FOR FASHION’S SAKE

Gold Rush-Era clothing from the County Museum's Collection


“Fashion rules the world, and a most tyrannical mistress she is, 
compelling people to submit to the most inconvenient things imaginable,
for fashion’s sake.”   (Godey’s Lady’s Book)

Text Box

During the Gold Rush-era, late 1840s to mid-1860s, fashion was as important then as it is now. Proper up-to-date fashions were known and respected. Current styles were followed as soon as conditions made it possible, even though it was sometimes a year or two before this could happen in newly settled areas, such as in El Dorado County.

Concern with staying current might mean making a dress up in calico rather than the preferred silk, or remaking an old out-of-date dress in the latest fashion. Dresses in the County Museum's collections were probably first made in the early 1850s, and then adapted to better accommodate the new stylish hoop skirt. A skilled dressmaker could “resurrect any dress by turning, twisting, piecing, contriving, and trimming.” The number of re-worked dresses still surviving is a clear indication of how popular this practice was.

Photographs provide some of the best evidence of what working men and women wore. Gold miners most likely wore work clothes until they were so worn out they were discarded or cut up for rags. In contrast, these fine gowns, the linen suit and child's dress, along with the accessories in the round display case were saved and treasured over the years and eventually donated to the El Dorado County Historical Museum.

The exhibit, For Fashion's Sake, will be on display at the 
El Dorado County Historical Museum from September 1, 2016 - June 1, 2017.



THOSE WHO SERVED: MILITARY UNIFORMS FROM THE 
COUNTY MUSEUM COLLECTION
Now on exhibit!

These individual uniforms were donated to the County Museum between 1975 and 1996.  After researching the donors of the uniforms and the people who wore them, the County Museum installed this unique exhibit.  
Visit the County Museum to see this interesting collection of military uniforms, on exhibit until June 2017.



The dress blue uniform was worn by Major Frances Barrett, a native of Camino, California. To the right is her tropical weight seersucker nurses jacket she wore during her service in World War II. Frances Barrett was awarded the 
Distinguished Flying Cross for her service in the Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, participating in operation flights of more than 300 hours over Burma.


This jacket was presented to Lt. Commander Andrew "Swede" Oberlander, Navy Coach of the special 1945 Army-Navy Football Game known as the China Bowl, held on December 1, 1945 in Shanghai.








 Those Who Served: Military Uniforms from the Museum's Collection
The County Museum is open for guided tours Wednesday - Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM 
and Sunday 12 PM - 4 PM.