Monday, August 1, 2022

August 1, 1941, Wedding

The Brandon Union, Brandon, Vermont
Friday, 08 August, 1941

McKenzie Lewis announces the marriage of his daughter,
Miss Beulah Eliza Lewis to Lawrence Gilbert Desjadon,
son of Mrs. S. D. Desjadon at Orwell, August 1.

Grampa Mac's entry in his diary for August 1, 1941 noted in his usual spare style: 
"August 1, 1941: " nice clear day, Beulah and Lawrence married, gone north. Finished north haying. "

[Thus was the mention of my parents' wedding and honeymoon trip to Ausable Chasm in upstate New York noted along with the weather of the day and the fact that the hay crop from the north meadow was in.]

The marriage of my parents wasn't a grand occasion; she was deeply involved from girlhood in the village Congregational Church, he was a Catholic of French Canadian lineage. Their vows were pledged at the Catholic Rectory and they came home from their brief wedding trip to set up housekeeping in three rooms of the farmhouse. In September Beulah returned to teaching in a local school.

The following weekend Beulah [Mother] was an attendant at the double wedding of her cousins Dortha and Lucille Hayes who married two brothers.
She wore a floor length gown of pink net with a square neckline embellished with grosgrain ribbon. Somewhere in my trove of vintage photos I have one of the wedding party--posed across the lawn of Hazycrest, a grand gathering of Hayes and Lamos families. My Dad, Larry, isn't in the picture--perhaps he was asked to record the event with a small Kodak Brownie camera.

Weddings of the day were often fairly quiet affairs taking place in the home of the bride, at the 'parsonage' or in the case of a still not so common union between Catholic and Protestant, in the Catholic rectory.
There is no indication from the brief announcement in the local paper who attended the young couple, what the bride wore, what flowers she might have carried or worn as a corsage.
I don't recall that I ever asked Mother for details. Although Beulah and Larry had been a courting couple for some time, the marriage may not have best pleased the families involved. 
Mother had a stunning navy blue crepe dress that she wore for 'best' for many years.  I suspect it may have been purchased with her quiet wedding in mind; a high round neck which would have shown off her double string of cultured pearls, a soft bodice and a folded cummerbund waistband, a swirling bias cut skirt. A small veiled hat, gloves, pumps, would have completed the outfit.

The 'north' destination for the honeymoon was a cabin near Ausable Caverns in upstate New York. Beulah took the photo of Larry posing on the rustic porch and another as he leaned casually against the car. Surely he would have taken a photo of his bride, but I've never seen it. The photo of her sitting on the bumper of the car is of the same vintage.

In 1991 family and friends gathered to honor Larry and Beulah on their  50th wedding anniversary. While Daddy appears to be enjoying the occasion Mother's face conveys her usual disinclination to pose for a photo.
Beulah died a few weeks past their 66th anniversary; Larry's death followed hers two years and a day later.

[An error was made in the newspaper report: Larry's mother was Mrs. S.J. Desjadon.]



  1. I enjoyed reading that! That is how a lot of weddings were back "in the old days". God bless your parents. They died young-ish. Same here...parents and even my husband and I had a small wedding at our parent's home (and church for the ceremony, a Catholic mass). (And my mom had two of her sisters marry two men who were brothers of each other.) Our parents died young and even younger so I hope we continue to have a longer life. Andrea

    1. Andrea: Actually, my parents both lived to a good old age. My Mom passed at 88 after a number of years of illness; Daddy was coming up on his 93rd birthday when he died. I have really enjoyed reading the wedding accounts of older family members. Weddings were 'homemade' occasions, especially in war time.

  2. All I know about my parents' wedding is that they eloped, as my paternal grandparents had, and as my hubby and I did. And, today, I still wouldn't change a thing. I enjoyed this story so much. My times surely have changed, but I still think those were the good old days.

    1. Mary; My own wedding was quite simple, but pretty. We had known for some time that we wanted to marry. When Jim was offered a job at the southern end of the state we decided that now was the time. The ladies of my home congregation rallied to decorate the church with flowers and to make sandwiches and cake. Family from both sides assembled on short notice and created a memorable occasion.