Ida Morris Jervey is perhaps better known as “the Mushroom Lady.” She was born in 1861 to Thomas Morris and Emma Forney. Her father was a minister so the family moved a bit before settling in North Carolina. In 1886, she married Francis Johnstone Jervey, a Charlestonian, the son of Theodore Dehon Jervey and Ann Hume Simons. The couple had four children and, sadly, only ten years together before he died of tuberculosis. She too had fallen ill but recovered. According to the family, this experience evolved into a driving interest in mushrooms as she studied them for their medicinal properties. She was considered an authority on the subject and would teach, write and edit in an attempt to pass on her knowledge. Ida died in 1938 but she has left quite the legacy as the artwork displayed here shows.
Learn more about Ida Jervey and other women naturalists active in Charleston in this past presentation by our archivist, Jennifer Scheetz.
EPHEMERA FRIDAY: Each Friday we post a selection or small collection from our Archives. Some items may be on exhibit, some may be too fragile to display and some may be too unusual to fit into our typical Lowcountry exhibit themes. We will occasionally ask for help identifying people or places in photographs that have come to us with little or no information. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on EPHEMERA FRIDAY.