The Moffat Museum by Eleanor Estes (1983)

The Moffat Museum by Eleanor Estes

For fans of the Moffats series, The Moffat Museum (1983) by Eleanor Estes is an extra-special treat, since this fourth (and last) installment in the series was published more than forty years after the first book (The Moffats) appeared in 1941.

The four Moffat children were raised in the small (fictional) Connecticut town of Cranbury by their single mother in the early 1900s. In this story, they decide to start a museum  to preserve the memories and objects belonging to their childhood, now that they are growing up.


From the  1983 Harcourt Children’s Books edition of The Moffat Museum by Eleanor Estes: More than forty years ago the Moffat family of Cranbury, Connecticut, appeared on the literary scene. At once children and many of their elders took each and every member of this family to their hearts — Sylvie, Joey, Jane, Rufus, and of course, Mama.

Their day-to-day adventures — their hopes, their joys, their dreams, their struggles to make ends meet, and their triumphs — recorded with delightful humor in The Moffats, The Middle Moffat, and Rufus M., have become part of the heritage of childhood, loved not only in American but all over the world.

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The moffats 60th anniversary edition

See also: The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

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Now the Moffats are back! This time Jane and Joey and Rufus are busily engaged in carrying out Jane’s idea of establishing a museum. It’s the first and so far the only museum in the town of Cranberry. When it opens, it is an immediate success, for it becomes one of the stops on Mr. Pennypepper’s annual tour of the important places in town.

In this latest chronicle of the Moffats, there are many memorable scenes. Who could forget Rufus, the waxworks boy; Jane’s extraordinary journey on “the sigh-fifteen”; or the happy surprise at Sylvie’s wedding?

Humor, joy, pathos, love, and a zest for life are in this book, but above all, Eleanor Estes writes of the past era with a clear, true vision of childhood.

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The Moffat Museum by Eleanor Estes

The Moffat Museum on Amazon

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How it begins —Chapter 1: A Special Museum

The Moffats should have a museum! Suddently this idea popped into Jane’s head as she was sitting alone on the back stoop of the little gray house at 12 Ashbellows Place in Cranbury, where the Moffats lived.

It was a very hot day in June. Jane cupped her chin in her hands She hadn’t been thinking of anything in particular, just dreaming, just listening to the buzzing of the bees in the honeysuckle that spread along the fence of the house next door. This part of the fence was very close to a barn in the Moffats’ backyard, and some honeysuckle had climbed up onto the roof of the barn.

Absentmindedly, Jane scrutinized the barn … weatherbeaten, wide open at the front. The doors had been taken off years ago and were propped against the barn on the honeysuckle side.

Therefore, you could always see inside, though there wasn’t much to see. The main thing was an ancient sleigh, an old-fashioned sleigh, not very large. It was already in the barn when the Moffats moved here from New Dollar Street.

Jane began to think about the sleigh. Really, a sleigh like this should be in a museum.

It was then that the idea of the Moffats having a museum popped into her head. A museum in the barn! A special museum, a collection of things that had been important to one, some, or all of the Moffats. THE MOFFAT MUSEUM!

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Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes

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Quotes from Eleanor Estes’ Children’s Books

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