Mavis Dwelley Snyder is the great granddaughter of John Willard Dwelley who came from Crawford about the time of the Civil War to assume ownership and responsibility for the saw and grist mills at the foot of Pleasant Lake. This family’s presence here was so strong, that the lake was called Dwelley’s Lake for a number of years.

Mavis painted and sketched as a teen and learned ceramics from her mother, Viola (White) Dwelley. She was introduced to porcelain dolls with her mother-in-law while visiting in Michigan. She taught a series of reproduction doll classes in the 1980s. About 1990 Mavis created Tudi Lynn (below) , her first original based on a picture of her daughter Carol. Her work became known far and wide and was recognized in various publications including Dolls, Doll Crafter, Doll Reader and Contemporary Dolls. For a number of years Mavis was in the doll business with her mother helping with molding and neighbors Theo McDonough and Dana Dwelley sewing.

After Tudi Lynn, Mavis created a number of dolls in runs of between 50 and 250 and sold them as signed and numbered originals. Later many of her dolls were reproduced by such companies as Hamilton and Ashton Drake. These reproductions were smaller dolls than the originals. Lindsey probably is Mavis’s best-known work.

Jamie Lynn  
Ricci Winnie




Mavis entered a contract with Middleton Dolls. She created clay sculptures of doll faces, hands and feet. Middleton made and sold vinyl dolls from her work.

I’m This Big, Irish Eyes, Loving and Loving Heart

Snowball, Sunflower and Garden Thyme


The last dolls Mavis created were of the Child’s Prayer series.

Now I lay me Down to Sleep I pray the Lord my Soul to Keep

Keep me Safe all through the Night And Wake me up at Morning’s Light