Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mildred Wirt Benson Auction in Toledo, OH - Nancy Drew Memorabilia

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, an auction was held at Montrie Auctions to dispose of the estate of Margaret J. Wirt, known to many as Peggy Wirt. She was the daughter of the first "Carolyn Keene" a.k.a Mildred "Millie" Wirt Benson. Peggy passed away this past year, and items from the estate included many things from Millie.

Several members of my Nancy Drew Sleuths group joined me in Toledo for the auction. I was there also doing research on my book about Millie Benson which I have been researching for many years now. 

My goal in attending the auction was not to just add something to my extensive collection, but to preserve many of these items that I felt should be somewhere more important, to be archived and available to scholars and writers like myself. They are important to the history of this genre. There were scrapbooks, letters, photographs, flying memorabilia, many of her great awards, old furniture and household items. Her desk that she used at least as far back as the 1940s and possibly earlier, was auctioned too.

There were several typewriters including a vintage portable one. These were not the typewriters that she wrote her Nancy Drew books on (23 of the first 30 Nancy Drews) or other books that she wrote. One of these typewriters resides in a private collection and the other went to the Smithsonian Institution. But they were certainly typewriters that she and possibly her husbands would have used.

Our group had given Millie a Scrapbook a few months before she passed away that members had sent in cards and letters thanking her for writing the books they loved so dearly. I put it together and mailed it off to Millie. They also had our "Honorary Sleuth" award which we had given her. Thanks to fellow members and some donations, I was able to get back our scrapbook and the award, which were really, personal to our group and to Millie and should reside in our group archives until these items go somewhere permanent to be archived in the future. We even made our own paddles for the auction.

If you were someone who bid on and won an item in the auction, arrangements should be made at some point down the road, to have these items donated to an institution where they can be properly preserved for history. Two such places include the University of Iowa Women's Archives, Millie's Alma Mater, where her archives reside. Another is the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and their Blade Rare Books Room which has every book that Millie wrote and an original Russell H. Tandy painting for a Nancy Drew book that Millie ghosted, The Secret at Shadow Ranch. If you'd like more info on these places, feel free to check out the links in this Blog or contact me. E-mail:

Here are some images from the auction - the first three photos are credited to Jetta Fraser/The Toledo Blade.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Nancy Drew Book Hunting Adventure at Drew-O-Ween

Fall 2013 Book Hunting in AZ

At our recent Drew-O-Ween, we spent part of a day book hunting around the Phoenix/Mesa, AZ area and I captured some pictures from our book store visits. The above picture is my finds for the day--upgrades and a Brownie Scout book I didn't have, plus 2 1sts of Crossword Cipher, which is not easy to find. I lucked out! One store even had my Clues for Real Life: The Classic Wit & Wisdom of Nancy Drew book. Check out what we had to choose from:


Friday, November 01, 2013

Papercutz Show us how you Drew Contest - Winners

Here's how they Drew! 

Winners for the Papercutz Show us How You Drew contest:

Jess - Bag

Briana - Poster

Rebecca - Decal

Faye - Promo booklet

Send me your addresses to:


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nancy Drew Ghost of Blackwood Hall Halloween Party

Nancy Drew
Blackwood Hall 
Halloween Party 

I selected the spooky Nancy Drew classic book, The Ghost of Blackwood Hall, #25 in the series as this year's Halloween party theme. This year was my 5th annual Nancy Drew Halloween Party and I set out to recreate a little bit of Blackwood Hall as the setting. 12 of us gathered at the house for an evening of spooks and treats with a ghostly theme. We dined on an old favorite, Parmesan chicken, penne Alfredo, salad with all the trimmings, rolls, chips and dips and salsa, peanut butter chocolate cream cheese ball with cookies and crackers, and for dessert: rice krispie treat cupcakes, popcorn balls, pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate, and Reese's peanut butter cookie cups. Sleuth Pam from Canada also brought us some delicious chocolates from Canada and Maple Sugar candies! Bess would have been in Heaven--except for the luminous green "poison" punch! Yum!

We played a quicksand trivia game for prizes, Pam also brought a nifty crossword puzzle based on the book, and we held our annual treat bag gift exchange. We also took photos with photo booth props and glowing glasses--the ones on the porch without the flash have a very ghostly effect! The porch was the hidden elevator in Blackwood Hall complete with green glowing specter and to the side was the secret room that opened off the elevator that had the skeleton, magic props, mannequin, and scary looking cat. The front window silhouette was a take on the second cover art shown above with Nancy standing apart from Bess (who says "Eeek!") and George with the flashlight. The house was decorated with ghosts, pumpkins lit the walkway and hung from the trees with lights inside, and 2 large scarecrows guarded the entry to the porch with crows perched on their arms. Inside the back of the elevator was a jar of green "poison" just like was left with Nancy in the elevator by the villainous Brex Brothers! I passed out goody bags to everyone with treats and Blackwood Hall buttons.

Before the party, we had some events as part of the Drew-O-Ween this year with a meet and greet dinner on Thursday and Friday book hunting and visit to Schnepf Farms for the Pumpkin & Chili Party and spooky corn maze. Was lots of fun to those who attended this year's first annual Drew-O-Ween. The Blackwood Hall party was the grand finale. Here's photos from the party:

 Margaret Judson, villain from Scarlet Slipper joined us!

Snickers the Beagle tries to charm villain Margaret Judson!