| Our hair wreath is typical of this art form. Most were horseshoe-shape, framed inside a shadow box. When memorial wreaths were made, hair was collected and added to the wreath whenever any one died. The top of the wreath was always kept open...."ascending heavenward." The newest hair would be placed in the center and slid to the side as it became part of the large wreath when the next person passed away.
This wreath was donated by Ruth Gertrude Easton (1892-1982). (Visit Ruth at the Riverside Cemetery) Ruth was a teacher in Gouverneur for 43 years and a tireless volunteer for the Gouverneur Historical Association. Her obituary says Ruth was "noted for her creativity. It showed in original poems and teaching materials she used with her young charges and also in her leisure time hobbies of painting, pottery and jewelry making. Other hobbies included her beautiful gardens, her stamp collection, crossword puzzles and other interests that kept her busy after her retirement."
Ruth's father, Seymour Easton, had married Emma Sheldon, after her mother (Sarah Drake) died in 1906. Emma became a "friend and advisor" to Ruth during her teenage years. Emma was the originator of this hair wreath and the sister of James Sheldon, who was a Bank of Gouverneur President and the Boy in the Green Dress. Their sister, Julia Sheldon Neary was one of the founders of the Gouverneur Reading Room.