Laurel Hill Mansion in Fairmont Park is all decked out for the holidays. This year’s theme is “Celebrating 250 Years of Designing Women.” The Christmas Tree in the main room is decorated with ornaments showing women’s fashion plated from Godey’s Lady’s Book. If you never heard of Godey’s Lady’s Book, you are in for a surprise. Godey’s was the premier woman’s fashion magazine in the United States from 1837 to 1898. But it was more than a magazine. Women relied on it for information and articles on everything from cooking to housekeeping to health to etiquette. It contained sheet music, short stories, book reviews, etchings and essays by the leading intellectuals of the day. Its female editor, Sarah J. Hale, wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and convinced President Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Hale was also a trend setter who knew what her readers wanted. In 1850, she started a fad when she introduced the American public to the Christmas tree when she published a picture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their family gathered around their holiday tree.
Here are some pictures of Laurel Hill.