It was one hundred and thirteen years ago yesterday (October 4th, 1905) that a thin, red-headed attorney of Northampton married a lovely, dark-haired girl of Burlington, a former teacher at Clarke School for the Deaf. They were married in a quiet corner of the bride’s family home, the residence of the Goodhues at 312 Maple Street. As rain pummeled the roof, fifteen guests gathered in the parlor, a house bedecked with evergreens and blossoming selections from the mother of the bride’s garden. Just after 2pm, the company watched as Reverend Edward Hungerford performed a simple, unadorned ceremony. Dr. A. H. McCormick of Northampton served as the groom’s best man while Ethel Stevens of Williston, a classmate and close friend of the girl, served as the bridesmaid. The bride wore a gown of soft gray and hair arranged high with combs and velvet ribbon. In her hands, she held a fresh bouquet of cuttings, also from her mother’s garden.
While the focus in Burlington that day devolved around the wedding of Frederica Webb and Ralph Pulitzer, featured conspicuously near the front of Burlington’s Free Press, the union of Calvin and Grace Coolidge, while getting a small mention near the bottom of the wedding announcements, theirs would – in time – prove even more significant for its impact upon America’s direction as a nation.
As both Cal and Grace would say on different occasions, they felt made for each other. In their modest and quiet way they proved it to the end. What each saw in the other formed part of that beautiful blessing called marriage. Life brought its struggles and griefs but what they had remained (and grew richer) through all the challenges. That personal and intimate bond in marriage, through persistence in good times and bad, remains a marvel even to those who know its worth firsthand.
The couple honeymooned in Montreal, visiting all the theaters they could before returning to their new home in Northampton. As they set up temporary quarters at the Norwood Hotel for three weeks, the new husband was able to secure one-half of a rented duplex on Massasoit Street. It would prove to be the start of an excellent match, a pair of many opposites but a team of resilient partnership and admirable devotion for the next twenty-seven years.
Happy Anniversary, Cal & Grace!