The Weeksville Lady is a tintype that was discovered in one of the historic buildings (not the Hunterfly Road homes) of Weeksville during the institution's early archaeological digs. The image was the first logo of the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford Stuyvesant History.
Unfortunately, the woman's identity is unknown--we don't know her name or the nature of her connection to Weeksville. She may have been a resident of Weeksville or the friend or relative of an individual or family from the historic community.
Despite the fact that tintypes were at their height during the Antebellum Period, this image was taken circa 1880. We were able to date the image using her dress and fashion plates from that era. We're sure that you would agree: the Weeksville Lady was very well tailored; her suit reflects a style that was very popular in the 1880s.
Women's fashion incorporated details from military costumes (see: sash) and the rigid tailoring of the jacket. If we could see the back of her dress we would see a skirt that was shaped with a bustle, another stylistic element of dress in that era.
The original tintype is currently housed in Weeksville's 5th of July Resource Center for Self-Determination and Freedom.
Posted by: Megan Goins-Diouf, Manager & Reference Archivist
Text is adapted from a digital research inquiry.