Monday, July 30, 2012

Extant Worthington Family Garments at the Adena Mansion and Gardens

Thomas Worthington
Thomas Worthington was born in Charles Town, Virginia in 1773. At the age of three, he and his family moved to the great Ohio Frontier and took up residence in Ross County. As a young man, Worthington was formally trained as a surveyor and spent much of his energies as a land developer. Later in life, he served as a member of the Territorial House of Representatives (1799-1803) for the Ohio delegate and as an Ohio State senator in two separate terms (1803-1807 and 1810-1814). In 1814, Worthington resigned his post as senator after winning the seat for Ohio State governor, for which he served until 1818. Not only did he found the city of Logan, Ohio (Hocking County) and serve as an Erie Canal commissioner, during his governorship, Worthington moved the Ohio State capital from Chillicothe to Columbus, a title that the city of Columbus has maintained since 1818. 

While recently visiting the Adena Mansion & Gardens, Thomas Worthington's historical homestead in Chillicothe, Ohio, the museum on the estate features artifacts that belonged to the Worthington family. These artifacts include furniture, pottery, toys, sewing tools, samplers, and three extant garments beautifully preserved and showcased in a large blue wardrobe in the "children's room". Note that the wardrobe remains shut, so in order to view the garments (which I nearly missed had curiosity not compelled me to cautiously inspect the contents), one must open the wardrobe doors. 

Thomas Worthington's Frock Coat & Vest

The museum card reads: "Thomas Worthington wore this gray wool coat and silk vest when he married Eleanor Swearingen in 1796. They were married in Shepherdstown, Virginia (now West Virginia). He is wearing his wedding outfit in [the above] portrait."

Margaret Worthington's Dress

The museum card reads: "Silk dress made in 1825 for 14 year old Margaret Worthington when she attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York."

If you are in the Ross County, Ohio or Chillicothe area, I encourage you to visit the beautiful Adena Mansion and Gardens. For more information regarding the Worthington family, the Adena estate, museum, and guided tours, please chick here.

Blessings and happy sewing!


  1. It is always so cool to connect an actual garment with a real person. Wonderful!

    1. I know! I can't believe that a painted portrait of him survives where he's wearing these exact articles of clothing. It's a wonderful connection to the past.