Womans Fashion

Woman’s Fashion: Circa 1800’s

 2016-51-24TB2R1, Vallotton Collection

This is a black silk print angel sleeve with fringe evening short jacket or swiss waist.  It appears to open in the back, closes with snaps, shaping, darts from bottom to bust line [lower shaping darts] and lined with brown cotton lining. The back waist length 9 ¼” long, 23” high waist, to be worn over something else indicated by a V vent in front.

UNK#2TB2R1, Jones Dress

This dress is early 1900 with taffeta underlay. What is uncertain who brought it to the museum and when but it certain that this is Mrs. JB Jones dress. The black underdress is of taffeta while the top layer is appliqued and embroidered leaves onto black netting. The collar is a high standing and supported collar with black beading. The front bodice balloons over at the waist suggesting a Gibson girl look very popular in the early 1900s. Mrs. Susan Elizabeth “Sadie” Young Jones was married to Jerry Jones who built a plantation and dam (Mill Pond) just north of town. The road Jerry Jones in Valdosta is named after this man and the road is located where his plantation once was.


1979-272-06TB70R1Sb, E.P. Rose Collection

This black silk taffeta six gourd skirt is also from the EP Rose Collection probably belonging to Caroline Smith Rose family. It is a full length skirt which closes in back with three ½” hooks and chain stitched eyes. Again this skirt has beautiful construction common in this era, This skirt is fully lined on inside with brown polished cotton made as one with skirt with pinked seams. The back has a large pleat 4 ½” to allow for a bustle while the skirt back hem is also longer  to accommodate the bustle. The hem is weighted and stiffened with heavy buckram. This assists to carry the two rows of 2 ” ruffle of black silk with matching double edged ruffle.
Skirt dimensions:
Waist: 21 ¾”
Waist width: 1 ¼”
Skirt length in front 41”
Skirt width at hem edge: 179”

1979-272-01TB25R1, E. P. Rose Collection


This item is very fragile

This black ruched silk taffeta blouse fastens in center front which is concealed by cream colored heavy silk  with an overlay of black netted cotton lace featuring black embroidered lace flowers.  The collar is finished with a 7/8” ruching in black silk ribbon and fastens in back with hook and eyes. The faux bolero style jacket is finished with a  black silk ruching edging which is  gathered and sewn by hand.  The inside facing of “jacket” is sewn by hand. Leg-a-mutton sleeves are trimmed at cuff with ruching in a V and a 2 ½” plain silk flared cuff that is lined with the cream silk (inside).  The sleeve are made in two pieces but gathered at center to armhole as well as very full at cap.  The cream colored silk overlay with black netting lace is gathered at waistline and edged with a ½” silk band.  The whole waist is then trimmed with a 2 ¼” wide horizontally pleated band and fixed bow that attaches with a hook & eye. The  back is  constructed in six sections.  Silk pleated waist ends in back with a pretty knot. The back is also shaped into a  slight V in back at waist. There is no tag or  dressmaker stamp.

The inside of  garments are rarely featured but in this era are beautiful and are instruction on shaping and  construction and demonstrates the pride of good workmanship all a testament of many hours of sewing. This  bodice is fully lined with brown cotton, and includes  shaping stitching with darts and stays. The seams are machine stitched and finished with pinking.  The cream colored selvedge edged is used for front facing.   Padding shapes the in arm hole and shoulder.   A brown cotton band at waist also closes in front with hook & eye.  Waist 22”, sleeve 25 ½” length.

 1979-272-02TB 25 R1, E. P. Rose Collection

This  black silk  blouse opens in front with large black 1.2” hooks & eyes concealed by center front panel.  Hooks sewn by hand individually every ½” with button hole thread.  The center front panel is configured of 1” large tucks gathered at waist front with two sets of gathering stitches by hand and ending in 1 7/8” ruffle. A large round yoke is inset with cream colored silk with overlay of black netting.  The black netting overlay has ½” inch tucks that come to a V. This round yoke is then finished with a 1 1/8” wide black beaded trim-possibly jet beads. This yoke  fastens  at shoulder sleeve and in one piece overlays the right bodice. The sleeves are constructed of  two pieces and are fairly fitted with the upper arm decorated by 15 1/8” tucks.  The cuff of the sleeve finishes with same beading in a narrow  scallop followed by gathered black cotton netting that is hemmed with a 1/4” cotton matt finish  ribbon.  Back bodice is constructed like a round yoke with large tucks that gather to the center back in a V.   Construction is carried out by machine and  hand stitches.  (machine for the seams but hand stitching on hems and inside finishes. For more details and pictures please see this in Woman’s Fashions

This piece is all lined with brown polished cotton.  Padding from underarm to bust area is made of cotton wadding and  polished brown cotton fabric handstitched. The hem and center front is stiffened as well as use of stays.   Waist 25”, center back 17 ½”.  Padded dress shields.


1979-272-03TB25R1, E. P. Rose Collection 

This plain black tailored silk shirt opens to the bodice front which is decorated with 3 sets of tucks and a center front that is shaped with a scallop. To add ease to the bodice, .one large 1” tuck in the  center between two tucks at each shoulder near sleeve cap goes down to waist band with out stitches.  Three ½” horizontal tucks decorate the  waist band. The slightly puffed sleeves feature four horizontal tucks (1/4”) at the inside bend of sleeve which are decorative but also serve as shape tucks as they release toward the elbow giving more fullness for bending arm.   There is no cuff but two decorative tabs with covered button fashionably decorated the sleeve hem.. The back consists of three sets of 1/4″  pleats with the center back set having four pleats instead of three.. Waist band measures 35 ½”, center back 15 ½”, sleeve 22 ½”.  Stays inside are machine & hand done in lining.  Lined w/cotton, inner hooks as well. Back and front and sleeve are made in 2 parts, sleeve has typical underarm seam.

1997-43TB27R2, Abbott-Griffin Collection






The Lowndes County Historical Museum’s Carrie June Abbott Griffin Collection contains clothing from the 1880-1900’s. Included was also a helpful family genealogy written by her son-in-law Lewis Wright Williams in 1960. Most of the information written here comes from that document.

Carrie June Abbott was born February 6, 1864 in Randolph, Vermont. Having a good education and love for learning, she was urged by her brother who had moved to Tampa, Florida to seek teaching employment in that area. She did so and taught for several years before meeting William Hamilton Griffin then a young lawyer from Valdosta. They were married September 28, 1892 in her hometown in Vermont and made their home on Troup Street in Valdosta, GA and had three children, a son who died in infancy born in 1894,  Abbott (b. 1896) and Margaret (b. 1902).  (For information on the Abbott-Griffin Children Collection see http://valdostamuseum.com/collections/textiles/childrens-clothing/)  Carrie June Abbott Griffin and her husband were very active contributers to the community. The family were members of the First Methodist Church where Carrie Griffin established the Admatha Class, a class for young girls. She also was an active member in many clubs in Valdosta including the Wymodausis, Merry Matrons, Daughters of the American Revolution, and one of the four organizers of the Valdosta Chapter of the Red Cross and the first Chairman of that Chapter.

Carrie June Abbott Griffin’s husband, William H. Griffin (1853-1917) attributed much to Valdosta and Nashville area. In his early years he taught school in Nashville ran a small mercantile business. He was elected to Clerk of Superior Court when he was only 21 years old having assisted in the duties of that office previously. It was here he became interested in law.  His first marriage was to Margaret Mac Donald in 1879. William Griffin was admitted to the Bar in 1884 and in 1885 he went into partnership with Mr. B.F. Whittington in Valdosta, GA. By 1888, he had his own practice. Tragically, May 1,1890, his wife Margaret died, leaving them no children.

In the fall of 1890, he helped organize the Citizen’s Bank of Valdosta which he remained a stockholder and Director for the duration of his life. On September 28, 1892, he married Carrie June Abbott. In 1892, William Griffin was elected  Mayor of Valdosta and served three full terms through 1895. During these prosperous time, significant changes were made in Valdosta including an instillation of a water works system, building of a City Hall Building, and a public school system was established.  In 1897, William H Griffin served as Judge of the City Court in Valdosta. However, he continued to serve the community in helping to establish a telephone system for Valdosta,  and served as a stockholder and director for many entities including the Valdes Hotel, the Valdosta Times Publishing Co.,  and Strickland Cotton Mill. In 1896, he formed a partnership with Mr. E.P.S Denmark during which they were appointed Division Counsel for several large industrial corporations including the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad- Southern Judicial Circuit,  Valdosta Southern Railway, and the Georgia and Florida Railroad. In 1912, he was elected as Representative from Lowndes County to the General Assembly of Georgia and reelected in 1914. It was during this time that the family spent time in Atlanta. After an extensive illness, William H. Griffin died in 1917 leaving his wife and his two children.

Their son Abbott had completed college and was preparing enter Art school in New York while their daughter Margaret was planning to enter Agnes Scott College. Therefore, Carrie June Abbott Griffin decided to rent the Valdosta home and continue to live in Atlanta area close to her daughter. She continued her work in the community and the St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Atlanta until moving with with her daughter and son-in-law to Birmingham, Alabama. Here she also worked with with the Highlands Methodist Church in establishing a school class for young ladies as well as being an active member in other organizations and clubs. In March 21, 1952 she died at 89 and is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta, GA.


UNK #1a & #1bTB2R1, Green & Black suit [jacket & skirt]

1a-This suit, matching jacket and gored skirt are beautifully made and detailed. The fitted jacket features a high collar edged in black taffeta embroidery which also runs down center front. This jacket closes at the front with large hooks & eyes. Dark green wool bodice has black long sleeves with turned up cuff in green and trimmed with black embroidered taffeta. Black 7/8” wide flat braiding trims the front. The jacket length is long and cut away in geometric shape. The back of jacket also fitted with a shaped hem at hips and decorated with the flat trim. The inside is fully lined with black taffeta. Very tailored. Waist of jacket 27”, back waist length 15 ½”, bust 34”. Condition good
1b-The matching 18 gored Skirt open 13 inches from bottom to give full skirt with a fitted front through waist and hips. It closes in back with hooks & eyes. Hooks were embroidered over with thread. All skirt seams are finished with fabric. . Hips 37 ¼”, length of skirt 35 ½”, width of bottom of skirt 130 ½”.

85-455Tb71R2,Butler Collection Assuit Dress

Assuit Dress (85-455Tb71)

This shimmering dress is made from a cotton netting material that is hand embroidered with metal “ribbon” and a blunt ended double- hole needle. The metal is then pressed to give a flat appearance. The result is a fluid weighted shimmering material. Assuit is the name of a town in upper Egypt that was famous for producing this type of cloth; therefore, this embroidery technique is sometimes referred to by the town’s name.

This particular dress is made of copper “ribbon” on an elegant black netting of cotton. The design is further enhanced in some areas with a red cotton interlining. In 1912 there were several Valdostans who boarded the Olympic ship, sister ship to the Titanic, to  make a grand tour though Italy and Egypt. Amongst them was Marion Wilkerson (Stump)  later the mother of Caroline Stump Butler. This dress was almost assuredly purchased on this trip. You can read more about this trip in the Lowndes County Historical Society Newsletter Yesterday and Today (Vol. 41  Nos. 1,2, &3 Jan,Feb, March 2012) which is located on our website.

85-455 Tb71R2 Butler Collection Assuit Shawl 
lAssuit Shawl (85-455Tb71)This shawl is probably part of the same Caroline Stump Butler Collection and probably purchased on the same trip. This shawl is gold metal ribbon worked over a cream colored net and is 17″ X 92″ inches long.



1979-72-04TB70R1, E.P. Rose Collection EP Rose Collection Periwinkle dress 


This dress is associated with a rich history of early Valdosta and Lowndes County as well as a fascinating history of a well known dressmaker and clothing construction.

The dress and Valdosta/ Lowndes County History

This dress belonged to Caroline Smith Rose (1873-1943) who lived with her husband Elbert Pinkney Rose (1862-1930) at 1007 Patterson Street. This building still stands today. E.P.  Rose was a business man. In the 1904 directory he was in turpentine manufacturing and again in 1908 it lists him in the naval stores but by 1913 he is listed in the Ingram Buggy and Harness Co (this building still stands in downtown) and President of Valdosta Fuel and Oil. In 1923 it lists him as President of the Bank of Valdosta.

Caroline Smith Rose’s mother was Laura A Ihly Smith (1842-1877) and her grandmother was Harriet Henretta Wisenbaker Ihly (1820-1898) all buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery. One of Laura A Ihly’s sister was Jeannie Ihly Darnell who was the widow of the confederate solider AH Darnell from Company D 1st Battalion. The 1910 Census shows Jennie Ihly Darnell (b. 1845)  living with  her niece and husband Caroline Smith and E.P.  Rose. The aunt must have been truly loved because their first son was named Frank Darnell Rose. The aunt was living with Caroline Smith Rose and E P. Rose when the dress was made. Jennie Darnell was living with her grandmother in Savannah, Georgia when Sherman came through. She wrote about these experiences and the museum retains a copy that memorabilia.

The Dressmaker


This dress’s protector shields are stamped: “Guaranteed by Mrs. A. H. Taylor Company, Bowling Green, KY, J 3 13 [June/July 3 1913]”. Carrie Burnam Taylor (1878-1917) was a well known dressmaker. This periwinkle dress is made of a crepe looking background and damask flowers.One of the interesting things about these dresses is how they are constructed. Therefore, a detailed description is given here along with photos to give a rare glimpse of their intricate construction and develop an enhanced appreciation for the time involved in the design and building of these three dimensional wearable art pieces.

Construction of the Dress

The false blouse of the dress has high lace collar set in place by plastic stays that are zigzagged into place by hand. This collar wraps around back and closes with hook and eye .The lace bodice is slightly gathered around collar and closes in the front with concealed hook and eye. The lace bodice is lined with ecru silk.
Over this is the periwinkle fabric with a deep U neck; in order to feature the lace, which is finished with a ½ inch bias binding and is joined by hook and eye to the plain periwinkle colored fabric middle section which contains 8 large plastic ball buttons. These buttons seemed to have resembled flowers with an orange middle and seemed to have been decorated by hand. The buttons echo the embroidery design worked around the periwinkle neckline. This embroidery is a set of heavy worked chain stitched flowers filled in with a couching of gold, pink, yellow, and aqua blue and outlined couching in blacks and golds. This heavy embroidery is set like lappets in the front and extends and is joined as one in the back. This embroidery was worked separately and added to the dress with hand stitching. The bodice then drapes over the high waist line.

The sleeves and the outer blouse overlay seem to be cut as one with only one seam. The sleeves are ¾ with large plain cuff which may have overlapped at the side of the sleeve. The cuff is lined with a periwinkle fabric and is edged with the self fabric ½ bias binding. The sleeve are then extended by the addition of the same lace as the blouse which runs in an open v from the back and gathers at the cuff overlapping area. The sleeves are lined with netting as well as the lace bodice. Remainder of dress underlined with cotton muslin.
The waistline is enhanced with a pleated belt with hooks in the front center and then wraps to the right side and hooks at the upper end of the waist band with a large self -ball button made from the printed fabric.
The skirt is eloquently draped asymmetrically with the printed fabric slightly folded into the waistline, hemmed at the front and then tucked off to the left at the lower thigh revealing the plain skirt under. The plain fabric is then hemmed at the right and closes with hidden snaps to the embroidered skirt on the right which makes the overall closure look like a pleat since. The brocade fabric is then again used for the skirt on the right which is pleated with 3 large pleats into the waistband. The skirt is long and tapered.
The back of the dress is further decorated with a large extra piece that hangs from the waistband and is decorated with 3 large Japanese style tassels.
Dress dimensions
Neck around-12 ¼” at top
Neck width- 2 inches
Back waist-natural waist 15” waistband starts at 12”
Waist- 25”
Waistband width-3”
Skirt length-40”
Skirt width-54”
Back tassel panel width-10”, length-19 ¾”, 3 tassels width 2”, length 5” attached at bottom hem of tassel panel
Button at waist-1 ¼”
Buttons on front-1/2” (appears to be hand painted plastic)
Sleeve cuff width-4”
Sleeve lace width-4 ½”
Embroidery width-2” and length-19” tapering from two repeating designs at center back to approximately ½” design on either shoulder front

This dress is in fragile condition and can not be shown at this time; however, it is  slotted for conservation.