Chrismans

Bizarre Couple from the US Still Lives in the 19th Century

Sarah and Gabriel Chrisman, an eccentric married couple, completely reject reality, their daily life subjected entirely to the habits of the 80s and 90s of the 19th century.

The Victorian way of life is so appealing to them that every single item and piece of furniture in their house is from that era. They are prepared to defend their way of life and continue to live 120 years in the past despite the death threats from their neighbors.

Sarah and Gabriel Chrisman have pored over every single little detail in their home and daily life, to make it believable that they live in the 19th century. Their unusual way of life, however, brings them plenty of negative reactions as well.

The couple have long been studying the Victorian era and have been mesmerized by 19th century history since they were children. Their mutual passion for this historic period played a part in bringing them together.

But unlike other history fans, the Chrismans decided to fully dedicate their whole lives to the Victorian era – from their clothes to the way they communicate with the rest of the world.

5 years ago the family bought a house built in 1888 in Port Townsend, Washington – a town which was a harbor during the Victorian era.

When they moved in, they threw out all modern technologies, including the fridge and electric heater.

Sarah explains that they have a mechanical clock in the living room that she winds up. Every day she writes in her diary with an antique pen, which she fills with ink using a pipette. The blotter and inkpot are from the year 1890.

Instead of modern electric light bulbs, the family uses some of the first bulbs ever created according to the first patents by Tesla and Edison.

Sarah and Gabriel Chrisman
Picture: Sarah A. Chrisman

They don’t have a modern bathroom either, they boil water and use soap to bathe.

When they go out, they use bicycles and tricycles. Sarah owns a copy of a tricycle from the year 1880.

As Sarah tells it, it is not the use of old-fashioned items or the corset she wears every day that make life difficult but the attitudes of people in town. Every time she and her husband appear out in public, they are bombarded by insults and yells of “freaks”.

But that’s not the worst of it, as Sarah tells they’ve received letters with death threats.

“Every time I leave home I have to constantly be on guard against people who try to paw at and grope me. Dealing with all these things and not being ground down by them, not letting other people's hostile ignorance rob us of the joy we find in this life — that is the hard part, ” shares Sarah.

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