Bixby Marionettes - Saline, Michigan
The Bixby Marionettes are almost unknown to the youth of today but, at one time these remarkable hand-carved puppets entertained children and adults with shows like Alladin, The Wizard of Oz, The Magic Stalk and others. Meredith Bixby and his wife, Thyra, began carving the jointed bodies of the puppets at home. They produced the costumes, staging, lighting, scripts and scenery. The Meredith Marionettes Touring Company staged shows all across the country in schools, theaters and community centers.
For decades before the advent of the digital age, children waited eagerly for the next show where animals talked, peasant huts could walk and good always overcame evil. Every summer the Bixby crew would prepare a new show and open the season by staging it at their studio in Saline. The local kids were the first ones to see the show that would be seen in person by a quarter of a million other kids each year.
In 1997 Meredith Bixby made the City of Saline trustee of his
collection of marionettes, photos, original art and an extensive collection of other memorabilia. The collection is on display at the District Library on Maple Rd. in Saline, Michigan. Unfortunately, available space is limited so the collection is shown in small parts on a rotating basis. Even so, when you see just a couple of these puppets you can almost hear the sounds of the wicked magician as he begins to weave his evil plot.