Dr. Sara Butler, Miami University Art Department Professor Emeritus, will discuss the Butler County Historical Society’s “Reality and Fantasy: 150 Years of Butler County Weddings” exhibit at 1 p.m. on January 23 in the society’s Emma Ritchie Auditorium, 327 North Second Street, Hamilton.  The presentation is the first in a new series of monthly Saturday afternoon programs developed by the BCHS.

Butler’s talk will highlight many of the wedding dresses worn by members of prominent area families including the Woods, Becketts, Fittons, Flenners, Griesdmers, and Neilans which were featured in the exhibit which opened July 21, 2015.  She created her Saturday presentation as a special program marking the close of the wedding dress exhibit that she and her intern, Marcus Gray, developed for the society.

The highlight of the talk is the dress and veil first worn by Mary Woods when she married Cyrus Falconer on October 8, 1839.  “Family records indicate that this particular dress was worn by at least three brides and the veil used by eight brides between 1839 and 1990,” Butler said.  The exhibit includes 18 wedding dresses including bridal veils as well as the attire for members of their wedding party including the groom, maid-of-honor and flower girl.  Saturday, January 23, will be the last day BCHS visitors can see the wedding dress exhibit.

Upcoming monthly Saturday programs include a talk about Fanny Hurst on February 20; a showing of “Imitation of Life,” a 1934 movie made from a Hurst novel on March 5; and a presentation of Postcards of Hamilton on April 16.  All programs begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium and are free to the public.

The Butler County Historical Society, located at 327 North Second Street, Hamilton, is a private non-profit formed in 1934 to preserve and interpret the county’s rich heritage.  It owns and operates the Benninghofen House museum, a high-Italian style home built in 1863 that is filled with the furnishings of a wealthy family during the Victorian Era.  It is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Group tours of the Benninghofen House Museum can be arranged by calling 513-896-9930.