Treasure Chest Thursday: Agnes Cully, her mirror & Shoe Horn Magnet

My Grandmother Agnes Cully attended the Women’s Trade School in Worcester, MA to take Dress Making Classes. In the picture below, she is the only African American in her graduating class. My mother shared with me that the people at the school were very nice to her and enjoyed her presence at the school. Agnes, born May 8, 1900 had been sewing as a little girl making dresses and outfits for her dolls. Her Grandmother Hannah Gilliam would question Agnes where she got the clothing, and Agnes would tell her she made them herself. Hannah, would whip her because she thought Agnes was lying since she did not have any formal training.
 Hannah had been born into slavery so this was the normal custom of weekly whippings she would give to the many children her daughter, Nora A. Cully had, since Hannah was the one who took care of them while Nora was continuously pregnant with a child or trying to recover.

Agnes Cully front and almost center (only African American)

These are a couple of items that I can always remember in my mother’s room growing up.  After my mother Betty Porter passed away in 2004, these are the items that I kept as heirlooms or treasures and hopefully will pass down to the next generation.  I never met my grandmother Agnes as she died three years before I was born.  I like having these items because I know that her hands touched them and I know she used the Horse Shoe Magnet daily as she was a fashion designer in New York.

Silver Hand Held Mirror

Silver Hand Held Mirror

Horse Shoe Magnet

Horse Shoe Magnet


© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved

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