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La Crosse County Historical Society discovers, collects, preserves, and shares the history of La Crosse County, Wisconsin.

Object Record

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Object Name Dress, Wedding
Catalog Number 1975.011.06
Description Elaborate 2-piece ivory-colored wedding dress. Long-sleeved bodice is silk taffeta, with handmade lace collar and cuffs. inset of cut velvet in front gives the appearance of an 18th c. stomacher. Closes in front with hook/eyes and covered buttons. Both front and back of bodice come to long points in middle.
Skirt is same silk taffeta, with a wide inset front panel of the cut velvet, designed to mimic an 18th c. petticoat. The hem of the cut velvet panel ends in 4 long points held down by small weights.
The sides of the skirt have 2 tiers of pleats and ruching, to reminiscent of 18th. c panniers. Very stiff built-in petticoat of buckram, and more buckram just across the seat to create a bustle.
Very long train, with 3 double rows of handmade lace and crisp pleats of stiff netting along inside of bottom in the train. Original elastic for tying up the train is still present, but rotten.
Many layers, quite "frothy," and lined with glazed ivory cotton.
Skirt waistband has 2 wide strips of brushed flannel twill sewn to back, with small safety pins still attached to other end: obviously "suspenders" to hold up the weight of this very heavy skirt.
Collection LCHS Clothing Collection
Provenance LCHS records state this was worn by Mary Wells Pettibone at her wedding in 1885.
Date 1885
People Pettibone, Mary Wells
Search Terms Wedding Dress