Monday, February 18, 2008

Millinery in Calhoun

While researching a future blog about South Wall Street I noticed an odd abbreviation on the 1911 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map. According to the Sanborn map key the abbreviation Mill’y represents the word Millinery. What was a millinery? Consultation of the often cited Wikipedia yields the following:

Millinery refers to hats and other articles sold by a milliner to women, or the profession or business of designing, making, or selling hats and hat trim to women. Women would ask a milliner to remake their old clothing into new clothing. A milliner is a hatter who designs, makes, sells or trims hats. Customers would visit a millinery shop to look at and to buy clothes (children's clothing, shirts, undergarments and caps, for example) Millinery, if taken in a more general sense, also means any accoutrements that are functionally unnecessary, such as a garnish on a dish, or the extra cuff-buttons on a man's dress jacket.

So Calhoun had a clothing store that catered to the hat tastes of the community. This store was a wooden structure on the eat side of South Wall Street. The present day building that houses Terry Knight Studio and L’Palazzo appears to be built over site of the Millinery.

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