In 1865, 14-year-old Rachel Williams noted in her diary, “I went down [the] street with Mary this afternoon, hunting for dress trimmings and never got so tired before, I think. I also got a hoopskirt.” During the nineteenth century, the clothing of children and adolescent girls, like Rachel and Maria Williams who grew up in Fountain Elms, reflected that of adults and of Victorian-era mores. For the first time in the Museum’s history, rare dresses and accessories worn by the Williams daughters are showcased in the exhibition, Dressed to the Nines: Williams-Proctor Fashions, on view through September 7 in the Museum’s period room settings. From baptismal gowns to wedding dresses and mourning attire, these outfits explore the lives of one Utica family.
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