Hatmaker gets history bee in bonnet


ON ONE OF the coldest, clearest nights of this winter, I drove over to Keymar to talk with Caroline Trevorrow about her hobby and business, Carolina Moon.

On that still, silent night, the cold earth was illuminated by a full moon. I could see the lights of Emmitsburg and Ski Liberty in the distance as I got closer to the old stone house Caroline shares with her husband, Brian, and her mother, Sandy Williams. The evening had atmosphere, as they say, and even the cheery tune on the car radio couldn't erase the night's eerie feeling.

I walked up the dark front steps to the house, and Ms. Trevorrow answered the door and ushered me into the dining room. There, on a massive dining room table, was the display of her hand-sewn Civil War-era bonnets, Jane Austen-period hats, decoupage boxes and cases, and period accessories she creates for those who have a penchant for old-looking things.

Ms. Trevorrow began making these articles in the summer, and already her business has taken off -- a shop in Gettysburg, Civil War Ladies' Things, sells the hats for up to $100 each.

The bonnets are inspired by movies and novels such as "Gone With the Wind" and "Pride and Prejudice." In addition to the bonnets, Ms. Trevorrow will create period wedding head pieces, parasols, carpet bags, jewelry and other accessories.

She also decoupages old boxes and cases with clippings from Antiques magazines. A favorite project was decorating an ordinary waste basket in an "abandoned house" theme, with pictures of broken windows, cobwebs, dusty furniture. The piece has atmosphere. "I like to add a touch of creepiness to everything I do," she says.

I felt as if I was visiting the previous century as Ms. Trevorrow gave me a tour of the apparel she designs and makes. She admits having a sixth sense about what everyday life was like a century or two ago. As a child, touring Bacon's Castle in Surrey County, Va., with her parents, she commented that the decor wasn't right for the period (it wasn't, as a curator later confirmed) -- and also that she had been in the house before (she hadn't).

By day, Ms. Trevorrow, 25, works as a receptionist at Troutville Home Repairs in Woodsboro. Her husband, Brian, 22, is a machinist. But the couple spend their spare time hunting for just the right antiques with which to furnish their historic house, creating reproduction furniture and period clothing, and visiting abandoned houses and imagining the life that used to be in them. Neither has formal training in the historic aspects of their hobbies.

Living in the old house lends itself to exploring period detail. Ms. Trevorrow can take materials from the local fabric and craft shop and turn them into curtains that look as if the first owner had hung them.

Her enthusiasm and affinity for the past infects everything she touches, and Ms. Trevorrow is excited about the possibilities for her business. For additional information, call 775-2860.

Town Hall breakfast

Gather round the breakfast table Sunday at the Union Bridge Community Center. A home-cooked breakfast prepared by members of the Town Hall Funding Committee will be served, starting at 7 a.m.

You can fill up on eggs cooked to your specification, bacon, chipped beef, gravy, biscuits, fried potatoes, fruit, coffee and juice. The cost is $4.25 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 12, $4.75 for carryouts. All the proceeds go to pay the mortgage on the new town hall. Breakfast ends at 12:30 p.m.

Pot-pie dinner

VFW Post 8806 in Union Bridge will hold a pot-pie dinner, beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday. Home made pot-pies, peas, cole slaw and desserts are offered to adults for $4.50 and children for $2. Information: 775-2160.

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