For any large toy collection you have seen, you have got nothing on Sherry Groom, founder of the Troll Hole Museum, a charming little place dedicated entirely to troll dolls and their many iterations. Calling Alliance, Ohio, home, the Troll Hole is a cool destination for toy lovers and anyone with a curious spirit who welcomes the weird and wacky.
The Troll Hole Museum houses more than 8,000 dolls – a number that jumps to 20,000 when you count duplicates. Spanning two adjacent buildings, the Troll Hole has been delighting visitors since 2014.
Groom has been collecting the adorably quirky dolls since she was five years old. Her inventory earned her a place in the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records for “The Largest Troll Collection.” Groom’s collection was last cataloged in 2018 – a process that took more than six months of photography and record-keeping.
Many of the trolls are donated by people who once loved them and want them to have a good home. It is not uncommon for members of the community to come together to support Groom’s artistic endeavors. Sitting on the board of Arts in Stark, a non-profit art foundation, Sherry Groom has seen Alliance’s artistic scene grow with each new mural or piece of public art that pops up.
The Troll Hole Museum does not discriminate against other troll-like dolls, like Moomin, a Finnish-designed, hippo-esque doll. Groom happily houses rarities like the three-headed-troll, as well as knockoffs, with pieces ranging from a few cents to hundreds of dollars in value.
Trolls had their big moment in the ’90s, but they were invented back in 1959 by Danish woodcutter and fisherman Thomas Dam. Today, troll dolls boast a position as the second best-selling toy next to Barbie. With their colorful hair and rounded bodies, it is not surprising that trolls have made their way into people’s hearts.