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Welcome to the Hemlock Vintage Gallery.
The Gallery houses photo and art exhibits related to vintage clothing.
Virginia Baxter, Virgie for short, was Grandma Doris Thrift's sister. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Virgie grew up in a working class family. Virgie made a career as an accompanying pianist for Vaudeville shows. Her talent at the piano allowed Virgie to lead an unusual life for a woman in the 1920's. She was financially independent and immersed in a pretty fast paced scene. She dressed flashy and loved to dance, was fun loving and always the life of the party. Virgie was also very giving and did whatever she could to help Doris and her family (most of Doris's clothing were hand-me-downs from Virgie).

In 1937, Virgie followed her husband Jimmy to Hawaii where he was stationed in the Navy. Virgie, homesick, writes to Doris of their Christmas in Honolulu, 1938.

"All the boys from the boat were here. We'd been drinking all night. Well, when your cable came, I got a crying jag and one by one the boys joined, What a crying good time."

Never sentimental, Virgie jokingly adds, "And we have not been sober since..." Although feeling isolated in Pearl Harbor, Virgie quickly adapts. She writes Doris of her new Hawaiian girlfriends, her parties and dancing. She sends Doris a couple dresses in one letter, but adds that one has a small rip from a dancing accident during an earthquake. "I got tangled in the dancing floor during the quake."

Tragically, in 1939, Jimmy sends Doris a telegram stating that Virgie has been very sick. She is diagnosed with cancer and dies shortly after, she was 35. Below are a couple pictures of Virgie in the 1920's. You can really get a sense of her enormous personality and fun-loving nature.

All pictures are copyrighted. İHemlock Vintage, 1999-2004
Use of any photograph or text is restricted without written permission.

Picture reads, "Some Vamp!"

Playing ball in the Baxter family

Joking around in the backyard
Picture reads, "She Rolls her Own!"

Virginia in a velvet dropped waist dress,
long string of beads and a cloche hat
Washington, D.C.