Monday, July 30, 2007

Annie's Linen

Anna was born in 1862, fourth child of eleven siblings to John and Mary Leish.

As a young girl she went to live with her maternal grandparents. Her grandfather, a prominent cabinet maker, was also a weaver during the winter months. Throughout the summer he would grow the flax and spin the threads that would be woven into various textiles.

Annie sat at the loom in the kitchen surrounded by the warmth of the cookstove and the glow of the oil lamp weaving the wool blankets and linen sheets that would become part of her dowry. The constant thud of the beater bar was oblivious to her as she daydreamed of a future marriage. She would delicately embroider her initials (AL) along the hand sewn hem.

That day arrived, September 5, 1881, when she wed the big strapping man beside her, John McDowell.

Annie went on to live a long and fruitful life, bearing seven children.

I was fortunate enough to purchase some of this linen and hand-sewn pillowslips from the estate of her late grandson.

Having the photograph and researching the provenance makes the fabrics come alive. They are still warm from the touch of Annie's hand upon their threads!


Donna O'Brien said...

What a wonderful story. And a photograph to go with it. How rare is that?? How lucky to have ended up with these treasures.

carole said...

Wow, Susan:
I like how you find out information and then share it with us.
Thank you

Sherry said...

I get goosebumps when the photographs of the past, are linked to the pieces from the past and we are re-creating, revisiting the history of simple lives, lived in a simpler time.