Silk dress once owned by one of forts founding mothers to be

first_imgAfter some serious seamstressing by Eileen Trestain, the pretty silk dress is back home at the Barclays.The dress was worn by Maria Pambrun Barclay, one of the founding mothers of Fort Vancouver in the 1840s. Her purple-and-copper plaid dress was recently acquired by Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.“As you might imagine, it is not common to come across something that belonged to one of the women of Fort Vancouver,” museum curator Tessa Langford said.Trestain prepared it for display at the site’s McLoughlin House Unit in Oregon City, Ore.After working stitch by stitch on clothing of a woman born in 1826, you feel like you know her, said Trestain, manager of Fort Vancouver’s costume department.Langford said she has her own personal connection to Maria. (It was pronounced “mar-I-a,” she said.)“I used to do living-history interpreting and played her for many years,” Langford said. “I find her story fascinating: someone with a background of different ethnicities, a bridge between different cultures and languages and social standards.”Maria’s mother was part native; her father was a French-Canadian who had fought against the United States in the War of 1812; and her husband was Scottish.last_img

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