These home pages remain free of any charge. We need donations or subscriptions to continue.
Please pass on this website link to your family, relatives, friends and clients.
Free Home Page Stories & Photos
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit
Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Home of the Tarheel Stomp Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug
These are three of the 16 children borne by Carrie Thompson Cole and they wear fashions common on the frontier at the turn of the century. Read the whole Fred and Carrie Cole soap opera. Photos courtesy of Paul Enge, a Cole descendant.
We apologize that we are late in re-posting this page. Our computer crashed and thanks to John Hanks of Computer Solutions of Sedro-Woolley (855-0313), we are back up and running better than before.
Victorian and Edwardian women wore a lot of lingerie, and sometimes it's confusing what goes where and what it's called. Here's a helpful guide:
A Victorian woman started her marathon dressing session with a pair of drawers. Drawers are most often split (crotchless) and about knee length. Some drawers aren't split, and it makes you wonder how they worked, since they were under all the other layers. Many times you'll see drawers referred to as bloomers, pantalets, or even pantaloons, which are really men's pants. Over her drawers, she would slip on a chemise which is a long sleeveless gown. A shorter version of a chemise is a camisole. Both the chemise and the camisole protected the skin from the corset, and vice versa. The next layer would be the corset. Over the corset would be worn a corset cover which protected the outer garments from the busk of the corset as well as hid the corset under sheerer garments. Sometimes it's hard to determine if a garment is a camisole or a corset cover, so we've grouped them together. Depending on the period, different types of hoops cages and bustles would then be added to give the outfit the shape that was currently in fashion. Next one or more petticoats were added to provide even more fullness under the skirt. Finally, after donning at least 5 layers of underwear, the Victorian woman was ready to put on her skirt and bodice.
After the Victorian and Edwardian periods many of these layers were simplified. As corsets became less structured and offered less support for the breasts, brassieres were introduced, and these later became bras. In the 1920s and 30s, cotton chemises gave way to silk and rayon slips & teddies, often cut on the bias. Drawers became tap pants, and then later panties.
Throughout all of these periods, there were gowns and robes for sleeping and lounging.
Left: The Torrey sisters, Georgetta and "Doll" as teenagers. Back in the Midwest they married upriver pioneers George Savage and Capt. L.A. Boyd. Photo courtesy of Dan Royal, publisher of http://www.stumpranchonline.com and a Boyd descendant.The crew at Birdsey Minkler's Lyman Lumber Co. shingle mill. We are unsure if this was the earlier1880s mill east of Lyman or the 1890s mill at Minkler Lake, west of town, but probably the latter.; Right: Wedding photo of Charles and Jessie Pressentin, photo courtesy of Barbara Halliday.
Boys and girls fashions of the ageThis website used to be a tremendous resource but it is now blocked by many firewalls because it is a "Parked Domain: Site may contain excessive advertising including pop-up and pop-under advertisements," as our Comodo firewall explains. So be careful about opening it. But when it was first created, the author shared these facts about Victorian-era clothes:
Figure 1. This wonderfully nostalgic sceen from small town America, probably about 1915-1920. Notice the large houses with porches facing a tree-lined street. A brother and sister are sitting in a swing on their front porch. The boy wears a smart double-breasted knickers suit, his sister an elegant white dress. Both wear long dark stockings. The boy looks to be a younger teenager, perhaps 13-14 years old. Notice the knickers are rather baggy and there is no crease. His hair looks rather stylized for the 1910s. He is also appears to be wearing gloves--even though it is not a cold day.
HBC begins to notice knickers in America during the 1870s, but they did not become popular as a boys' garment until after the turn of the 20th century. Even through the 1900s knee-pants were more common than knickers. American boys did not begin to wear knickers extensively until the 1910s. By the 1910s, however, knickers were beginning to replace knee-pants. Knickers soon became the major attire worn in America. School-age boys in America between the two world wars wore knicker-suits. Knickers were the [dominant] trousers for American boys in the 1920s and 30s. Unlike Europe where short pants were more common, [American] boys wore knickers--even Boy and Cub Scouts wore them. Through the early 1920s they were mostly worn with ling stockings, but by the mid-1920s, knee-socks had become more popular. The age of boys wearing knickers varied substantially over time. Although knickers had once been pervasive for boys, they declined in popularity very quickly in the early 1940s. It is unclear to HBC just why this major fashion shift occurred so abruptly.
Late 19th Century (1870-99): HBC begins to notice knickers in America during the 1870s, but they were much less common than kneepants. American boys began wearing short cut pants in the 1860s, although it was not until the 1870s that they became standard boys' wear. Knickers were widely worn by British and other European boys, but they were less common in America where the knee pants style predominated.
Early 20th Century (1900-18) : did not become popular as a boys' garment until after the turn of the 20th century. Even through the 1900s knee-pants were more common than knickers. American boys did not begin to wear knickers extensively until the 1910s. By the 1910s, however, knickers were beginning to replace knee-pants. Knickers begin increasing in popularity in the 1900s. They were adopted by the new U.S. Scout movement. By the 1910s they were becoming the dominate style for boys. They were widely worn by even older boys of high school age.
The crew at Birdsey Minkler's Lyman Lumber Co. shingle mill. We are unsure if this was the earlier1880s mill east of Lyman or the 1890s mill at Minkler Lake, west of town, but probably the latter.; Right: The Torrey sisters, Georgetta and "Doll" as teenagers. Back in the Midwest they married upriver pioneers George Savage and Capt. L.A. Boyd.
This is the 1917 Lyman School class. Can you help us identify any of the teachers or students? The school stood on the bluff overlooking what was then the slough of the Skagit River, what is now the main channel, and it is now the main channel. In October 2009 it is just about as low any Lyman resident recalls.
Left: The Karl and Minnie von Pressentin family at their homestead on the south shore of the Skagit River across from the villages of Birdsview and Bessemer.; Right: An unknown member of the von Pressentin family. Can anyone identify this person? Photos courtesy of Barbara Halliday, a descendant of the von Pressentin and Kemmerich families, 1878 settlers on the south shore of the Skagit River across the water from the villages of Birdsview and Bessemer.
Cecil Hittson, who grew up in Lyman when it was still a village and who remembers as much of Lyman history as anyone, supplied this photo of the crew of the shingle mill east of town that was built by Birdsey Minkler and Frank Ries, another early pioneer of the area.
Left: George Savage, pioneer sawmill owner who bought the South Birdsview mill of Birdsey Minkler. Photo courtesy of Dan Royal, Birdsview Boyds family descendant.; Right: Henrietta, Elizabeth and Frank Cooper, children of Henry Cooper, the pioneer who bought Valentine Adam's homestead, which included most of present-day Lyman. Photo courtesy of Charles Meyers, grandson of Henrietta Cooper Meyers.
Left: The wedding photo of Maude Minkler and Bert Vandeford. She was Birdsey's eldest daughter and he was a mill foreman and a pharmaceuticals salesman. They obtained the Minkler Mansion after Birdsey's death in 1911. Photo courtesy of Mike Aiken, great grandson of Birdsey Minkler. Right: 1915 photo of Bessie Belle Cole, one of the daughters of Fred Cole of Concrete. Photo courtesy of Paul Enge.
Links, background reading and sources
- Entry Form. Sign up now. Deadline for completed essay and art entries, Oct. 17, 2009
- See our new page of photo ideas for costumes
- Oct. 24 Lyman Essay, Art and Costume Challenge Contest with details of the time capsule and games and food for kids of all ages.
- See Dan Royal's Stump Ranch Online for many more photos of clothes of that period.
Story posted on Oct. 11, 2009, updated Oct. 18, 2009 . . . Please report any broken links so we can update them
Getting lost trying to navigate or find stories on our site?
Read how to sort through our 680-plus stories.
Return to the new-domain home page Links for portals to subjects and towns Newest photo features Search entire site Our new weekly column, Puget Sound Mail (but don't call it a blog)
debuted on Aug. 9, 2009. Check it out.
See this Journal website for a timeline of local, state, national, international events for years of the pioneer period.
Did you enjoy this story? Remember, as with all our features, this story is a draft and will evolve as we discover more information and photos. This process continues until we eventually compile a book about Northwest history. Can you help?
Remember; we welcome correction & criticism.
Please report any broken links or files that do not open and we will send you the correct link. With more than 550 features, we depend on your report. Thank you.
Read about how you can order CDs that include our photo features from the first five years of our Subscribers Edition. Perfect for gifts.
You can click the donation button to contribute to the rising costs of this site. You can also subscribe to our optional Subscribers-Paid Journal magazine online, which has entered its ninth year with exclusive stories, in-depth research and photos that are shared with our subscribers first. You can go here to read the preview edition to see examples of our in-depth research or read how and why to subscribe.
You can read the history websites about our prime sponsorsOliver-Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 88 years.
Would you like information about how to join them?
Peace and quiet at the Alpine RV Park, just north of Marblemount on Hwy 20, day, week or month, perfect for hunting or fishing
Park your RV or pitch a tent by the Skagit River, just a short drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley
Joy's Sedro-Woolley Bakery-Cafe at 823 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley.
Check out Sedro-Woolley First section for links to all stories and reasons to shop here first
or make this your destination on your visit or vacation.
Are you looking to buy or sell a historic property, business or residence?
We may be able to assist. Email us for details.
Did you find what you were seeking? We have helped many people find individual names or places, so email if you have any difficulty.
Tip: Put quotation marks around a specific name or item of two words or more, and then experiment with different combinations of the words without quote marks. We are currently researching some of the names most recently searched for — check the list here. Maybe you have searched for one of them?
Please sign our guestbook so our readers will know where you found out about us, or share something you know about the Skagit River or your memories or those of your family. Share your reactions or suggestions or comment on our Journal. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit our site.
View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail copies/documents to Street address: Skagit River Journal, 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, WA, 98284.