Hidden in one of the upstairs bedrooms of the Andover Historical Society is an exquisite children’s nightgown which is part of the current exhibit, “Common Indecency.” This is one of several pieces of children’s clothing at the Historical Society, but it is one of the most beautiful. Made of white cotton with real lace trim, it would have been one little girl’s dream nightgown, and it is our Exhibit Highlight this week.
The nightgown is made of white cotton, and it is full length with from tie closure with long sleeves. There is fine lace trim decorating the neck and sleeves, and a high lace waistband. Also added are several ruffles in the skirt and at the shoulders. This handmade piece of clothing was donated to the Andover Historical Society in 1940 by Mr. William A. Trow, who was born in 1868 and died at the age of eighty-one in 1949. Mr. Trow was married to Miss Florence Gardner, and they had an adopted daughter named Charlotte, who married in 1947 and became Mrs. Charlotte Bowes Trow Young.
William Trow was an integral part of the community, and served the town of Andover in many different ways. He graduated from Punchard High School, and went on to be part of the Punchard School Board of Trustees. He was a member of the Andover School Committee, and was even a president of the Andover Historical Society from 1936-1947. Mr. Trow enjoyed collecting historical notes, and there is a William A. Trow collection at the Historical Society today, containing mostly information on the Samuel Phillips family during the Revolutionary War.
The nightgown on exhibit now is a beautiful example of children’s nightwear, and how elegant it used to be. I know that as a small child, I would have loved to wear something like that to bed. I bet the child that was that lucky had magical dreams.