Sores and Boils Alley: Founder’s Chic and Colonial Interpretation in Gilmore Girls

kirk

WB / Via fanpop.com

In episode 6:6 of Gilmore Girls Welcome to the Doll House, Town Selectman Taylor Doose brings colonial reenactors to a town meeting to share his new idea: change Stars Hollow’s town street names back to their historic 18th century roots. Loralai is fiercely opposed to the idea because the Dragonfly Inn’s street name would change back to Sores and Boils Alley, something unattractive for potential guests. But Doose and other townspeople mythologize the 18th century as truly “historic” and so even unflattering 18th century street names were preferable to 20th century constructions.

This was only one example of an obsession with Revolutionary and Colonial history by town selectman Taylor Doose. There is the annual Revolutionary War reenactment, even though no battle took place in Stars Hollow and a fixation on objects slightly related to George Washington during the development of the Stars Hollow Museum. But Doose, and other town residents felt that history mildly related to the founding fathers or slightly  connected to the Revolutionary War was more important than the 20th century history that led to new street names or any history about women, people of color, or the working class. In fact, there is no interpretation of race in any of the historic sites and museums (even though https://gilmoreblacks.tumblr.com/ has shown the African American presence in the show). And the only mention of a “historic” woman, is when in episode 5:11 Woman of Questionable Morals, it is found that the Revolutionary War battle was avoided because a “woman of questionable morals” had sex with the general to avoid battle. Women’s history was only important to Stars Hollow when it involved the Revolutionary War and sex.

This depiction of “historic” reflects broader cultural emphasis on the Revolutionary War and the founding fathers, at the expense of more inclusive or impactful histories.

 

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Historical Society

This is the project of a group of graduate students in history at Temple University and the University of South Carolina. We have decided to combine our love of public history and Gilmore Girls by cataloguing ALL of the references of public history/heritage tourism in the series. We will be writing posts on our favorites: possible topics include founder’s chic in Stars Hollow, literary tourism and the Gilmore Girls, Queer identity and reenactment, etc etc. If you have an idea for a post or submission, please contact us.