Do you recall the title of Mary Condon, stylist and clothing shop proprietor at 111 N. Potomac St.?
Our most recent exhibit at the Miller House options a Mary Condon unique — a delightful 1930s voile night gown in a delicate floral print, with whimsical ruched sleeves and a total tiered skirt. This gown is a modest thread in Washington County’s heritage of flourishing business women and apparel stores of the early 20th century.
The Mary Condon Fashion Store operated from the 1920s right up until 1946. The shop’s proprietor, Mary Condon (née Moran) , was born in Hagerstown in 1888 she lived with her household on North Mulberry Street, operating as a stenographer at W. D. Byron & Sons Tannery. In 1924, she married David H. Condon, a regional health practitioner. She then opened the Mary Condon Fashion Shop, dressing women of Washington County for almost 25 decades.
For the duration of the 1930s, Condon hosted model exhibits and marketed her styling providers in The Daily Mail and The Early morning Herald. She routinely traveled to New York, returning with fresh seasonal fashions. She adorned area bridal functions with vibrant dresses, this sort of as all those in shades of melon, lavender, and aqua environmentally friendly worn by Anna F. Diehl’s bridesmaids in 1934.
Condon leased her shop to Martins of Hagerstown in 1946, a organization that opened an clothing store at that site right up until 1956. A center of fashion, Martins sold designer apparel for juniors, misses and gals. But Mary Condon’s standing as a mentioned stylist and store operator persisted, even just after her shop’s closure and her dying in 1969.
What helps make Mary Condon’s legacy specific — outside of her store loaded with exquisite clothing — is her relationship to a network of flourishing businesswomen in Washington County’s history. Prior to opening her store, Condon bought interest from the keep of Alice Weagly Wagner, an similarly distinguished and nicely-recognised businesswoman in Hagerstown at the time.
Alice Weagly was born in Cavetown in 1880. Right after clerking, she labored in the corset department of P.A. Brugh & Sons of Hagerstown. Recognizing Weagly’s talent, her employer sent her to New York to study tailor made corset-fitting approaches.
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She returned to Hagerstown, giving ladies the initially custom-equipped corsets sold in a Hagerstown division store. Weagly later opened her personal corset and lingerie store on North Potomac Street.
In 1922, Alice married John C. Wagner, providing the desire of her shop to Mary Condon, who opened her very own keep not prolonged just after. Alice Wagner later labored as a customer and salesperson at Eyerly’s Office Shop ahead of opening a different store of her possess on South Potomac Street, offering custom-healthy corsetry, attire and equipment. She died in 1960.
Mary Condon and Alice Wagner illustrate the impact of girls in Washington County’s history of vogue and small business. These women calculated, styled and adorned locals in the fashions of the day, building fond reminiscences and leaving powering dresses these kinds of as the one particular on screen in the Miller House.
Quit by and see Mary Condon’s 1930s voile costume — and other delightful artifacts produced by girls in Washington County — in “Behind the Seams: Types and Stitches of Washington County,” our newest show curated by Interim Curator Shannon Baker.