It’s hard to personalize history, which is one of the reasons Gregory Palumbo, executive director of the Lakewood Historical Society, is so excited about the upcoming “A Century of Bridal Fashion.”

“People are born, get married, die. We want to include the human element in our education,” Palumbo said.

It is the marriage part — and the interest that historical gowns always create — that inspired the show, taking place from noon-4 p.m. on July 19, 20 and 21, at the Nicholson House, 13335 Detroit Ave. The house, site of many historical society events, was built in 1839 and is the oldest frame house in Lakewood. It is a perfect venue to display some 30 wedding gowns dating from 1890-1990.

“We have at least two gowns from each decade,” said Norine Prim, first vice president of the society’s executive board. Prim has been involved with the historical society since 2008, including six years on the board of directors.

The criterion for selecting the gowns was that they had to be from Lakewood residents.

The gowns will be displayed in the three main-floor rooms at the Nicholson House. Tickets will specify a date and a time during the three-day show to prevent overcrowding in the medium-size rooms.

Following the historical society’s mission of education, there will be informational posters with historic events and trends for each decade. Wedding veils, shoes, gloves, accessories and documents also will be displayed.

After viewing the items, guests will be able to eat wedding cake and drink punch on the Nicholson House’s side lawn.

The society has been working on this fundraiser for its educational program since February. “We’ve had quite a few people approach us” about donating gowns, Prim said..

“We were offered a gorgeous 1930s white velvet gown with a lace train, but we couldn’t use it because there was no Lakewood connection,” she said.

Prim does have a favorite gown in the collection so far. “It’s a Yves Saint Laurent from 1990,” she said. “It was worn by Elizabeth Jane Fowerbaugh when she married Brock Douglas Jones. It is so pretty.”

Cost for the event is $20 (students with I.D., $10). Tickets are for sale at or 216-221-7343. A limited number of tickets are available, so Prim advises buying them in advance. Day-of-event tickets are not guaranteed.

Contact this reporter at or 440-871-5797.

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