Victorian Mourning - October 20, 1991 - San Francisco Columbarium
Back when the Great Bay Area Costumer's Guild (GBACG) was just a year old we put on one of our largest and most ambitious events. Jwlhyfer de Winter and I (Jana Keeler) co-founded GBACG and Victorian Mourning was a passion of Jwlhyfers so why not create an event where we can dress in our finest black mourning. Jwlhyfer put together an incredible display of authentic mourning costume, jewelry and memento mori; even singing some haunting Elizabethan and Jacobean songs about sorrow, sleep and death,, accompanied with Jennifer Holmes. An elegant high tea was served by costumed "servant" volunteers. Our host for the event was the Neptune Society's Columbarium--the only structure left of what was once a massive cemetery out in the Sunset area of San Francisco.
Perhaps most haunting was that just as our event was taking place the devastating Oakland fire was raging, changing the skies to a smokey orange. In the days before cell phones and instant news it wasn't until someone caught a glimpse of the news in the Columbarium office that we knew what was going on and why the air tasted of smoke.
Enjoy the photos of the day (note: the date is incorrect on the 1st photo, it was October 20, 1991.
Here is an article that appeared in a local newspaper about the event: