It was a time when John D. Rockefeller founded his Standard Oil Company, Grover Cleveland was president, the Wright Brothers made the first successful air flight and James Naismith invented Basketball.
And it was a time when Hartford’s Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, with Charles Dudley Warner, published the book “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.”
The excitement, frivolity, and decadence of those 40+ years provided the backdrop for the annual Mark Twain House & Museum annual gala, this year titled “All That Glitters, An Evening in the Gilded Age,” a theme that promoted the bling to follow.
There were pearls and rhinestone brooches and hair fascinators, top hats and more as about 250 guests turned back the clock (hours before they really had to) and pretended to live in a time long gone.
It was also turned into a family night out for Tim Bannon and his wife Lori Aronson. Bannon’s daughter Liz Bannon, along with friend, Hailey Rice, were also part of the fundraiser that included the period entertainment of the day, can can dancers and card sharks.
“Twain would have approved,” said board president Greg Boyko, who is finishing out his term and stepping down from the board shortly. “This was his place,” said Boyko about the club where Twain was once a member.
And even though the Halloween holiday had passed, for many of the costumed guests, it was another night of fantasy. Among them, Michael Talbot and Christine Fini.
“We went to the Costume Closet in Springfield and they had so many choices,” said Fini, dressed in a royal blue and black lace gown. “I love Halloween,” she said as she showed off her lace gloves and parasol. “Tonight I am not Christine anymore.”