Searching old newspapers online for family references, I came upon this one: “Heirloom Shawl in Bridal Costume of Norma Stalheim” (La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 6, 1946).
Norma, cousin to Emil and Gina’s children, was married to William White in January 1946 at the United Lutheran Church in Pigeon Falls wearing “a deep cream shawl over her white slipper satin and lace gown, the shawl striped in gold and orchid, worn by her grandmother, the late Mrs. Mary Estenson, at her marriage in 1879.”
At the time Norma married, this shawl would have been at least 67 years old, worn by her own grandmother Maria Thorson at her marriage to Bertinus Estensen November 19, 1879. Arriving in 1876 and 1875 respectively, they met in the Pigeon Valley and were married by long-time Pigeon Creek Lutheran pastor, Emmanuel Christopherson.
Since Maria was great-grandmother to us Borreson cousins too, I have wondered if that shawl was still in existence. I have spoken with a nephew of Norma’s who lives in Sparta, but he doesn’t know anything about the shawl. He was going to inquire within his family. I have tried writing a son of Norma’s at an address in Princeton, Indiana, but haven’t had a reply.
If the shawl still exists, it would be nice to have a photo to share with you… but I have a feeling the odds are against us. Does anyone know of any other articles of old clothing still existing within the family? If so, it would be fun to see them and document where they are kept.