1800's Hoop Skirt Factory
Were hoopskirts invented in Shelton?
I read that it started out as a backporch workshop in the White Hills section of Shelton.
They were already making baskets and someone fashioned the reeds to go under a skirt.
The fad took off and they wound up having to build a factory for the operation.
In 1852 Samuel Drew of White Hills bought a 100' by 40' plot on Coram Ave, formerly Main St. from Nelson Downs who owned the mansion that sits on a hill behind this building.
Drew and his brother Issac built a wooden shop and employed 20 hands to make hoop skirts.
This building is still here and sits at 354 Coram Ave.
In 1870 hoops became smaller and bustles were the fashion. The Drews sold the Hoopskirt Building and moved to New Jersey.
The building became a boarding house known as the Rayner Block. It has been stuccoed and porches have been added.
More Pictures of the Hoopskirt Factory
There is an old mansion up on the hill behind the hoopskirt factory. It is still there today, but the huge stone wall separating the buildings is not there. See a picture of the first mansion.