Example of mid-19th century headdress*
Tuesday Feb 17th This forenoon made me a headdress of Satin
ribbon of the colour of my hair and lace Alsons
wife came to Augustus this forenoon and to Edwins this
afternoon Called here awhile after dinner
Mrs Witherell S Ames & self spent the afternoon & evening
at Mr John Howards with Mr & Mrs Whitwell
Mr & Mrs Reed & Mrs Elizabeth Lothrop Frederick
carried us down & [came] after us this evening
Bonnets may have been the most common covering for the heads of well-dressed mid-century females, but head gear of other persuasions was not to be ignored. A fore-runner of today’s fascinators, light, decorative headdresses such as the one in the illustration above were very popular for certain indoor or evening outfits. Evelina must have enjoyed sewing one for herself, taking extra pleasure in how well it matched her own coloring.
Evelina’s father-in-law, Old Oliver, noted that this “was a fair day wind north west + cold.” The wind would have been somewhat behind them when the three sisters-in-law, Sarah Ames Witherell, Sarah Lothrop Ames, and Evelina were driven south in the afternoon by Fred Ames. The women visited a group of friends at the home of fellow Unitarians John and Caroline Howard. The tea they must have been served there perhaps helped stoke them up for the cold drive back home into the wind.
*Courtesy of Library of Congress