Martha Fifield's woven cotton bonnet, Newry, ca. 1842

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Despite the basket weave appearance, a milliner wove this light brown bonnet from cotton, not straw. The ties are trimmed with cotton lace and silk ribbon. The piece is associated with Martha Abbott Russell (1810-1894) who reportedly wore the bonnet at her marriage to Alonzo Fifield in 1842. Originally from Newry, Maine along the Maine - New Hampshire boarder, the new couple lived at Riley Plantation, a rural township adjacent to Newry, where they operated a family farm. The bonnet’s sophisticated style and quality craftsmanship is a testament to rural Maine’s appreciation for fashion.

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About This Item

  • Title: Martha Fifield's woven cotton bonnet, Newry, ca. 1842
  • Creation Date: 1842
  • Subject Date: circa 1842
  • Locations:
    • Newry, Oxford County, ME
    • Riley Plantation, Oxford County, ME
  • Media: cotton, silk
  • Local Code: 3896*a
  • Collection: Costume collection
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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