Hallockville exhibit showcases 1883 wedding of Henrietta Terry

“Pages from Her Diary: The 1883 Courtship and Marriage of Henrietta Terry” is the newest exhibit at Hallockville.

There was no room for bridezillas on Sound Avenue in 1883.

When Henrietta Terry, the grandmother of Hallockville board member Richard Wines, was married in that year, it was her job to pluck and de-bone the 11 roosters used to make her wedding meal.

That wasn’t her only task. From sewing her dress with her family members to making an elaborate wreath out of the hair of her friends to commemorate her youth, Ms. Terry was a busy 20-year-old woman as she prepared for her wedding to Herbert Wells.

Ms. Terry’s remembrances of the two years leading up to her wedding, captured in her diary of the time, is the subject of a new exhibit at Hallockville, which opened Friday night, titled “Pages from Her Diary: The 1883 Courtship and Marriage of Henrietta Terry.”

Mr. Wines, who curates the exhibit with Nancy Gilbert and Mary Anne Huntington, enlisted the help of three granddaughters of Ms. Terry. Estelle Evans, who lives in upstate New York, provided her grandmother’s recipes, which were prepared for the opening. Henrietta Howard, who lives in Riverhead, had the diaries that make up the basis of the exhibit. Marie Remer, who lives in Michigan, had kept Ms. Terry’s wedding dress, which occupies a prime corner of the exhibit in the Trubisz Little House at Hallockville. Mr. Wines’ mother, Virginia Wines, who is now deceased, had typed up sections of the diaries years ago, which helped Mr. Wines put together the concept for the show.

“This will be just like being there in 1883, as we follow Henrietta’s courtship and marriage in her own words,” said Mr. Wines. “We not only have the plum colored silk dress itself, but also her accounts of their travails making the dress and a photo of her posed in the dress. Some of the customs will still seem familiar, but I doubt that many brides today would pluck the feathers from 11 roosters for their wedding dinner!”

Read more about the exhibit in this week’s paper.

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