Tag Archives: Hazel Coleman Adams

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.

?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

Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime

I love the oldies music and one that brings on thoughts of the warm season of the year is the Jamies’ song, Summertime. Actually, I love the song, but had to look up the group and I’ve never heard of the James! But, I digress.

I am digging deep into my old family photos to share a few that are about 100 years old. First, here are a couple of Dave’s grandmother and great grandmother in Texas:

Pearl Brasher, sitting in a tree with
Aulton Horne, half brother, c1916

This might have been taken when Pearl graduated from Floydada, Texas High School in 1916. I just love this picture, even though it is only about 2 x 3 inches and isn’t terribly sharp and crisp. How many young ladies would be all dressed up to be photographed sitting in a tree?

Ed and Wanda Stufflebean with
Grandmother Minnie Mae Horne
Hillsboro, Texas, c1927

Ed definitely looks ready to go play with the overalls rolled up and bare feet! Minnie was living at 303 North Church Street in Hillsboro, Texas at the time. A quick look at Google Earth shows only Church Street, no north and south. The houses may have been renumbered because I can’t find one that has the two upper windows seen in the background.

Switching gears here, we are now in Maine and this is the oldest photo in today’s group:

Carl Ross, right, with Vernon Adams, c1910

Vernon, my grandfather, looks like he and friend Carl were having a great time playing in the area around Calais, Maine. I have tried to find a Carl Ross, born around 1900, who lived around Calais at that time, but haven’t had any luck. It’s very possible that Carl was Canadian and lived across the river.

Here is another Maine photo, probably taken at one of the lakes in the area around Calais, perhaps Meddybemps Lake. Hazel Coleman Adams, my grandmother, is with her best friend, Clara Dwelley. I think that is my Aunt Barbara in the foreground, so that would place this picture around 1926.

Clara married a man named Forbes sometime between 1930, when she was single and 1940, when she was a widow. It appears she had no children, which is a shame because I would have loved to share this picture with a descendant.

Hazel & Clara at Lake
Clara Dwelley with Hazel Coleman Adams

Next, we are making one more big jump in location to Passaic, New Jersey.


TwoFriendsWithJuliaSaboLeftCenterAndAnnaKosteckyRightCenterJulia Scerbak, 2nd right in top photo
and 2nd left in bottom photo, c1911-1914

Anna Kostecky, one of my Nana’s best friends is the shortest young lady in both pictures. Nana came back to the U.S. in November 1910 and married in September 1915, so this picture was probably taken in the 1911-1914 time period. I have no idea who the other two girls were, but someone was taking a lot of pictures that day because I have several others of one or more of this group.

The foliage in the pictures looks a bit too overgrown to be someone’s yard. I am guessing that they were either enjoying a day somewhere along the Passaic River or perhaps they went to Garrett Mountain, which is not far away.

Although I enjoy summer, I can’t remember a single one that looked quite as idyllic as any of these!

Heirlooms: 21 Years Ago Today & Grandmother’s Watch

Twenty-one years ago today, my grandmother, Hazel Ethel Coleman Adams, passed away at the age of ninety four years and two months.

Hazel, c1920s

Grandmother had always been a very stylish lady, as evidenced by the Roaring 20s portrait and the picture of my son Michael and I with her in the summer of 1994, the last time I saw her.

Grandmother, great-grandson, Michael and Linda

Before she died, Grandmother left not only a will, but also an informal addendum in which she left certain of her possessions to her daughters and grandchildren.

One of the items that she wanted me to have was her watch. I have to admit that I wasn’t ever aware that Grandmother had a special watch, but apparently she did. It is quite dainty and beautiful.

Grandmother’s Watch

My mother said this watch was Grandmother’s pride and joy. I am sure Grandfather bought it for her as a gift. It is an Elgin that still keeps perfect time today. There are tiny diamonds at the edge of each end of the watchband and even tinier diamond chips in the band as it encircles the wrist.

I wish I had known about her watch when I could have asked her questions about it. My guess would be that it dates from the 1940s. By that time, Grandfather was a manager with the Western Union in Boston and there would have been sufficient income for surprise gifts.

The dollar value of this watch is probably not very high. The sentimental value, on the other hand, can’t be topped. I cherish the watch and am so pleased that Grandmother wanted me to have it.