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—Photo courtesy of History Colorado

Denver’s Most Scandalous Wedding

The McCourt-Tabor nuptials were the talk of the country—and her dress had a lot to do with it. 

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Mining millionaire Horace Tabor was freshly divorced when he wed Elizabeth “Baby Doe” McCourt in 1883. The only thing more shocking than the marriage was McCourt’s silk dress, which had a low (at least by Victorian standards) neckline and, according to one report, marabou-feather trim.


35 | Years Baby Doe stored the dress in an iron trunk in Denver while destitute and living in a cabin at the Matchless Mine in Leadville after Horace, who had gone bust, died in 1899. Baby Doe died there in 1935.

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$7,000 | The dress’ reputed price tag. That’s almost $170,000 today.

130 | Hours a Colorado State University conservator spent restoring the gown in 1981. After Baby Doe’s death, the dress was displayed by the Colorado Historical Society until 2009. It was then stored to protect its silk, which had started to disintegrate.

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