Hawken House exhibits life Pre-WWI

Aerin Johnson
Editor in Chief

The Hawken House was built around 1857 by Christopher Hawken and has been one of Webster Groves’ historic staples and  a must see for Webster Groves residents. (Photo by Aerin Johnson)

The Hawken House was built around 1857 by Christopher Hawken and has been one of Webster Groves’ historic staples and a must see for Webster Groves residents. (Photo by Aerin Johnson)

Hawken House is holding an exhibit about life in Webster Groves 100 years ago on the verge of World War I going until Thanksgiving.

“Life on the Eve of World War I” is an exhibit about effect that World War I had on the lifestyle of Webster Groves residents. At that time, Webster was a small town with several train stations which went through the different areas of Webster.

“We have some exhibits, and we thought this one might be one to continue,” said Doris Hanlon, a Hawken House guide. Hanlon donated some binoculars to the exhibit from the early 1900s.

Hawken House was built in 1857 by Christopher Hawken after he married his wife Mary Ann Kinkead Eads. The house was originally located on Big Bend but was moved after the mortgage was paid on it. Hawken purchased 100 acres of land at 25 cents per acre. He used the land for farming and built Hawken House on it as well.

In the rooms, dresses from the era, are placed on mannequins around the room. In the guest parlor, a causal and evening dress sit side by side. In the guest bedroom, there is swimsuit and a driving coat, but the thing that really catches a person’s eye is the evening gown on the bed of the room.

The gown is made of silk and has beading on top that used to be attached to the skirt. Attached to the beading is a pulley used to hold up the beadwork that covered the skirt to prevent the dress from breaking. However, due to aging, the silk skirt has started to deteriorate and the bead work has broken off.

The house has other items including pictures from the time period in several rooms, toys, decorations like a cowbell and a typewriter. The exhibit is $4 per person and runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.



Categories: Features

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