|Ida Victoria Nordine's senior|
portrait as found in the 1915
Oriole (Ludington High
This dress was donated to the Mason County Historical Society after my grandmother's death in 1987.
It was during the summer of 2004 when I paid a visit to the Mason County Historical Society in its home at Historic White Pine Village in Ludington, Michigan. I had completed my genealogy research for the day when one of the Research Library volunteers and I started visiting. As we talked, I told her about my grandmother's dress, which had been donated to their organization almost 20 years earlier, and asked if there was a possibility that I could see it while I was there. The volunteer proceeded to tell me (in much more detail than I ever could have wanted) about their computer system that could tell her whether an artifact was on display or in storage and where it was located at a given time. As it turned out, my grandmother's dress was being stored in one of several basement storerooms on the property. Off we went in search of textiles past. We went to the building and room indicated by the computer. Nothing. Perplexed, the volunteer took me back to the Research Library to recheck the computer. Then off we went again.
|My grandmother's graduation dress on|
display at a Larson Family Reunion in
the early 2000's.
Toward the back of the drawer, wedged in among the other items in the drawer, I saw fragile, yellowing ivory fabric with a pale blue sash and recognized it immediately. I had found my grandmother's dress. I carefully pulled the dress out of the drawer and took a closer look. As I did so, a chill ran up the back of my neck. I had already looked in the third drawer and had not seen my grandmother's dress. I had begun looking in another when this drawer opened. And kept opening. On its own. Was my grandmother there helping me to find her dress? Was it a higher power at work? I do not even pretend to know what happened. It was serendipitous. And little did I know then that this would be just the first of several such serendipitous experiences I would have as I climbed my family tree.
Have you ever benefited from genealogical serendipity?