The Hat Museum in Portland, Ore., houses 700 hats from over 30 countries.
"There are some hats here I wouldn’t wear to a dogfight," says Alyce Cornyn-Selby, keeper of the vast sea of top hats, derbies, fedoras, trilbies, homburgs, sunbonnets, porkpies, boaters, pillboxes, fezzes, and berets that fill the Hat Museum in Portland’s southeast quadrant. Her 700-piece collection drawn from over 30 countries displays headgear of every conceivable size, shape, and origin, including hats worn in the films Chicago and Gangs of New York.
Also under the roof of the restored 1910 Ladd-Reingold House: crowns, mermaids, clothespins, spectacles, Statues of Liberty, boxes shaped like fish, and shoes with unusual heels. But it’s the hats and hat tales as told by Cornyn-Selby that make for a riveting hour in the Rose City. Tours cost $10 and are by reservation only. 1928 SE Ladd Ave., (503) 232-0433, www.thehatmuseum.com.
Photography by Tim Gunther
This article was first published in May 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.