Goodwood celebrates hunting heritage with new exhibit
July 21st, 2015 by Red Hills
published in Tallahassee Democrat 10/16/14
Hunting season has begun in the region, and to celebrate, Goodwood Museum & Gardens is having an exhibit of vintage hunt clothes, a hunt picnic and a fashion show featuring the latest hunt season fashions for partying afterward.
Although Goodwood is now located in what is considered Mid-town Tallahassee, it was purchased in 1911 by Fanny Tiers as a country estate. The property was originally part of the Lafayette Land Grant when it was purchased by Hardy Brian Croom in 1833.
Tiers was a wealthy widow from New Jersey who was related by marriage to the Fleischmanns, then owners of Waverly Plantation, which was adjacent to Goodwood, and is now the Waverly Hills subdivision. She renovated the main house with modern plumbing and lighting, and added other buildings and amenities on the property to entertain her guests during hunting season. This is the Goodwood you see today, although the property no longer has the many acres of open piney woods nearby so suited for quail. Like the other hunting plantation owners from the north, Tiers journeyed to the region only for the hunting season, from early November to early March, to enjoy the warm winters here.
Lucie Reynolds, a graduate student from the University of Georgia who is doing research on hunting fashions, has provided a timeline for the Hunting Party exhibit. It shows the dates of the assemblage of the hunting plantations in North Florida and South Georgia, and the influences on hunting clothes from the late 19th and early 20th century to the present.
Reynolds’ research found that influences on hunt fashion included: English sporting attire popular during the Edwardian age, venomous snakes — which made high boots necessary — and briars. Stafford’s of Thomasville developed canvas briar pants in the 1940s, still popular today, that add a layer of protection from thorny briars.
Later came blaze orange vests and caps for safety, Gore-tex and synthetic fleece. As the hunting “look” became popular, catalog retailers like Cabela’s, LL Bean, Orvis and locally Kevin’s Fine Outdoor Gear and Apparel, started marketing hunt fashions to the non-hunting populace.
The Hunting Party exhibit in the main house opens Friday. It depicts the hunting parties of the Tiers era. On display will be clothes from the first part of the 20th century loaned by area plantation owners and local museums. The exhibit continues through Dec. 31.
The party continues Sunday, Oct. 26 with at hunt picnic on the front lawn of Goodwood’s main house. A picnic lunch, natural history exhibits, hunting retriever dog demonstrations and a traditional hunt wagon will be on display. This will be a great family event.
The party ends Wednesday, Nov, 5, from 6-8 p.m. with a Hunt Season Fashion Show in the Carriage House. The latest in hunt fashions from Kevin’s will be shown as will casually elegant sportswear from Worth New York and party fashions from Narcissus. Chic Verte will showcase jewelry and accessories inspired by nature.
For tickets and more information visit www.goodwoodmuseum.org.
Rose Rodriguez is the communications director for Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy and a member of the Goodwood Museum board of directors.