2017 is TWHS’ 45th Anniversary as a Society

Bonnets on Display

Bonnets on Display

Five years ago, for our 40th anniversary, we honored the five women who started our society by encouraging everyone to wear bonnets and hats to our events that year. These five women wore bonnets at the Folklife Festival and made them to sell in their booth. We developed a large display consisting of the bonnets in our collection and those loaned to us for the exhibit.

We want to encourage everyone to wear bonnets and hats to 2017 Wendish Fest to again honor these five women as we celebrate our 45th anniversary. Many of you already have bonnets from your family, or you purchased them at the museum. The remaining bonnets in the Gift Shop have been greatly reduced in price to encourage you to purchase your own. The men will need to purchase the straw hats at a store like Tractor Supply.

New bonnets will be available in the Gift Shop. Five years ago, patterns were developed for almost all of the bonnets in the exhibit, about 90 different ones. Since every bonnet wearer made her own version of what served her purpose best, each bonnet was different! In hearing the stories and doing the research, we found that bonnets worn in this part of Texas served three different purposes: one for wearing to church, one for visiting or going to town, and one for working outside. We plan for the new bonnets in the Gift Shop to reflect this thinking.

The first styles we will have for sale will the kind worn to church at St. Paul Serbin and Trinity Fedor. The women at St. Paul wore black bonnets with a large brim that was usually supported with stiff paper slats, called a “slat bonnet.” Our pattern has been adapted to make a more comfortable smaller brim, but we have some originals on exhibit in the St. Paul building.

And since Trinity Fedor was the second congregation, we will have the kind of white bonnet worn by the women who attended there. In the museum library, a picture above the bookcase shows some Fedor women wearing their white bonnets. Katie Dube, Chuck’s mother, grew up in this congregation, and we have her pattern. These bonnets usually had a small ruffle and an inside draw string to puff the crown up. A bonnet like this is called a “draw string bonnet.”

By the time of our next newsletter, we will be making the colorful – or fancy – bonnets that were worn when visiting and going to town. And finally, in time for Wendish Fest, we will have a variety of work bonnets. But for now, we are starting with the black or white church bonnets.


Please help us Celebrate our 45th Anniversary of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society by purchasing a Bonnet!
Stop in our gift shop to purchase your favorite style. Or we can ship it to you.