All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author. Thanks.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Wedding dress

I found this lovely dress being worn by an ancestress of my older 2 sons...Gertrude Faxon Hillyer.  She was their great grandmother on their father's side.

I love the beautiful fabrics. I don't know when these pictures were taken, but I would guess in the late nineteenth century. I also guess that they were home developed, because there are 2 copies of each of the three wedding dress photos in this album.

The caption on the whole page says "Gertrude Faxon dressed in Wedding dress of Mrs. Lizzie Watson of 1876."  By this caption, it is probable that she was not married yet at this time, and her own marriage date is unknown, but probably in 1906.

The other page looks like this...
I have not done any retouching, but you can see the original photographer did some different productions, probably in the darkroom.

The following close-ups do have some extra contrast added.

First, I must make a personal comment.  Gertrude Faxon, posing in this wedding dress looks just like her daughter, my son's grandmother, Mary Hillyer Heym, born in 1907. Of course I only knew her as a much older woman, but the features are strikingly similar.

Second, I have no idea who Lizzie Watson was.  I can't find any relatives of Gertrude Faxon's who got married in 1879. Gertrude Faxon was born in 1872, so probably didn't even attend that wedding.  Whoever the Watsons were, the son, William, is pictured in the boat on the same page of the album.  I would imagine they were close friends of the Faxon family.

The dress is wonderful, probably of satin and lace. And that bonnet! I'm sure in 1879 it was the best that could be had. But back to the lovely model, Gertrude Faxon Hillyer had spent some time in the theatre as well as her husband Louis (Schultz) Hillyer.  They were living in New York when daughter, Mary Margaret was born (1907).

But the family returned to her parents home in Michigan at least by the following photo. Her father died in 1910.  This is the farm house of the Faxon family in Duplain, Clinton County, Michigan.

THis is my third entry this month to Sepia Saturday with a theme of Love and Marriage. Come on over to see what other Sepians have posted.

Today's Quote:

In our relationships we need to uphold that aspect of the person which is the real person and the soul beyond their own self-doubt.  Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan


  1. Isn't it amazing that these photos have lasted so long! And not been lost in a fire, or a move or a disaster of some kind. The bride looks lovely and the dress must have been very difficult to put together with those flounces and ruffles. The bonnet is lovely.

  2. Fascinating old photos! I dressed up in my mother!s wedding dress once, whem I was about 12, after that I was too tall for it. Gertrude looks lovely, and I also like the photo of young Wil with his tall hat in the little dinghy.

  3. What a wonderful collection and great fun to dress in what was probably, even then, a vintage wedding dress I should think.

  4. Barbara -- great post. I found the photos fascinating. The last photo of the family sitting on their porch was of particular interest to me. I am a Michigander -- at one time lived the next county over from Clinton. The house architectural features hint at being Greek Revival. Several Greek Revivals were built in Clinton. I would say this house was built in the mid 1800s. -- barbara

  5. She is lovely. Looks like a character from Dickens.

  6. It boggles my mind seeing how intricately designed ladies' fancy gowns were back in those times. As Helen mentioned, they obviously weren't the simplest things to 'throw together' - many of them stitched by hand. Whew!!

  7. My favorite is the one with the family on the porch.


Welcome to my blog. I'd love to hear from you.. I do review (monitor) comments so I read them, but I'd rather share them!