disneyland Hotel only has one copy of it. Molleson's is on display at the Roberts House in the locked curio cabinet.
She recommends museum visitors look for a drawing from the 1940 Disney film "Fantasia." She obtained it from one of her son's friends, whose grandfather was a Disney animator.
"It shows Mickey with his hands up right before he is going to make the bubbles dance," Molleson said.
She also is proud of the $20 Disneyland Hotel matchbooks that she hunted a year to find.
"I guess they don't give them out anymore. I think those are from the late 70s."
Although her husband has offered to take her on exotic cruises, she only wants to go to Disneyland, where she has vacationed for the last 30 years.
"When you walk into Disneyland, you just kind of forget about everything else," said Molleson, who plans to pass her collection onto her three children, all of whom are in their 20s.
The Disney exhibit is small, but contains some interesting items, said Paula Cannon, who works there.
In front of the upstairs window on a red tablecloth are Mickey Mouse bobbleheads, paper and plastic Disneyland plates, a Mickey back scratcher, a child-size pinball machine and a Life magazine from the opening of Disneyworld on Oct. 15, 1971.
The collection also includes several wall clocks, stuffed animals and porcelain dolls.
The Disney exhibit will be at the Roberts House Museum until August. The tour is $3 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday to Sunday, or by special appointment.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.