Nancy Harms, an interpretive specialist at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, explains the importance of bonnets to women traveling the Oregon Trail. A sign of a truly refined woman, Harms said, was the degree of paleness of her skin. For emigrant women, protecting their skin from the elements became key. Many wore gloves, long sleeves and high collars to cover their skin; to protect their faces, they used layers bonnets to guard against the sun and wind. (Baker City Herald
photograph by Kathy Orr).