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Sutherland Sisters

Census images were provided by Brian Cook.  10/22/08
1870 Census  1880 Census

 

 

The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats (congressional apportionment), electoral votes, and government program funding. Some states or local jurisdictions also conduct local censuses. -Wikipedia

 

Birthplace ~ Cambria, New York

The Sutherland sisters were born in the town of Cambria, on what is known as the Sutherland farm, near the city of Lockport, Niagara County, New York, a few miles east of Niagara Falls.

They are all members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, having been confirmed by Bishop Cox, of Buffalo, and when at home are under the pastoral care of Doctor Foster Eley, rector of Grace Church, Lockport City.


Lockport, New York

Lockport became a town during the construction of the Erie Canal and the Lockport Locks ( 1821-1825).  In 1865, Lockport became a boom town and had grown to over 20,000.

Lockport Locks 1879

Mules were used to tow
the canal barges

The first superhighway in the world !!!  The Lockport Locks scaled 60 feet above the Niagara escarpment connecting the Midwest & Lake Erie, across the Appalachians, to the Hudson River, to the east coast & New York City; a total of 350 miles.  The original cost of the Erie Canal (latter renamed as the Barge Canal) was $7 million dollars, equivalent to 4 billion in today's money.  The locks and the canal system was improved several times over the years, and was used commercially into the 1950s.


Vital Statistics

name birth death & age buried
Sarah Naomi 1845 Sept. 9, 1919
74 yrs
A
Victoria 1849 May 25, 1902
53 yrs
B
Isabella (or Isabel) Cooley 1852 Dec. 1, 1914
62 yrs
A
Grace 1854 Jan. 13, 1946
92 yrs
A
Naomi 1858 July 13, 1893
35 yrs
A
Dora "Kitty" 1858    
Mary Fletcher 1846 May 12, 1939 A
Charles Carrol
Sutherland
(Brother)
1852    
Rev. Fletcher Sutherland
(Father)

Son of Col. Andrew Sutherland & Naomi Cooley
March 1, 1816, in Cambria, New York 1888  
Mary Brink Sutherland
(Mother)
Married circa 1843
     
Col. Andrew
Sutherland
(Grandfather)
     

A- Glenwood Cemetery Lockport, Niagara County, New York, USA.

B- Forest Lawn Cemetery Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA


Anna Roberts Cabinet Photo - 9 Foot Long HairNaomi Sutherland passed away in 1893; four years before the New York Hair Grower photo (below) was taken.  Miss Anna Roberts (right) took Naomi's place.


 

Exhibit of the Most Beautiful Hair in the World produced by the use of the

SUTHERLAND SISTERS HAIR GROWER AND SCALP CLEANER,

in New York, May 24th, 1897.

 

Photo taken in NY, by Siegel Cooper Co.  The girl's parents are at right.


"The Seven Wonder Sisters"

In New York City, the beginning of December, 1880, the Wonder Sisters launched their career showing off their long tresses and vocal talents.  The following summer the Sisters toured the Southern States as far south as Pensacola, Mobile, and New Orleans.  Their popularity grew... no pun attended :-)


Pennsylvania | Indiana | Indiana Weekly Messenger, The | 1883-11-14


Mary Fletcher Sutherland

 

Now this is strange, I received the following about Mary.  How can Mary spend her time locked up in her room and at the same time operate a business with her sister?  Maybe it will make sense later on. -Webmaster

. . . . . . . .

 

Mary was the youngest and she was considered mentally ill.  She would have "spells" and the family would lock her in her bedroom.  Mary lived in the Sutherland Mansion most of her adult life.  She and her sister Grace then lived with their nephew, Harry Bailey in Buffalo, where Mary's condition worsened.  She was committed to the State Institution for the insane in Buffalo, NY where she died on May 12, 1939.  She is buried at the Glenwood Cemetery near the Castlemaine Mausoleum in Lockport, NY.

 


Newspaper Articles


Texas | San Antonio | San Antonio Light, The | 1947-11-16



Pennsylvania | Titusville | Titusville Herald | 1966-07-22


Pennsylvania | Titusville | Titusville Herald | 1973-10-12

Lethbridge Herald, The, May 13, 1939


"Sept 29, 1884"During the late 1800's and early 20th century, the Seven Sutherland Sisters, of Lockport, New York, were a illustrious act of singing sisters with the Barnum & Bailey Circus (c. 1892-1907.)  The Sisters were more known for their exceptionally long hair than for their musical talents. 

The Sister's collective length of hair reached thirty seven feet!  Apart from stepping on each other's hair, they were also successful in selling their HAIR GROWER and SCALP CLEANER, until the bob style become vogue after World War I.

Signs of the times... to bad, so sad :-(

Caption reads...
 Oh! Where is your hair? When the barber bobbed your hair, did your sentiment cause you to treasure the shorn locks? If so, just imitate Estelle Clark and make a wonderful braided belt. The fad is spreading like wild-fire.

 


Below, is an envelope locally mailed and canceled on April 30, 1936, Toronto 2, Ontario, Canada.  The advertisement is on the backside.


SEVEN SUTHERLAND SISTERS
193-195 SPADINA AVE.
TORONTO 2    -    CANADA

Is the Sister's Hair Grower Tonic Valid?

NOT INHERITED

Sutherland Sisters' Beautiful hair produced by using tonics


Massachusetts | North Adams | North Adams Transcript, The | 1899-06-05

I have found many websites which tag the Sister's tonic as "snake oil" and nothing more than hair quackery, all without supporting evidence or rationale.

 

At this time, I cannot find the the Sister's Hair Grower tonic recipe.  Some say the recipe was lost when a fire destroyed their home in 1938.  I have searched the US Patent Office filings and found nothing in the Sister's, business or Bailey's name.

 

But, I did find a common ingredient in most tonic formulas--  boiling of roots and/or vegetables, and the use of alcohol.  I make soap, and most books I use tell about a process called "infusion."  Infusion is a very old method of extracting nutrients and from plants into a broth, or into an alcohol (or oil) tincture.  The method is similar to steeping leaves into a tea.

 

There are conflicting opinions about the loss of vitamins using boiling type infusion.  In any case, whatever nutrients do survive remain in the broth.  Alcohol acts as a preservative.  But I also found that alcohol also acts a transdermal carrier, like DMSO.  For example, alcohol is used in skin patches to help transport drugs through the skin into the blood stream.

 

I found a few articles that touch base with the ingredients of the Sister's Hair Grower.  The Sister's tonic is made mostly of "vegetable preparations" and "alcohol."   Which make sense, because it is something that can be grown in the garden and mixed together, simply at home.  Before the Hair Grower business, Sisters used a hair ointment, and the kids at school would complain about the smell (The Seven Sutherland Sisters by Clarence O. Lewis, 1991, pg.10.)

 


Gleaner, The
Thursday, August 07, 1947 Kingston, Kingston


Winnipeg Free Press Saturday, July 20, 1968 Winnipeg, Manitoba

 


"Emu oil is used topically on the scalp.  Studies and clinical experience show that it helps prevent hair loss and stimulates hair growth and hair follicles."

There is a new science/study called Nutrigenomics.  The study explores the relationship between genetics and nutrition.  If this is true.  If genetics can be modified by nutrition, then the Sister's tonic is valid.  What are the odds of having six out of seven Sisters with floor length hair?  And, one of the six is likely adopted? (1865 Census reported Isabella was adopted, Id. at pg.32)

 

Emu oil is also a transdermal carrier, a transporter.  Emu oil is very effective, has no side-effects, and helps improve circulation.  So far I have not found any specific information using Emu oil, mixed with a wide spectrum, cellular ready, liquid vitamin and ionic mineral supplement, as a  topical hair grower.

 

There are products that contain Emu oil with other ingredients to help arthritis and skin problems.  There are Emu oil shampoos and scalp creams.  Emu oil alone can help stimulate hair growth.  But I believe, used topically as a transdermal carrier for vitamins/ionic minerals will far exceed expectations.

 

 

 


First as singing amateurs ~ before their claim to fame

Before the Sisters showed off their hair, they were well known in their local area as the "Sutherland Concert of Seven Sisters, and one Brother" 


Opinions of the press....

"Naomi's voice was extraordinary."  At 13 years old she sang low bass, solo:

  • Who Treads the Path of Duty

Sarah sang Scotch and English songs as high soprano, solo:

  • On the Rhine, That Ancient River

Victoria, Isabella, and Grace sang as trio:

  • The Shades of Night
sister/brother sang as hair
Sarah N.
solo single

jet black hair


"long massive hair"

Victoria
mezzo-soprano "seven feet"

Isabella C.
High soprano "six feet"
Grace
tenor & piano accompanist "between five and six feet"
Naomi
bass "envelopes her whole body as with a garment"
Dora "Kitty"
alto "five feet"
Mary
soprano "the yongest... most wonderful growth of hair"
Charles Carroll Sutherland   "same tendency to long hair and music"

Sutherland Pets

This is an unusual portrait of the sisters.  Yes, they are the Sisters.  On the backside is the list of their names.  Anyhow, you can see a dog sitting at the bottom right of this image.  The Sutherland Sisters had many pets.  They were so heartbroken when one of their dogs passed away.  They spent $500 for their dog's funeral.  The dog in this image appears to be a pug.


 

 

 

Rising star
The Observer - UK
Mika Rottenberg, artist
Emma Love
Sunday October 8, 2006

Rottenberg, 29, won the inaugural Cartier Award at this year's Frieze Art Fair for a film piece - a movie trailer based on the true story of seven American sisters with record-breaking long hair who made a fortune with an anti-baldness cure....

Frieze Art Fair, featuring the Frieze Projects in association with Cartier, is held in Regent's Park, London, 12-15 October
And don't forget Alyssa, Mika's assistant.

 


Sutherland Hair Grower Sales

Continued Through April 30, 1936

Mary and Grace were still alive and in business selling their hair "fertilizer" through '36.  Dora ran the Canadian branch in the 20s out of Buffalo, New York

Dora's Hair Fertilizer Mailer & Advertisement  Contributed by Robert Coutts

 



1886



Hannah Terry Corwin & Friends Collection
Hannah
did assignments for the Seven Sutherland Sisters Co. selling and demonstrating Sister's hair tonic

Sutherland Sisters


Sarah

 


Victoria

 


Naomi

 


Mary

 


Isabella

 


Grace

Unknown


Ade Sperry

Mrs Flynes or Hynes

Miss Wallace
 

Lillian Mott


Mabel James

Miss L Boom
 
Miss Dextor

 

Photos of Hannah

Seven Sutherland Sister's Hair Grower & Scalp Cleaner Advertisements & Product Labels

The Sister's father started the hair grower business in 1882.  Not until one of the Sisters married Henry Bailey of the Barnum & Bailey Circus did their father's business really take-off.  The Sisters continued the business after their father's death in 1888.

" It's The Hair - not the Hat "

That makes a woman attractive


1901

1904


1902


1903


1904

1904 1904


1905


No date

  1901  1906 1912 1906

Demonstrations, Consultations, Engagements & Tours

 

demonstration AND "7 sutherland"

Alberta

Lethbridge Daily Herald, The
April 3, 1918

     

 

California

Oakland Tribune
Tuesday, May 30, 1899 Oakland, California

LINK ERROR

San Mateo Times
Friday, October 20, 1961 San Mateo, California

Oakland Tribune
Sunday, August 10, 1924 Oakland, California

Oakland Tribune
Saturday, May 20, 1899 Oakland, California

Fresno Morning Republican, The
Monday, October 03, 1910 Fresno, California

Oakland Tribune
Sunday, February 06, 1916 Oakland, California

Fresno Morning Republican, The
Thursday, October 14, 1915 Fresno, California

Consultation by Grace Sutherland

Fresno Morning Republican, The
Friday, October 22, 1915 Fresno, California

Demonstration by Grace Sutherland

Oakland Tribune
Sunday, October 27, 1912 Oakland, California
 

Oakland Tribune
Sunday, October 31, 1915 Oakland, California

Consultation by Grace Sutherland


Colorado

Greeley Daily Tribune, The Tuesday, August 17, 1920 Greeley, Colorado

Naomi Sutherland

Greeley Daily Tribune, The
Friday, July 02, 1920 Greeley, Colorado


Dora Sutherland

Greeley Daily Tribune
Friday, July 16, 1920 Greeley, Colorado

Greeley Daily Tribune, The
Saturday, August 14, 1920 Greeley, Colorado


Isabella Sutherland

Greeley Daily Tribune, The
Tuesday, July 06, 1920 Greeley, Colorado


Sara Sutherland

Greeley Daily Tribune, The
Wednesday, August 11, 1920 Greeley, Colorado


Victoria Sutherland

Greeley Daily Tribune, The
Tuesday, February 17, 1920 Greeley, Colorado

Greeley Daily Tribune, The
Saturday, March 13, 1920 Greeley, Colorado


Connecticut

Bridgeport Standard Telegram
Friday, March 07, 1919 Bridgeport, Connecticut

 

Bridgeport Standard Telegram Saturday, February 15, 1919 Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport Standard Telegram
Friday, February 28, 1919 Bridgeport, Connecticut

Connecticut | Bridgeport | Bridgeport Telegram, The | 1924-04-01
 


Georgia

Earliest known articles ~ before the Sister's hair tonic !!!

 

Saturday, October 29, 1881 Atlanta, Georgia

Tuesday, November 22, 1881 Atlanta, Georgia

Thursday, November 24, 1881 Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

 

Atlanta Constitution, The Sunday, March 11, 1894 Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Constitution, The
Sunday, January 03, 1909 Atlanta, Georgia

 

 Georgia | Atlanta | Atlanta Constitution, The | 1894-03-04

Atlanta Constitution, The
Tuesday, August 29, 1899 Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Constitution, The
Sunday, April 22, 1900 Atlanta, Georgia

 

Thursday, August 17, 1899 Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Constitution, The Sunday, March 04, 1894 Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Constitution, The Sunday, March 11, 1894 Atlanta, Georgia


Illinois

 Daily Republican, The
June 12, 1895
Decatur, Illinois
   

Indiana

Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette Thursday, June 11, 1891 Fort Wayne, Indiana

   

Iowa

Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Wednesday, June 27, 1894 Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Iowa | Des Moines | Des Moines Daily News | 1898-10-10
 

Maine

Daily Kennebec Journal Thursday, September 02, 1920 Augusta, Maine

     

Manitoba

Manitoba Free Press Saturday, January 11, 1919 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg Free Press Saturday, July 20, 1968 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Morning Free Press Saturday, February 07, 1920 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Free Press
Friday, September 05, 1924 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Morning Free Press
Friday, October 08, 1909 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Morning Free Press
Saturday, January 31, 1920 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Morning Free Press
Tuesday, November 03, 1914 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Morning Free Press
Monday, July 30, 1906 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Morning Free Press
Monday, July 21, 1913 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Free Press Saturday, February 08, 1919 Winnipeg, Manitoba

 Manitoba Free Press Saturday, February 01, 1919 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Free Press
Saturday, January 24, 1920 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Free Press
Friday, February 07, 1930 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Manitoba Morning Free Press
Saturday, September 15, 1906 Winnipeg, Manitoba


Missouri

Moberly Evening Democrat, August 1, 1900
 
Moberly Monitor-Index, September, 21, 1920
   

Montana

Helena Independent, The Friday, October 26, 1883 Helena, Montana

     

Nebraska

Nebraska State Journal, The
Thursday, March 27, 1902 Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska State Journal, The
Sunday, June 25, 1899 Lincoln, Nebraska

 

Lincoln Daily News
Monday, August 05, 1912 Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln Evening News
Monday, March 28, 1910 Lincoln, Nebraska


New Hampshire

Portsmouth Herald, The
Saturday, December 30, 1899 Portsmouth, New Hampshire

     

New Jersey

Trenton Evening Times
Wednesday, July 06, 1921 Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton Evening Times
Friday, July 15, 1921 Trenton, New Jersey

   

New York

Syracuse Herald, The
Wednesday, May 21, 1919 Syracuse, New York

Syracuse Herald, The
Friday, June 13, 1919 Syracuse, New York

Kingston Daily Freeman, The
Tuesday, September 25, 1923 Kingston, New York

Syracuse Herald, The
Tuesday, May 27, 1919 Syracuse, New York

Post Standard, The
Sunday, April 08, 1900 Syracuse, New York

Syracuse Herald, The
Sunday, February 05, 1911 Syracuse, New York


Ohio

Steubenville Herald-Star
Tuesday, June 21, 1898 Steubenville, Ohio

Times Democrat, The
Friday, January 26, 1900 Lima, Ohio

Steubenville Herald-Star
Thursday, June 23, 1898 Steubenville, Ohio

Newark Daily Advocate
Thursday, June 29, 1899 Newark, Ohio

Times Recorder, The
Tuesday, May 06, 1924 Zanesville, Ohio

Newark Advocate, The
hursday, February 08, 1912 Newark, Ohio

Elyria Republican, The
Thursday, December 20, 1883 Elyria, Ohio

Portsmouth Daily Times, The
Thursday, August 12, 1909 Portsmouth, Ohio

Newark Daily Advocate
Friday, June 03, 1898 Newark, Ohio

 


South Dakota

Daily Huronite,The
Thursday, May 26, 1910 Huron, South Dakota

Daily Huronite,The
Saturday, May 28, 1910 Huron, South Dakota

   

Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Thursday, February 15, 1900 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Sunday, January 21, 1900 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Thursday, March 22, 1900 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Sunday, December 27, 1903 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Thursday, February 22, 1900 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Sunday, February 18, 1900 Galveston, Texas

 

Galveston Daily News, The
Tuesday, December 22, 1903 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Sunday, March 11, 1900 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Tuesday, January 30, 1900 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Thursday, March 08, 1900 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Tuesday, February 27, 1900 Galveston, Texas

Galveston Daily News, The
Sunday, February 25, 1900 Galveston, Texas


Utah

Ogden Standard, The
Saturday, July 10, 1909 Ogden City, Utah

     

Washington, D.C.

Washington Post, The
Sunday, May 24, 1908 Washington, District Of Columbia

     

Wisconsin.

Daily Gazette, The
Friday, September 15, 1899 Janesville, Wisconsin

Waukesha Freeman, The
Thursday, July 05, 1900 Waukesha, Wisconsin

Daily Gazette, The
Wednesday, September 27, 1899 Janesville, Wisconsin

Janesville Daily Gazette
Saturday, October 25, 1919 Janesville, Wisconsin

Sara dies Sept 4 and leaves $5,000 to Grace, Dora and Mary


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