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Colton Museum features 1939 wedding exhibit

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By KATIE ANDERSON

COLTON — White satin and tulle are the main attraction of the Colton Museum’s front-room exhibit this year for its 35th anniversary.

“In Holy Matrimony,” the wedding-themed exhibit, features a white satin wedding gown that was worn by a Colton native on Oct. 14, 1939.

The dress was donated to the museum by Melanie Sullivan, Burlington, Iowa, daughter of Colton native Ramona H. Gwynn.

“She wondered if we would like to have it and when it came we just thought it was beautiful,” said Cyndy S. Hennessy, president of the Colton Historical Society. “Since the family has a history in Colton, we decided to make it our main exhibit in this room.”

Ramona Gwynn married Howard R. Moore at Zion Episcopal Church, which is next door to the museum on Main Street.

“The purpose of the historical society is to collect the town’s history,” Ms. Hennessy said. “There was a desire to preserve this history, the family names, and the desire to just keep it going.”

Mrs. Moore’s name and family history are significant to the small town because her father, Charles F. Gwynn, was a town assessor and chief of the Colton Fire Department decades ago.

He also owned the Gwynn Diner and gas station, which is now the town post office, from 1940 to 1965.

The wedding gown was worn by both of his daughters, Ramona and Shirley A.

Shirley Gwynn walked the aisle on Aug. 25, 1948, nine years after her sister, to wed Raymond H. Youmell, according to the information provided to the museum.

Besides the Gwynn family history, the exhibit consists of a 1920s pump organ and a glass case display of old-fashioned cameras, jewelry and wedding undergarments.

The exhibit opened June 7 and will be open until September from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The museum is open only during the summer and changes its main exhibit each year.

The building has several artifacts and exhibits of the town’s history, such as logging and the town’s school.

“We preserve these artifacts for the town and for people to see and share because it’s our history,” Ms. Hennessy said.

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