Catching glimpse of yesteryear


Beginning this month, the Delaware County District Library Ostrander Branch is taking part in a countywide display of historic wedding dresses. Members of the Delaware County History Network have joined together to display historic bridal gowns and other wedding memorabilia of county residents.

The Delaware County History Network is sponsored by the Delaware County Historical Society and includes members from the county libraries, local historical and genealogical societies, Preservation Parks, Stratford Ecological Center and the Delaware County Records Center.

The four dresses that will be on display at the Ostrander Branch Library include one dress of Margaret E. Bouic, who was a well-known genealogist. Bouic developed the Bouic Indexes of Delaware County families. She passed away at age 100 in 2012 but still leaves her legacy with the index, currently located in the Delaware Main Library Local History Room.

While your family is searching for letterboxes this summer, stop by Preservation Parks’ Gallant Farm to see its June bridal display. The farm is a recreation of a Depression-era homestead and offers many exhibits and activities, including animals. The home is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The Delaware County Historical Society will have a longer display from June 15-Sept. 30 of a number of historic gowns and wedding objects at its Nash House. The Nash House is a brick Italianate home built in 1878 and decorated in the Victorian style. It is located at 157 E. William St. in Delaware. It is open for tours on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m., and on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.

Add the Powell-Liberty Historical Society’s display at the Martin-Perry House in Powell and the Myers Inn in Sunbury to your trip and you’ll have made a complete tour of the gowns.

If you have additional questions regarding the bridal display, contact the Delaware County Historical Society by calling 740-369-3831 or emailing [email protected]. This will be a lovely opportunity to catch a glimpse of yesteryear. If you stop at the library first, pick up one of these recent releases in the historical fiction section.

• “City of Incurable Women” by Maud Casey. Inspired by the real stories of women confined to the Salpêtrière hospital in Belle Epoque Paris with the dehumanizing and unscientific diagnosis of “hysteria,” the evocative, lyrical writing and vivid illustrations bring each woman’s memorable story to life.

• “Peach Blossom Spring” by Melissa Fu. After traumatic upheaval during his childhood in China, Renshu “Henry” Dao does everything in his power to assimilate into American culture, but he isn’t prepared when his daughter Lily starts asking questions that could reopen the wounds of his buried past. Enjoy this moving and character-driven family saga that explores questions of identity, obligation, and the sacrifices sometimes required to survive.

• “The Last Confessions of Sylvia P.” by Lee Kravetz. Kravetz presents a lyrical psychological novel about three lives touched by the development, publication, and study of Sylvia Plath’s only novel “The Bell Jar.” Meet Agatha White, a frustrated 1950s housewife who develops a one-sided and increasingly obsessive rivalry with Plath after they join the same poetry group; psychiatrist Dr. Ruth Barnhouse, who tried to treat Plath’s clinical depression; and auction house curator Estee, who discovers the original manuscript of Plath’s novel.

• “The Great Passion” by James Runcie. Upon hearing about the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, a former student of the composer reflects on his time with his teacher, which coincided with the composition of the celebrated oratorio St. Matthew’s Passion. Reviewers say this book is “historical fiction of the highest order” (Publishers Weekly) and “rich in its descriptions of music, devotion to God, and the daily hardships of 18th-century life” (Kirkus Reviews).

• “Things Past Telling” by Sheila Williams. Inspired by a supercentenarian named in the 1870 U.S. census and ancestors of author Sheila Williams, this descriptive, dramatic novel follows the life of Maryam, an enslaved midwife. Discover the sheer span of events Maryam’s long life has allowed her to witness; and Maryam’s hard-won tenacity and resilience, which sustain her through her dehumanizing circumstances.

By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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