/Tying one on at America’s only Apron Museum

Tying one on at America’s only Apron Museum

This is the weekly ‘Sip of Culture. It’s a partnership between Mississippi Today Magazine and The Sip Magazine. Visit The Sip’s website to see more stories and to subscribe to the magazine. Carolyn Terry, of Iuka, began her routine visits to estate sales to purchase books. But it quickly turned into a hobby. She was the proud owner of the only national apron museum before she knew it. Terry stated, “When you sit on an auction you get bored.” “I went for books. Although I love fabrics, not aprons, that was how it all started. They would show me the aprons and I liked them so I would buy bundles.” Terry began doing some research and found that she had the largest collection of apron in the country. The idea of a museum was discussed. Terry stated that he had already purchased four buildings in downtown Iuka. Terry said, “I didn’t know what I was going with them, but they needed space.” Terry opened the doors of the largest public display in the country of apron aprons a decade ago after learning to Google and making new friends with apron lovers around the globe. The Apron Museum, nestled between two of the town’s highest churches steeples is home to over 3,500 aprons from all over the world. Terry stated, “It is art, fashion, history, it’s art.” People think they will see 100 gingham aprons, but it is not like that. If you are interested in art, we can see how artists made their aprons. If you are interested in history, we can look at the needlework of that time period. It’s a great way to get creative. It’s hard to find a better place to look at aprons than the museum. But it’s more than just aprons. It’s stitching and it’s sewing, sometimes there are surprises.” The museum organizes aprons by state. Terry says that the collection includes aprons made in Australia and Canada, as well as aprons made during Civil War and Leave It to Beaver. She said that “you really do walk through time when passing through here”, noting that the museum attracts people of all ages. “Young people will walk in and say, “I was born in the wrong period.”” Michael Bailey, Columbus, visited the museum along with his wife, who makes aprons. “I took my wife to the museum for our anniversary. Bailey stated that she was thrilled when we pulled up. We had a great time and found it fascinating. It’s a wonderful place to find Americana and it should be treasured.” Ripley’s Believe It or Not featured the museum. It has attracted the attention of both visitors and donors. Terry has been receiving handwritten letters with apron donations since its opening. Terry stated, “We have an amazing collection of cursive and handwritten letters.” Terry said that “a lot of the time, it’s the granddaughter or daughter donating the aprons. And they all have stories that follow them.” Terry received a donation from the granddaughter of a Danish woman who was married in 1922. She sent Terry her grandmother’s dowry aprons. Terry stated, “They’re two of my most beautiful aprons.” Terry said that she never used them. Terry also stated that aprons can give a glimpse into a person’s social status. She said that aprons were a popular choice back in the day, much like purses today. Terry said that depending on their wealth, they could afford different types of embroidery and fabric. Mississippi is the perfect place for the museum. She said that Mississippi has a lot of “real” and that people are often amazed by the museum. “A man once said to his wife, “You have to see this.” It’s Mayberry. Iuka is quiet, peaceful, and safe, which makes it the ideal place for an apron. “We’re in a good place.”