Antique Wedding Gown & Quilt Display

June 17th– 24th, 2014Antique Wedding Gown and Quilt Display | photo credit: Paxton Photography

It was 1944, and America was deeply involved in World War II. But for a young lady from Michigan, the battles being waged in Europe and the Pacific were far from her mind. Eva had fallen in love with Don, a young Navy man stationed in Detroit. Don had proposed and Eva needed a wedding gown. But with the war on, an elaborate wedding and expensive dress didn’t seem right. Plus, Eva was a tiny woman. Only 4’10” and 85 lbs, her choices were limited. Eventually she chose a cream colored jersey knit meant for a girl’s confirmation. Eva was a happy bride as she and Don were married at her parent’s farm in Snover, Michigan. She had her dress, and she had her guy. They started a family, and had a daughter named Linda who grew up loving all things royal and romantic. Linda met and married a man named Richard Mueller, and eventually became the owner of her very own castle. The magnificent stone walls and stunning courtyards of Castle Farms seemed a natural fit for brides, weddings, and all things romantic… including weddings gowns.

Castle Farms of Charlevoix’s 5th Annual Bridal Gown and Quilt Display will be on exhibit at the Castle Tuesday June 17th through Tuesday, June 24th. Visitors touring the Castle for historic tours will be able to view more than 25 wedding gowns, including Eva’s simple confirmation/wedding dress and Linda Mueller’s own wedding gown, stitched by her mother. Eva, who was a beautiful seamstress, altered a pattern to include details Linda wanted. After Eva finished the dress, Linda sewed lace and the beadwork while dreaming of her wedding day. Both Eva and Linda’s gowns will be on display along with other dresses dating back as early as 1758, then from 1800 each consecutive decade through present day.

Accompanying the gowns is an equally resplendent exhibit of nearly twenty quilts. The oldest, a whole cloth quilt in vibrant colors of red and cream from Maryland, dates back to 1800-1830. Some of the quilts were hand made by Linda Mueller and members of her family, past and present. Linda learned how to quilt from her mother, Eva, who learned the art of quilting from her own mother. And while some of the quilts date back centuries, modern quilts can be just as valuable. “Some of the most beautiful quilting is being done right now,” says Mueller. “It’s not just a craft, but an art form.”

Castle Farms’ 5th Annual Bridal Gown and Quilt Display can be viewed by visitors taking Self-Guided and Guided Historic Tours. Castle Farms is open daily 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.

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