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The Seven Sutherland Sisters | Barnum & Bailey Hair Show

Her sister’s experiences with Castlemaine and Swain did not prevent Victoria Sutherland from marrying a 19-year-old man when she was 50. This caused a rift within the family and the other sisters, who never married, refused to visit Victoria until she was on her deathbed.

The remaining women were dogged by other forms of misfortune. Mary had periods of insanity, and was often kept locked in her room. The popularity of shorter hairstyles for women ended the success of the hair grower, and the fortune it had made for the sisters withered away. In 1926, the three surviving sisters went to Hollywood to help a studio make a movie about their lives, but the project was scrapped, and Dora was killed in an auto accident there. She was cremated in Hollywood, but Mary and Grace had no money to pay for the services, so (at the date of this article) Dora’s ashes are still in Hollywood, awaiting claimants.

The last two sisters returned to their decaying mansion. and lived in the same poverty that had scarred the beginning of their lives. Eventually even the house was sold. A few years after the death of the final surviving sister, the mansion burned to the ground, leaving only Castlemaine’s grandiose mausoleum and, perhaps, a few dusty bottles of the Sutherland Sisters’ Hair Grower in attics and cellars to tell their story.

Yankee Classic: “The Amazing Seven Sutherland Sisters and Their “Niagara of Curls”,” Yankee Magazine, April 1982

Updated Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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2 Responses to The Seven Sutherland Sisters | Barnum & Bailey Hair Show

  1. Diane June 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    This was on TV last night, Mysteries of the Museum. Love that Program!

  2. gypsy18 February 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

    They were women, not girls.

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