My love of pioneers began early. In second grade I read my first Laura Ingalls Wilder book and the rest was (so called) history. In early Elementary school, an interest in the Oregon Trail blossomed with the same-named computer game and continued as I read young adult fiction based on trail diaries. My interest in historical clothing began and has continued in much the same manner. An avid fan of dressing up for halloween in historical costumes, this grew into a love of historical fashion and especially that of 19th century clothing. While high fashion of the 1870s has always been my favorite, this research of more functional and work-ready types of clothing has been a wonderful look into the more average 19th century woman and her clothes.
As an outdoor hiking enthusaist, I see the Overland Trails as the ultimate outdoor experience, traveling half way across the country by foot and oxen. The weather plights, fear of disease and dangerous river crossings are undoubtedly vital to trail diaries, but isn't it interesting that after all the difficulties women went through daily they still had time to journal and even mentioned something as seemingly trivial as what they were wearing?
Image: Author, age 10.