Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hats, Pullman, Lake Forest & a Cairngorm Brooch

All About Hats

On Saturday, March 7, 2015, Mary Robak will be our speaker. She will be talking about how millinery evolved from the fur trade to its peak in the 1920s.  We will hear about the “movers and shakers of the industry.”  “The industry of Edson Keith, Fisk and Gage led the wholesale world in the midwest, west and to a lesser extent, other parts of the U.S. Chicago grew many department stores with a significant reliance on their millinery sales.”

As you know, we have six Bes Ben hats in our museum and they will be on display. We had hoped that the hats might lead us back to the original owners but that appears unlikely. We have one hat box with the name Mary Watt on the tag. Mary was a resident at the Scottish Home and died July 20, 2000. She was born in Scotland, February 2, 1903.

On March 7, the museum will open at 9 a.m., the program will start at 10 and finish in about an hour. Reservations are not necessary but helpful. Call 708.408.5591. There is no charge. Coffee and scones will be available.

The Town of Pullman

The History Club on April 4, 2015, will turn its attention to the Town of Pullman and our speaker will be Michael Shymanski.  He is a Pullman resident and founding member of the Historic Pullman Foundation. As you know, President Obama visited the Pullman district in February and established the district as a National Monument within the National Park System. Mr. Shymanski was featured widely in newspaper and radio articles about the event.

You may hear about the Scots who lived and worked in the town of Pullman.

Lake Forest Video

The premiere of the movie The Scots of Lake Forest will be held on April 11, 2015, at the Lake Forest Academy beginning at 2:00 p.m. The hour-long video touches on many of the almost 1,000 native born Scots and their children who helped establish Lake Forest. You’ll learn about the Scots who founded Carson, Pirie and Scot, ran Quaker Oats and the Zenith Corporation.

Over 2,000 old photographs were collected for this project, many from private collections, as well as the Scottish American History Museum and Lake Forest Historical Society’s photograph collection.

The premiere takes place in the Amour Manson at Lake Forest Academy, the former home of Scotsman J. Ogden Amour. Refreshments will follow the movie. Signed copies of Eddi Reader’s CD, The Songs of Robert Burns, which accompanies the film, will be available for a donation of $20.

Tickets are $10 - reservations requested. Tickets may be purchased by calling 847.234.5253 or visiting the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society website. You can also call Wayne Rethford at 630.629.4516.

250 Carat, Stirling Silver Cairngorm Brooch

I saw this brooch at the Burn’s Dinner held at the Union League Club in Chicago and it is beautiful and impressive. It was crafted by R. & H.B. Kirkwood who were responsible for making the dirks and sgian dubhs for the Gordon Highlander’s Regiment. A very few Cairngorm Military Brooches were made, most likely for the top ranking officers. Date 1902-03.

The dimensions of this extremely large and impressive brooch are as follows:

Diameter: 4 1/8 inches
Height: This brooch will stand c. 2 inches high when worn on your clan tartan sash
Carats: 250

This unique brooch is now for sale. If interested, please contact

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society

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