This two-piece wedding dress was worn by Helène Hogue in 1896 when she married Calixte Landry. Hogue was the granddaughter of Margaret Taylor, a former country wife of HBC Governor George Simpson, and Amable Hogue, a Québécois who joined the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1821 and later worked as Simpson’s servant.
Using land granted due to Helène Hogue’s Métis status, she and Calixte became founding residents of Mariapolis, Manitoba. Calixte ran the grocery store with his brother-in-law, Léon Roy (father of famed author Gabrielle Roy), and Helène raised their nine children.
This dress was passed down through the family and was often worn in dress-up games. The epaulettes were not a common style at the time, and it is thus assumed that Hogue had them added to reflect her personal style.
Although many of the items within the HBC Museum Collection were made by women, very few of them have a woman’s name connected to the record or any detailed provenance. This dress is a remarkable exception and was donated by the family in 2018.