Long ago: A small wedding, and 9 lbs. of butter September 22, 2012Posted by Jenny in history, Lifestyle, memoir.
Tags: butter churning, Cato NY, Fair Haven NY, wedding customs
This is taken from a memoir entitled “When I Was a Girl” by my grandmother, Sybil Crowninshield Kennedy Bennett. The series starts here and alternates every other post.
[The last post described the courtship of my grandparents during their days as students at Syracuse University. They became engaged after they graduated.]
We weren’t formally engaged until September 1912, in Jamestown, New York, where I was a YWCA secretary. He was working in Greensburg, Pa., in the architect’s office of Paul Bartholemew. That same month he was offered an instructorship at the University of Michigan at $1100 per year. We decided to be married the next year at Christmas time.
I was quite ill for a long time [with a thyroid problem that required surgery] but we kept our plan for a Christmas wedding, December 20, 1913. It was small, only the families and a few friends, about twenty people. We were married in the parlor [at her family’s home]. A cousin from Connecticut sent a large box of mountain laurel sprays which we used to decorate with. It looked very pretty with the green laurel twined around long pier glass and the windows on each side.
Mr. George Nichols was the minister. His wife sang a horrible solo. We had it to please her. My Uncle Jim’s legs shook visibly in the range of my vision and my sister looked lovely in a mahogany colored crepe with natural brown maribou trimming. I had an embroidered voile in white trimmed with a sash of white chiffon knotted and draped at the side. The voile was very fine and heavily embroidered with a border. Wells had a navy cheviot suit and looked very handsome as he always has.
The luncheon was served at home with help of neighbors—oyster bisque, fried chicken, potato croquettes, with salad, vegetables and home made ice cream and wedding cake. We scooted out the back door ostensibly to see the girl next door, Mildred, who was sick in bed, and didn’t come back. This was bad because they couldn’t decorate our car but we wanted to be off. Mr. Clarence Jones drove us to Fair Haven [where Wells’ family lived] in his car. It was a very pleasant day, sunny and no snow. At Fair Haven, we took Wells’ father’s horse and buggy left there for us, for the final three miles to his home. They [his parents] stayed away from home several days.
We stayed up there over Christmas, having Christmas dinner at Wells’ sister May’s. For our first supper I made cream of tomato soup with real cream. It tasted delicious to us and we had much nice food Grandma Bennett had left us. They were worried about the butter churning, whether the cream would keep until they returned. We settled it for them by churning it ourselves and made nine lbs. of butter which we took with us when we left. We practiced thrift from the start, if not larceny or something. We came back to Cato, packed our things and reached Ann Arbor on the Wolverine train early in the morning of January 5, 1914, and have lived here ever since.
(To be continued)