Costumes exhibit linked to Lincoln anniversary

| 26 Mar 2015 | 01:27

— The Vintage Clothing Committee of the Pike County Historical Society has assembled a special exhibition of vintage costumes to commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's assassination.

The stage costumes now on display at the Columns Museum in Milford once belonged to Jenny Gourlay, an actress in the the play President Lincoln was watching at the Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., at the time of his death on April 14, 1865.

Miss Gourlay spent the last 25 years of her life in Milford. When she moved here in 1888, she brought with her the famed blood-stained flag that cradled the President's head as he lay dying.

The costumes, flag, and other items, including her stage shoes, were donated to the museum in 1954 by her son, Vivian Paul Struthers. The Columns museum has for many years housed these artifacts related to Miss Gourlay the death of Lincoln.

The Lincoln flag is a 36-star American flag used as bunting for the Presidential box at Ford's Theater. It recently made its way back to Ford's, where it's the focal point of a special three-month exhibition called "Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination." The flag will be in Washington until May 26.

The Columns is featuring the Gourlay costumes in the flag's absence. The museum is raising money to have them stabilized and prepared for permanent display. For more information or to make a donation, call the museum at 570-296-8126 or visit

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