Six generations of family history on display at Hallockville Museum Farm

The Hallockville Museum Farm will be presenting a new exhibit called “A Family’s Attic: Treasures Saved by Six Generations of Women,” showcasing items from the history of four prominent Sound Avenue families: Hallock, Wells, Young and Terry.

The belongings, ranging from household items like cutlery to toys and clothing, may have little monetary value, but provide a unique perspective into the lives of the Sound Avenue families who were a part of the farming community, said Megan Shpak, assistant director of the Hallockville Farm Museum.

“It provides a sense of how the farming communities, especially the women, were collecting and preserving some of the items that they had and passing them down throughout their families, throughout the generations, providing that connection to the family, just like we do today,” Ms. Shpak said. “It kind of gives you a glimpse into the past of how these families did that during that time.”

The items were donated by Deborah Remer. They were left to her after her mother Marie Wells-Remer died. Ms. Remer now resides in Michigan, but wanted the items to return to Sound Avenue and be given back to the local community to where they came from, Ms. Shpak said.

Henrietta Wells’ wedding dress from 1833. (Courtesy Hallockville Museum Farm)

“She knew she wanted to donate them to Hallockville in order to bring awareness and show the local community, and visitors, different types of items starting from the 1800s into the 1900s that directly relate to a lot of the prominent families that lived here,” Ms. Shpak said.

One of the oldest items displayed is Henrietta Wells’ wedding dress from 1833. Other keepsakes include a wedding cake topper from Ella and Vernon Wells’ wedding from 1922, Bessie Hallock’s piano sheet music from 1917, a quilt from Mary Hallock-Terry that dates back to 1890, as well as a few objects from other Northville founding families.

“Everything that they held onto had precious value to them,” Ms. Shpak said. “We might not view them as valuable today, but to them, in the 1800s, it was something they had to hold onto and something that they took pride in.”

The exhibit opened July 19 and will be open Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m., through Dec. 22. The museum will also be displaying the exhibit at its 39th annual Country Fair, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24 and 25.

Top photo caption: Deborah Remer (from left), Mary Anne Huntington, Suzanne Johnson, Nancy Gilbert, Richard Wines and Rachel Steigerwald. (Credit: Courtesy Hallockville Museum Farm)