A Hairy Situation on the Walls of Ward Hall

In the heart of Scott County lies a 12,000-square-foot Grand Manse that was home to some of the sauciest and most scandalous historic individuals to grace Kentucky’s high society. While there are countless stories and artifacts housed within its walls, one item in particular might just make your skin crawl. It’s known as a mourning wreath.

As you can guess from the name, mourning wreaths were made to honor and memorialize family members after they had passed away.This all sounds very normal and perhaps even a little sweet until you take a closer look at what these wreaths were made out of…human hair.

Yes, hanging above a bed in this historic home is a wreath made of hair collected from the deceased. At one time, it was actually a popular and widespread victorian-era tradition to create a mourning wreath and add more hair to it as family members would pass away. It is not uncommon to find wreaths with 10 or more different individuals' hair woven into them as they were passed down through the generations.

So while it is unknown whose hair is woven into this particular wreath, you can be assured that it is not the only one of its kind. Not just wreaths, but hair necklaces, earrings and jewelry can be found all across the United States as the last remnants of this bizarre practice. Victorian-era mourning traditions like this are assumed to have largely died out in the early 1900s as the world was ravaged by the Great War and the Spanish Flu. There was simply too much death to keep up with tradition.


Website:   www.wardhall.net
Phone:   502-863-5356
Address:   1782 Frankfort Road, Georgetown, KY 40324

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Georgetown / Scott County Tourism Bureau