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Sibley museum displays vintage wedding garb

submitted photo One of the 12 vintage wedding dresses that is on display through June at the McCallum Museum in Sibley, Iowa.

SIBLEY, Iowa -- If you've wondered what a wedding dress in the late 1800s look like, wonder no more.

The McCallum Museum will open an exhibit -- "Sweet Memories: Wedding Gowns of Osceola County Brides, 1889-1970" -- Sunday to provide a whole new perspective on history and fashion.

Museum curator Jan Stofferan explained that dresses on display are donated to the museum's collection. Each dress has a local connection to Osceola County.

"People can see different dress fashions from the Victorian era and to the '70s," Stofferan said. "We have two brides who married during World War II, and people can see the austerity that was going on even in the dresses."

The two gowns from the 1940s were worn by Gloria Parrott Meyer, a McCallum Museum volunteer, and Luella Kruger, wife of Cedric Klipstein, a Sibley businessman.

The oldest dress, dating back to 1889, was worn by Aretta Sharbondy, who was the mother of an early Sibley businessman, Alvin Sharbondy.

"It's a fitted bodice because women wore corsets during that time," Stofferan said. "The bride married Peter Sharbondy in Pennsylvania, but they settled in Cloverdale, Iowa."

A press release from the museum details that a white nylon lace gown worn by Marlene Huls Loring in 1959 reflects how the wedding dress fashion evolved to a fitted bodice and full skirt with more lace and ruffles.

Each of the 12 dresses exhibited will contain a brief history of the outfit, including the bride's name and her groom.

Although the museum has had a collection of vintage wedding dresses in storage, Stofferan said this is the first time that the McCallum Museum board committee and volunteers are organizing the exhibit of the collection.

"It's for anyone interested in historic preservation or to see old friends' or relatives' dresses," she said. "Most people know of the families because they (the brides) were the descendants of the pioneers."

The wedding dress exhibit is open to the public from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. every Sunday in June. McCallum Museum is located at Sibley Central Park.

For additional information contact Jan Stofferan, (712) 754-3882.

Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony may be reached at 376-7321.