TWHS’ 45th Anniversary as a Society

We want to encourage everyone to wear bonnets and hats to 2017 Wendish Fest to honor the five women who started our society. The women wore, made and sold bonnets in our Wendish booth at the Texas Folklife Festival. 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 to encourage you to purchase your own. The men will need to purchase the straw hats at a feed store like Tractor Supply.

Since every bonnet wearer made her own version of what best served her purpose, each one 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 second group of bonnets is being made for our gift shop. They are the brighter, prettier ones that the women would have worn to go to town or visiting. These bonnets were made with buttons to attach the brim to the crown, allowing the owner to unbutton the two pieces so the bonnet could be washed and starched. Our patterns require from two to twenty-five buttons. We will have a two-button version like the one first made and sold at the Folklife Festival by our founders. The five-button bonnet is from Laura Zoch’s pattern that we had at the museum. The eight-button bonnet is from a lady in LaGrange, but we have never learned her name. I’m not quite ready to try making the style that had twenty-five buttons again.

Before Wendish Fest 2017, we will be making the work bonnets with the large brims and collars or the kind that can be turned from a bonnet into an apron.