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Thursday October 19, 2017
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Weddings of Yore

 

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Gowns from the Hiscock family, for whom nearby Hiscock Street is named, appear near the 1876 gown of Anna Botsford, third wife of local businessman and onetime mayor Philip Bach. (Bach Elementary School and the Philip Bach Building at 126 Main Street are named for him, and the Anna Botsford Bach Residence for her.) There's also the gown Dama Godfrey wore when she married future Ann Arbor mayor Cecil Creal in 1925.

Local resident Winifred Martin remembers the ceremony, which was held in a house on Kingsley that's visible from the museum. "She was my idol," says Martin of Godfrey. "She was ten years older than I, and I was over there all the time — I looked up to her." Creal carried the twelve-year-old Martin to the wedding from her house — the present-day Kerrytown Concert House, where Martin lived from her birth in 1913 until she sold it in the late 1940s — because she'd skinned her knee. He never let her forget the incident. "He'd remind me, 'Do you remember I carried you?' — no matter where we were — for years afterwards."

Martin, who turns eighty-nine this month and lives in Lurie Terrace, now attends her grandchildren's weddings. She notes that modern-day weddings are much bigger and more expensive, and that they rarely occur in homes or backyards, as was once common. In general, communities were much closer — Martin knew all the families in her neighborhood, and people dropped by today's concert house to visit all the time.

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