News and Tribune

March 26, 2013

Celebrate New Albany’s history with style show


NEW ALBANY — Three debutantes, two dresses and one moment in the 200-year timeline of New Albany’s history will be one of many featured in an event at The Grand on April 6. In a style show like no other hosted in this area, New Albany’s Living History Committee has planned a showcase of more than just fashion throughout the last two centuries. 

‘“The 200 Years of New Albany History and Styles’ is about stories,” said Commission Vice Chairperson, Barbara Zoller. “Anyone who came into New Albany for any period of time had a story, and those stories became part of our rich history. Characters in our show will not only wear period clothing, they will tell some of these stories.”

For the 1959 milestone, Oneita S. Phillips, Alice Phillips Miles and Yvonne Williams Grundy will reflect on a significant event consistent with these three ladies whose friendship has truly stood the test of time. These debutants were the first ladies from New Albany invited to be a part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Cotillion held annually in Louisville, but that wasn’t the only thing memorable about 1959 for them. 

Miles was just finishing her freshman year in college as Grundy and Phillips were beginning theirs. In a time where it was exceptional for women to attend college, their parents hadn’t presented them with any other option. Their fathers may have worked two or three jobs to ensure financial stability, but their mothers had gone to college in their day as well and understood the value of an education. 

“When I was growing up, the mindset was that we knew we were going to go to college,” Miles said. “My parents would tell me an education is something no one can take away from you. With that, you’ll be able to take care of yourself.”  

From that advice, she earned her degree as a registered nurse, while Grundy and Phillips pursued a degree in education, with all three eventually working in the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp.

The two cotillion dresses featured in this year’s history and style show were worn by Phillips and Miles. 

Over the years, these three women have impacted New Albany’s heritage and remain active in the community and surrounding areas today. Grundy was just named Southern Indiana Woman of the Year in 2011. In 2012, Miles received the Anna Kathryn Hickerson Award for Diversity, and Phillips was appointed in 2007 as commissioner of the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission where she still serves today.

The public is invited to attend a lunch and style show that will highlight New Albany’s rich history and revisit some favorite childhood memories. The style show is Saturday, April 6, at The Grand, 138 E. Market St. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the program begins at 11. This event is sponsored by New Albany’s Living History Committee that brings the city’s history to life in a fun, educational and enjoyable fashion. This is the third in a series of three style shows this committee has sponsored as part of its contribution to New Albany’s Bicentennial Celebration.



Tickets are $20 and include lunch, the style show and door prizes. Tickets are available by calling Patty Hughes at 812-945-7601. MasterCard, Visa and Discover are accepted.   

For additional information on the April style show or any of the other Living History Committee’s bicentennial events, contact Barbara Zoller at 502-510-1907 or Kathy Kessinger at 812-987-2132; or log onto



All proceeds from the style show will go toward sponsoring the other Living History Committee events for the 2013 bicentennial celebration. These include:

• Sunday, June 23 – Vintage Bicycle Event and Parade

• Saturday, Aug. 10 – Old Fashioned Day in the Park – Vintage Baseball Games played by 1862 rules

• “Stories Behind the Stones” Historic Fairview Cemetery Tour – Sept. 20, 21, 27 and 28

• Saturday, Nov. 9 —Historic Governor’s Ball — re-creating the 1816 ball held in honor of Indiana’s first governor, Jonathan Jennings.