Antique bridal dresses on display at Nelson House in Old Poway Park
By Emily Sorensen
Think brides always wore white? Think again, and go check out the bridal display at the Nelson House in Old Poway Park, available now through August.
The display, which includes eight dresses ranging from the Civil War to the 1960s, was curated by Gwenmarie Hilleary, who did most of the research for the exhibit, which also includes photos, invitations and more. The exhibit was set up by Barbarann Parker, Pat Petrovich and Sara Stolz, whose wedding gown from the 1960s is on display.
The highlight of the exhibit is a wedding dress from the Civil War era, on loan from Malcolm Jack, a longtime Poway resident. The gown, which belonged to Jack’s great-great-grandmother, was handmade, and Abraham Lincoln, a family friend, attended the wedding.
The dress, which is dark brown plaid and features tassels, is unusual to modern-day wedding sensibilities. Also on display are two dresses from 1904 and 1906, a dress from the 1950s, and a wedding dress worn by the mother of Poway Historical Society president Jeff Frye.
Volunteers who maintain the Nelson House hope to keep this as a core exhibit they will return to yearly and improve, said Parker. The exhibit will be on display through August, and then a new exhibit, which hasn’t been finalized, will go up from September through November.
The Nelson House is also looking for donations to purchase an antique oak armoire for the children’s room display.
The Nelson House is located in the front of Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road, and is open 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sundays, depending on volunteer availability. It is closed the second Sunday of the month.
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