Vernon Adams and Hazel Coleman, 96 Years Ago Today

Grandfather and Grandmother married 96 years ago today in Calais, Maine. I wish I had thought to ask Grandmother about her wedding when I first started working on the family history, but I never did. I have the original news clipping, likely from the Calais Advertiser newspaper, and while it says a lot, it also says so little.

Coleman-Adams Wedding Announcement
Coleman-Adams Marriage
19 July 1920

I have seen the home on Calais Avenue where my great grandparents lived.

House in Calais
Adams Home on Calais Avenue

I know Mrs. P.E. Chadwick was Aunt Pearl, who loved music and taught piano playing to many students.

I also knew my great grandfather had moved his family to the Boston, Massachusetts area by 1920.  He was working as a tugboat captain in the harbor, so when Hazel married Vernon, they made the trip back to Calais and they married in the Adams family home.

Helen Tarbox and Pauline Stuart were Grandfather’s cousins, Helen from his dad’s side of the family and Pauline from his mom’s. Clara Dwelley was my grandmother’s best friend from high school. I remember meeting her at least once when I was fairly young – maybe about seven or eight years old – at the cottage on Little Sebago Lake while we were there on vacation.

FamilyAroundCottageDiningTable
?Clara, blocked by Me on far left
?Clarence Read, her husband, center next to Hazel

The photo above was taken when I was seven, in 1959, and I think the couple on either side of my grandmother might be Clara and her husband, Clarence. They married in 1947 and had no children. I am standing on the left. Clara would be the lady almost hidden behind me. Grandmother was just to the right of me, facing the camera. Clarence would be the man to the right of her.

Back to the wedding announcement – Grandmother’s dress is described in some detail – a gown of white liberty satin and silver lace with a cap shape lace veil “caught” with orange blossoms. How was liberty satin different from plain white satin?  Was her dress floor length or shorter? This was the 1920s and shorter dresses were in vogue.

Did she still have her wedding gown? How about the brown tweed suit she wore when she left on her honeymoon? Did she keep that? I never saw either in my lifetime.

They received some gifts of silver and cut glass – I have none of Grandmother’s cut glass, but I do have a teapot candelabra, sugar and creamer and salt and pepper set. Were those among the wedding presents? If not, what were the gifts and from whom did they receive them?

Finally, they honeymooned in Grand Lake Stream, not far from Calais. My grandfather’s uncle owned a home in Grand Lake Stream. Is that where they stayed?

Lastly, have you noticed one other very common item from weddings that is missing? Yep, a wedding photo. I guess none were taken because I inherited tons of family photos and I don’t ever remember seeing a wedding photo of my grandparents in their home when I visited them.

Vernon Adamsc1917    Hazel Adams
Vernon, c1917 and Hazel, c1917-1920

These are the two photos I have of Vernon and Hazel that are closest to the time of their marriage. I don’t know the occasion for which Grandmother dressed up. She didn’t graduate from high school and it looks like a ring is on her index finger. Was this her wedding gown? It was definitely a dress up occasion, but I have no matching picture of Grandfather.

Happy 96th Anniversary, Grandfather and Grandmother!
We Miss You

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