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On the Porch

The tradition of getting a new outfit and hat for Easter originated in Europe. People would purchase new clothing and hats to celebrate the coming of spring and the meaning of Easter. After the American Civil War, the tradition of purchasing a new outfit, including an Easter bonnet caught on in the United States.

The Easter bonnet was made even more popular after the release of Irving Berlin’s song, Easter Parade in 1933. The song is about citizens in New York City who attended Easter services at churches on Fifth Avenue and then strolled down the block showing of their new spring outfits. The popularity of the Easter bonnet hit its peak in 1948 after Berlin’s film, Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire was released.

In the April 12, 1895 edition of The News Messenger of Lyon County, the Home Gossip section mentions the Easter bonnet with, “Easter Sunday next, and have you that new Easter bonnet or hat to worship with?”

In the May 15, 1914 edition of The News Messenger of Lyon County, there is an article on the various silks in spring millinery that mentions the Easter bonnet. The article written by Julia Bottomley starts out with, “Prepare to reckon with moire when the matter of your Easter bonnet comes up for consideration. This handsome material has made a great success as a feature of spring millinery. In big overtopping bows, in standing ruffles and plaitings, and in the body of hats, moire ribbon is one of the assured styles for the approaching spring.”

The photograph featured this week shows an Easter hat or bonnet that was worn by Jacqueline Ross for Easter services in the 1960s.

Happy Easter! The Lyon County Historical Society (LCHS) is a non-profit, member-supported organization. LCHS operates the Lyon County Museum at 301 W Lyon St in Marshall. The Lyon County Museum is open to visitors. To contact us, visit our website: www.lyoncomuseum.org, call: 507-537-6580, email: director@lyoncomuseum.org, or on our Facebook page.

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