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Photo Hunters: Hanging

Well, here’s a weird thing I have for you this week. Hair wreaths! Yes, hair wreaths! I’d never, ever heard of them until we saw them at the Old Stone Fort in Schoharie, NY. I guess they were all the rage in the mid-1800s, especially during the Civil War era. In an era when women recycled everything from ear wax (for chapped lips, ewww) to used vinegar, they even recycled their own hair!

Hair Wreath

Hair was meticulously reserved from the brush after brushing one’s hair. Grandma’s silvery white whispers of hair, Aunt Sally’s redheaded curls, and Mother’s long brunette strands were curled around a hot pencil-shaped iron. The curly locks were then stitched or tied together in a wreath-like shape. Some added ribbons, or extra-curly or braided hair as garnish. The ladies hung the decorative wreaths in their parlors!

Hair Wreath!

I have since seen several such hair wreaths in the various homes we have visited, including one in the parlor of a historical home at the Erie Canal Village in Rome, the Old Stone Fort as I mentioned, Fort Ontario in Oswego, and the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse.

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About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

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