This week at the Pioneer Museum Presents
A little test for the readers and a whole lot of history

A little Test for the Readers and a Whole Lot of History for Everybody!

Wedding Dress
Question who’s wedding dress is in the above picture?

I will give you a few hints. There is a cabin at the museum named after this person’s family that was built in the early 1900’s. She was married in 1943. Her husband owned an insurance office in Gunnison. This lady was very active as a 4 H leader, she led clubs in sewing and cooking in the 1950’s into the 1970’s. She had 3 sons and 1 daughter all raised in Gunnison. Her husband announced all the Cattlemen’s Days parade from 1950’s into the 1970’s and then her eldest son started and to this date is still announcing the parade.

This beautiful white cotton wedding dress was worn by Carrie Margret Davis in her wedding with Warren “Mergy” Mergelman on July 14, 1942. The floor-length gown has lace inserts along and across the bodice as well as in the middle of the skirt. The sleeves are elbow length, and there is a white bow around the waist. The dress buttons and snaps in the back.

Ok, this was the only question to the test, if you knew the answer you are a pioneer.

The next gown that is a must to see is one of our oldest, it dates back to 1893. A black chiffon cress, light brown muff and hat both are fur. Wedding dress of Mattie Clark when she married John Steele in 1883.

The next wedding Dress is made of orange chiffon and gold decorative thread. It is sleeveless with a scoop neck and dropped waist. This dress was Ruthie Long’s mother’s wedding dress. Julia Anne Gerry married James Gosnell on July 23, 1928. Ruthie’s daughter Sandy Mueller, wore the dress for her grandparent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary party.

So much for wedding dresses, it’s party time!!!

Our first party dress is a light pink satin ball gown with lace and satin trim. Little rosette and pearls decorate the tucked bodice. There is a delicate pale pink overlay with handkerchief hemline. The back opening utilizes hooks and eyes. The dress was made by Alta Dunbar, and worn by her to the Gunnison County Stock Growers Association Nineteenth Annual Ball held at the La Veta Hotel, July 18, 1920.

Here comes the history lesson. Donna (Howard) Bratton donated this beautiful pink silk “party” dress with gathered skirt and set-in puffed sleeves. Bodice features pink bows and vertical stripes of lace. Donna says: “this dress was made for Donna Hartman, daughter of Sam Hartman and Emma McGregor Hartman. Given to Donna by her Aunt Em who was a sister of her grandmother Lue McGregor Howard. Donna Hartman and Donna’s father David R. Howard were first cousins, and Donna was named For Donna Hartman.”

High School Graduation brings us our next dress. This gown was worn by our very own museum board member Marian L. (Clark) Hicks at her graduation from Gunnison High School in 1944. The floor length dress is made of grey-green net, with seven rows of lace spaced evenly over the lined skirt. The bodice has a square neck and short puffy sleeves, with black bows on either side of the neckline. There is a black velvet tie in the back.

Our last, but not the least dress, a sheer white cotton ladies summer dress. Fabric features vertical bands of same-color flower pattern alternating with pulled-string motif. Three-quarter length sleeve has 3.5” of tucking, ending in lace at hem. Same fabric collar softly crosses at waist band where it meets a rose made of the fabric. Three hooks-and-eye closures at left waist. Skirt is A-line for 25”; meets a horizontal band of fabric and drops another 14”. This dress was worn by one of the Zugelder girls.

This is where our story ends. The dresses that I wrote about are just a few of the dresses that are on display. There are many more dresses in several different display buildings throughout the museum. This story and description of the dresses are of one man’s expert opinion.

We are always accepting more members, come in and join, I know that you will find it worth your time to join and take part of the museum membership.

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