2018 Hoptoberfest Gala

The Greater Kent Historical Society held our Annual Fundraiser Gala, with the theme “Hoptoberfest” on October 6th, 2018 at Kent Senior Center. Hoptoberfest was a celebration of Kent’s Hop History.
Various raffle baskets full of goodies at the Gala were made by our hard working board members and volunteers, most notable Sharon Peden, Kaki Kesterson and Kathleen Ryland. The event was ably assisted by student volunteers from Kent Meridian HS Key Club under the direction of John and Vivian Bruns, leaders of the Friday Kiwanis Club.
Fund-an-Item was bidding that went towards items needed for the Kent Society and Museum, such as a new sign for the museum. This coupled with grants assures a much more visible sign along Smith Street. The Wine Raffle Winners won 20 bottles of wine each! The centerpieces were Thanksgiving themed!
MC for the event was City Councilmember Dennis Higgins. The guest speaker was Michael Rizzo, an author of many books including, Washington Beer: A Heady History. His program was “A celebration of Kent’s Hop History “. He presented interesting research about the changes of beer manufacturing in Washington, with photos from each era.
We thank everyone for being a part of this event, The Greater Kent Historical Society could not have done it without all of your support!

Evolution of Women’s Fashion Trends 1800-1952.

This is an example of women’s dresses, predicted to be around the 1930’s. The first thing you may notice is that her dress is shorter around the ankles. In the 1800’s, women were not allowed to show their ankles or hands, or most of the neck because it was considered vulgar. In addition, the fashionable women’s look was an hourglass figure with a tiny waste. Tight lacing was also popular that actually trained the body to hold together so tight that the entire body structure inside and out is changed.

There were shortages of materials from WWI. But, after this time, great wealth came to the United States which started the Roaring Twenties known as the Jazz Age from 1920-1929. The Flapper Style was invented where it was a drop-waste style. Elaborate beading and sparkly headbands were common, with no sleeves.

Due to the shortage of supplies of the Unites States’ World War II, the impacts started as early as 1929, women had to give up fashion supplies. During the Great Depression, the metal of corsets were given up to use metal for war production. This gave 28,000 tons of metal to the war, which was enough to build two battleships. In addition, dresses had to be cut in order to give up more fabric.

In 1952, a corslet called “The Merry Widow” was created, named after an opera from 1905. Black elastic and yarn netting held up the corslet, with a zipper behind a velvet-backed hook-and-eye flange. Spiral wires were encased in the entire corslet.

Lana Turner, an American actress in the 1940’s gave her opinion on The Merry Widow, describing it anything but merry; “I am telling you, the merry widow was designed by a man. A woman would never do that to another woman”.

What do you think of the evolution of these fashion trends?

The Dream Theater

This is the Dream Theater from 1912 in Kent, WA.

Silent movies were a great source of entertainment for the community. Before this, The Magic Lantern was a light source device that would project images on the wall. Many were hand painted and photographs. With the use of live music, and constantly moving pictures, theaters became very popular. The Dream Theater used a pianola to add music to the movie. Also called a piano player, it had pre-programmed music recorded on metallic rolls. But, the trick is that there has to be a pianola player to push the pedals of the instrument. That became the main source of employment for musicians back in this time. But, the pianola player had to be careful. On the opening night of a thriller show, the scenes would be so terrifying that the pianola player would stop playing out of shock! Therefore, you would never want to go to the opening night of a thriller, because you knew the music would be unpredictable.

Seattle World’s Fair

A real bird’s eye view! That’s the Seattle Space Needle that we know and love.
It was described as: “Jewels gleamed from the intellect and imagination from some of the finest minds of America”. In the1962 world fair, It drew over 2.3 million visitors, when nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators. Now you can eat at the SkyCity restaurant, and really feel like you are on top of the world!

The Alvord Family

What a house! Mr. Alvord is here with his spouse! What a picture perfect family.

The house was built in the early 1880’s. It was located on 78th Ave South. One of the family members name may be Inez Shaffer.

Can you guess the price of this house in the 1880’s?

I’ll give you a hint the Bereighter home at The Greater Kent Historical Society cost $25,000 in the 1800s.