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Smith County, KS : Gallery

Gallery Home | Something Old, Something New Museum  

Located on US-Highway 36 just west of Kensington in western Smith County, is the Something Old, Something New Museum. Opened in May, 2012, the museum is a result of 25 years of collecting by Sharon Rust.

Sharon has always loved vintage clothing - it was always the first thing that caught her eye when she walked into an antique store or thrift shop. She was attracted by the lace and delicate handwork on so many of the dresses.

And, a number of years ago she gave in to the urge and bought a vintage wedding dress at a shop in Russell. And, then she bought another. And then someone – actually several someones – gave her some more. And then people heard that she collected wedding dresses and asked her if she would like their relative's dress because no one else in the family wanted it. And the next thing she knew she had over 75 wedding dresses stored ins everal rooms in her home along with veils, wedding shoes and purses and gloves, as well as a number of other vintage clothing items and collectibles.

Her husband finally suggested that they should build a building to house them so she could share them with others who were interested. She took him up on it. And the result is a marvelous collection of dresses and the history that goes along with the ever-evolving fashion trends in wedding dresses.

Sharon has arranged the dresses by decades with her earliest dresses from the 1900-10 era. They go up through 2000. She has done research on each decade and the information is displayed with the dresses from that period. Whenever she has personal history about a dress and the bride who wore it, that information is also displayed. One dress includes the bill from the store where it was bought in 1940. The outfit, including undergarments, came to $15.81. The collection includes dresses from the 1940s made out of parachute material, bridal nightgowns and dresses from the very simple to the very elaborate. I was especially interested in the dresses from the 1970s – the decade I got married – and found one very similar to my own gown. It was a very interesting walk down bridal fashion history that any woman or women's group would find interesting.

In addition to the wedding dresses, she also has one room of beaded dresses, a display of her own childhood toys – her mother never threw anything away – and some collectibles that are for sale, including Hull pottery.

The museum is open by appointment. Just give Sharon a call to arrange a time. There is no admission charge, though donations are accepted. All donations are given to the women's group at Sharon's church.

I thoroughly enjoyed the museum and my visit with Sharon and recommend it.

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