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Sarah Ball's Wedding Blouse

Contribution du public
Sombra, Ontario, Canada
Matériaux et techniques
Silk, Hand-sewn
Sarah (Stokes) Ball
Numéro d'identification
St. Clair Township Sombra Museum, D79
In 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in a white dress. Since that time, the white wedding dress slowly became a fashion among the upper class. As one can see, this blouse does not follow the typical white fashion inspired by Queen Victoria's Wedding. This is because, though Sombra was a thriving village where many families owned and operated their own businesses, they were not considered upper class citizens. Thus, many young women to be wed would typically dawn their best dress. This wedding blouse belonged to a very well known woman in Sombra, Ontario.

In our quaint little village on April 10th, 1862, on what was then known as Stokes Point, Sarah Stokes was born. She was the eldest of nine of the children of Robert Stokes and Ellen (Meek) Stokes. At the age of 20, Sarah was to be wed to William Ball, also of Sombra, born December 25th, 1855 (age 27 at the time of his marriage). Villagers traveled from afar to the property of Robert Stokes on December 27th, 1882 to be witness to the auspicious occasion.

The couple remained in Sombra with their two children — Roy (male, born October 10th, 1885) and Marion (female, born July 26th, 1891)  until the time of their death. Sarah Ball owned and operated her own millinery shop in the village creating hats for the men and women of Sombra. In that time it was not easy for a woman to own and operate a business, but Sarah and her family were keen on owning and operating each of their own businesses. The Balls thrived in Sombra as William operated the Ferry between Marine City, Michigan and Sombra; Marion had a bakery and ice cream shop; Roy had a photography studio; and, of course, Sarah had a millinery shop. We are proud the Ball family called Sombra home.
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