The Cahoon sisters, in living color
When the Covid-19 pandemic caused the temporary closure of Rose Hill Museum in Bay Village’s Cahoon Park, Bay Village Historical President, Cathy Flament, and her staff were given the opportunity to undertake some in-house projects. One of these projects involved the artistic talents of Bay Village resident, Pamela Ebert, who has generously shared her talent with numerous civic organizations.
Several years ago she was commissioned to re-create a charming coloring book featuring numerous historical homes and public buildings in Bay Village.
Last year, Pamela was charged with infusing new life into four cardboard cutouts of the Cahoon sisters. Over the years these cutouts had faded and disintegrated to the point that replacing them seemed the best solution. With the help of a local carpenter and Pamela’s husband, Gary, new plywood silhouettes were created and then handed over to Pamela for painting.
Since the only photographs of the sisters were in black and white, the actual color of their eyes and hair had to be determined from the subtleties in the photos. Martha appeared to be the only sister with dark eyes and Ida alone wore glasses. Laura was the only one that had white hair.
The color of the dresses was determined after research of early 20th century ladies wear and then assigned to complement each sister’s looks. Accessories such as necklaces and belts could be seen in the black-and-white photos available. Each figure took a week or more to paint. The “new” Cahoon sisters will be on display at Rose Hill Museum with a target opening date of July 2021.
The Bay Village Historical Society always welcomes new members. Some of the volunteer opportunities are: Rose Hill greeter and guide, Osborn Learning Center volunteer, and preservation committee to name a few. For more information on membership please visit the Membership page on the society’s website, www.bayhistorical.com.