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The following was Harry G. Brackbill's account of his wedding and honeymoon.

Biographical account of wedding and honeymoon of Miss Esta Leaman and Harry G. Brackbill[]

Ceremony performed by Dr. D. R. Workman at Cedar Lawn Farm at 3 p.m. June 17, 1909 in the presence of one hundred and fifty relatives and friends. The day began seriously for jokers of the Bridal party and ended with a wholesome shower and a severe delay in the mechanical inclination of the auto machine. The day was especially important to the Bride and Groom, not so much because of what occurred at that time but on account of later events. Well, as I have said, the Rev. Dr. said the fatal word at three p.m. or thereabout and the then Harry G. and Esta L. Brackbill entered the matrimonial way together. One and inseparable they left the homestead on board train for Phila. Accompanied by Miss Erma Skiles as far as Atglen. I forbear to tell of all details happening along the way. Be it sufficient to say we were most reluctant to be broken in upon by the outside world; a direct phone message from an interested friend required repetition and a final enforcement from the bellboy.

Some time earlier or later on the morning of June 18 we might have been seen by the Schuykill in a shady recess of the grove of Fairmount Park, dreaming over again the scenes of single life and wondering at the denseness of brain tissues that would prevent a dawn of the blissfulness of a married existence. Time passed without record and after a thorough confusion in Arch, Eighth, Tenth, Etc. streets we evolved upon the pretty threshold of Mr. And Mrs. Elam Hershey at 5424 Jefferson St. West Phila. It was continued joy in the presence of our host and hostess and it proved a sheer impossibility to "break camp" before 3 p.m. Sat. June 19. At 3:34 p.m. we went on the N.J. Br. P.R.R. bound for Ocean Grove. Having passed the first Mecca of our Honeymoon it behooves the writer to set forth a brief of the information and experience as may impress the accidental reader. The nasty weather caused the purchase of an umbrella from the home grocer etc. at the enormous outlay of 75 cents. This proved so heavy and as the weather cleared at once the thing was consigned in two parts to a place in the trunk which I suppose it may occupy until the end of “time.” Although numerous opportunities are present for use if the thing were respectful and useful. Well the umbrella closed the fruit stand was very convenient and "sweet" to the Bride. The Groom scattered an unnecessary number of nickels in his attempt to land us at our cousins but outside of a little delay no points were strained and we arrived Ocean Grove in best of health and happiness.

The trunk, a pleasing hostess and a considerable number of important folk met us at the St. Elmo and I may add a competent cook and two pretty table waitresses had been a busy prior to our coming for at 6 p.m. The bell rang and it was ours to enjoy roast potato baked fish cornbread wheat bread etc. etc. and after a delicious refreshing we sought the Board walk explored it thoroughly and were there after content. With fruit a goodly supply of salt sea breeze and a breezy room Sat. passed to Sunday morning and the lone Groom might have been seen on the beach, while the Bride concluded a morning nap and did her toilettes. Through the chaperoneage of a friend Mr. Stoltzfus, we listened "hardly" to a discourse in St. Pauls by Rev. Owen. A nap in the p.m. and an hour at Bright hour service brought us to an audience with Dr. Strobridge Asbury Park on the subject The Optimism of Jesus. The last moments spent on Beach Board Walk with Elmers Stoltzfus and Kraybill. The people at St. Elmo are interesting and interested; an acquaintance can easily be formed but time is precious on the Honeymoon. If any man dispute the fact I wish him well but the error is his own. We prolonged our stay at ocean to Wednesday morn. Monday being very warm and much of the groom's time was employed in urging the Bride to indulge in a surf bath which when the persuasion was accomplished there was no limiting except as the cold sea brine chilled the ardor and the supper hour demanded a hasty retreat. A trip to Fenton Farm closed the day for the most of importance and sound sleep, held enslaved until the dawn. From henceforward you shall read the biography in the third person under the names of Esta and Harry and I beg of you not to inquire the reason for so abrupt a diversion unless you visit the biographer in person. There was no one in the places set for Harry and Esta Tuesday morning and for once Esta failed to note that the people in the little house outside our dining room window ate breakfast at the same time we did and herein lies a wonderful tale. A large rectangular mirror hung in the rear of a neat bungalow just opposite the dining room windows. The reflection was remarkable, Harry noticed but without remark, that it set forth a seeming second table in the room beyond and as there was no possibility of fact in the matter, he soon understood. But the unsuspecting Esta sat side to the window and only glanced thru the window when she stole a glance at Elizabeth which was some two or three times during a meal. As you notice late upon the third day, Esta ventured to say the people opposite invariably ate their meals at the precise hour we did and the man at the end of the table always wore a suit of like figure with the punctual neighbors just opposite. And what embarrassment when the truth became known. June 22 Esta took a walk four blocks without her husband as a result Harry smoked seven cigars that day and had no little difficulty seeking information as to this very bold act. On the morning of the 23rd we took stage to N.Y. by Sandy Hook Line and came into 42nd St. Pier N. York to be met by Mr. Kreapple and shown to the Kreapple Home about 12 m. A funny thing happy Harry in seeking to have his baggage rechecked at Asbury. A certain colored porter noticed an inquiring expression on Harry's face and ventured assistance only to be refused. Harry walking farther was encountered by about 25 porters and was like to be carried merrily on the way when a certain baggage transfer came to his needed rescue. The ride by boat pleased each of us very much. There was much excitement in the harbor of N. York.

An amusing incident might have been witnessed on upper deck where Harry wishing to hide the green boldly took chair and placed it for Esta but unfortunately had left Esta to stand guard over baggage and in the transition from baggage to the aforesaid chair, a space of a few seconds intervened, and in the mean time a later arrival caught up and embrased the above named chair. Harry was "stung" but just a bit wiser. So we learn a little every way. Esta has a marked imagination and when going upon the boat a sudden determination seized her to become sea sick. Unfortunately Harry had suggested such a possibility altho as most of you know the rout from Sandy Hook to N.Y. is within breakwater. Well, after ten minutes upon the briny deep, Esta expressed a fear of sickness and in another five wanted to go below but was prevailed upon to remain a little longer when lo and behold she realized she was sitting with the sun shining strongly upon her back which produced a burning sensation and hence the thot of sea sickness. Harry was very glad there was no real thing in it else the honeymoon would have been curtailed at New York, much of the later trip being planned by water and what a calamity. Well, with a rising temperature we sank into the famed 3rd ave. subway train New York City and there is little account to give unless you analyze the heat. Everything is 99% heat with much H2O and a great lot of H2SO4. Bronx Park was visited with Mr. Kraepple and daughter Maggie and granddaughter Margaret in the coach. Much pleasure came with the trip. There was little curious inspection but we had the pleasure of swaying the balanced rock with our own thumb. The Brown River affords a bit of wild scenery and boating quite unsurpassed. 307 For supper a refusal to go out and long eve upon the stoop passed us into Thursday and Central Park. Esta and Harry in company with a friend, took in the Natural History and Metropolitan Art with lunch in the third story. Esta had an eye for the precious stones laces Indian relics and the picture of the art gallery. Harry had an eye for everything but was more than pleased in the Natural History and if I may make personal reference he could remember nothing but the pleasant presence of Esta and a few stolen sweets.

It is an advantage to the writer to be exempt from signing his name to this biography otherwise there might be too much investigation into the source of a few statements. Well Esta turned the clock back two hours Friday morn with the happy yet disastrous result that the bride and groom rose not until 10.30 at which hour they were accosted by the displeased chaperone and sharply accused for disappointing him at an earlier hour. New York has pleasures but not for me. New York has her lofty building her museums and aquarium but let others enjoy them. For us it is enough to know that the Empire City exists, the metropolis of the world but not our world. Our world is a small one to the physical eye bound by the narrow circumference of two rustic hearts with not even a safe place for a lingering friendship unless under strict challenge. So we hasted from the city of New York into a more rural and better favored suburb Brooklyn there to be entertained in good old Lancaster Co. style by Mr. and Mrs. Aikin and daughter. Here we encountered our first storm, here we enjoyed sweets and watermelon most devoutly craved. Here we met our first gathering of Lancaster Co. folk among whom were Mr. Jason Denlinger, Mr. Adam Rohrer, Mr. Elmwood Ranck, Mr. Boise Workman and others who entertained delightfully. Later we were joined by no less honored personages than Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd B. Hershey who also were touring in honor of a recent matrimonial alliance. But no thanks is due them for an early sleep for of all noisy people. I believe Lloyd can keep above the crowd. Well we slept and woke and rose and departed after breakfast with a borrowed tooth brush a Brooch for delivery and an invitation to return for lunch. Well, Prospect Park Brooklyn may be nice but Esta was too tired to do other than sit beneath the shade of a tree and muse and sleep and so we turned back to Clarendore Road only to put Esta to bed while Harry roamed the adjacent Brooklyn. A walk to the Boulevard a pleasant eve with Cousin Clara and an early arrival at Breakfast and the church presided over by Mr. Maitery formerly of Gap M.E. led us past the am of the day. Mr. Ranck led us to his surrey and graciously exposed to our view his magnificent city of Brooklyn. Well we took the L and returned to 153 at New York to pass a few hours waiting for a boat to bear us upon the historical bosom of the Hudson. Esta said Harry was flush because he bot a 35 ct brooch with a die of the boat Robt. Fulton upon it. She also got a thoro coat of tan and later complained because it was not on her face. Well of all short days of the Honeymoon More June 28 was shortest. We passed the Catskills West Point the Upper Highlands and on to the head waters of the Hudson arriving at Albany only a little after six to pass hastily [thus] to the new Kenmore. Of all breaks Albany had her share. 'Twould jar my memory to relate. 'Twould shock civilization to read and 'twould be a blot of reproach upon the civilization and fair name of Lancaster to tell all but truth to say. There is no knowledge nor device in the grave neither is there reason or judgment after one has committed celibate suicide. Rooms at New Kenmore with bath $4.00 Value received. Lunch at Keller's State Street Grapenuts and coffee for supper a hurried retreat. An hour Tuesday morn in Capitol with guide 50 cents. Three hours in Washington Parks with much meditation. Train to Utica 4.25 Cheaper Hotel and less breaks. Early departure for Syracuse by trolley 2:30 p.m. Wed. Niagara visited. A late walk by the Falls a long sleep and breakfast at the Imperial Wonder of Wonders ask Esta Four Quailees served on a plate. Woe to the Negro race Hence forward they shall be taken for value recd. Esta thot it was magnificent she didn't mind the effect produced. Buffalo by Boat Western States with three hours anxiety about state room. Most highly appreciated however. The most hardly won are most highly appreciated. Moral Learning Buffalo 6 p.m. we steamed up Lake Erie at 24 knots an hour more or less and after several sleepless hours and very few sound sleeping ones we arose after 7 a.m. and dressed only to find our watch still going by Eastern Time and our boat moving on by Central time, hence an hour ahead of time and our boat an hour late. Cost of refreshments on boat excessive. Reached wikipedia:Detroit 8:30 a.m. July 2 1909 found Cousin Clara waiting for us, and all our friends in Detroit phoning for us. Well, Harry and Esta were at Home with Clarence and Clara. There was no fear for decorum or propriety as our host and hostess have by no means ended they honeymoon days; they are lovers still. Friday p.m. we were loafers. Sat a.m. Esta washed and ironed. Harry got into trouble generally and very late in the p.m. both took trolley to Wabash Ave where supper was served and a pleasant eve with Aunt Martha and the cousins. A long walk home to our lodging with only a few blocks out of way by error ended the week. Sabbath cleared bright, cool, and inspiring. Monday morning, July 5 dawned clear and bright. We breakfasted late and after our hostess had prepared an abundant lunch we set out for Belle Isle where we were joined by Clarence, Aunt Martha, and the cousins. Belle Isle is the famous park of the Detroit residents and indeed it would seem that the city were erupted judging from the crowd. After waiting for a long time we finally spread the lunch and tho we should have taken care for supper there was but little left. After lunch we visited the places of interest, the horticulture hall and aquarium were both full of novelty. Fishe of every variety were seen in their natural habitat. The most curious was the sea horse his head looked just like the horse and indeed it was almost as full of mettle as any. We were hurried there because of the incessant crowd and had to pass on hurridly to the deer enclosure. There we saw a beautiful brown buck and doe of the big horn variety. The Polar and Grizzly attracted much attention because of their antics. The air was so oppressive and so we sat resting until late in the p.m. and there a number of our crowd having gone to city we sat by the clear deep Detroit river eating our lunch as the boats and canoes glided smoothly by. After an hour musing by the beach we "sailed" back to the island tired and somewhat glad another noisy fourth had passed by hoping that this may have been the last noisy one.

Tuesday morn was planned for sightseeing but we delayed in slumber too long and we had to content ourselves seeing Detroit from the Sky of the Majestic and one could hardly find a more novel way of viewing the town from the Majestic. We could view all the main aves 7 in number. After an hour thus Esta conceived a desire to see the extreme of Woodward Ave. We secured a fruit lunch too large for two but cousins ate most of it. Esta being busy brushing mosquitoes these animals being so audacious and active that the following morn both found lumps and boils immense. We returned to Aunts an hour late, partook of a most hearty supper and spent an evening merrily with cousins. We retired to rise earlier than usual. Wednesday morn Aunt took us to see Alice on Mt. Vernon and we soon acquainted ourselves with a seemingly peculiar circumstance and although an awkward occasion at first we began to enjoy the company thoroughly and were sorry to be called to leave so soon. Mrs. Williams is a woman of remarkable character and we learned to admire for her droll advice. We learned to care for children generally and Rol's especially learned to make tea and were inspired to a broader Christianity by her quotation. When we get beyond we will not be asked to what church we belong.

Thursday morn Harry roamed the streets of Detroit collecting laundry, spending money, gazing at store windows etc, while Esta enjoyed the sweet company of Cousin Clara in her home. After a trip to the wharf for boat tickets and a return to early supper all went to an experience social. This was most interesting to those directly interested yet to those without was most tedious. Just before the meeting Aunt Martha and Ralph presented us with a pair of beautiful woolen blankets from Uncle Abram.

Friday morning we arose and breakfasted with Cousin Clarence and after making final preparations being provided with a boat lunch by Clara we set out for the dock where our boat the Lady of Cleveland lay at anchor waiting for us. However, she was an hour late in starting and had a passage of less than one hundred. This being an extra trip across the lake.

While securing my tickets I met with an old schoolmate and friend Mr. Fred Lou who was engaged selling tickets and again as we were waiting for the boat we were joined by him. We spent some time pleasantly together recounting many old time incidents.

At ten-thirty we cleared port, set out on clear smooth Erie under a delightful breeze. Nothing unusual occurred during the sail. These two travelers enjoyed each others company. Esta slept while we sat on deck much of the time and only missed a scrap by a small margin.

Arriving Cleveland 5:50 p.m. we walked streets visiting nickelodeons etc until 11:30 at which time we boarded the Pittsburg train riding until 6:50 a.m. at which time we arrived Pittsburg. The Bride experienced little difficulty in sleeping all through the long hours of that morning tho seized with a severe attack of neuralgia she "put up" a good bluff and seemed to sleep soundly.

We breakfasted in Pittsburg on Grape Nuts and cream this time an appropriate diet, set our watch an hour earlier as per Eastern time and came East on the Philadelphia Express leaving 8 a.m. Again the Bride was sleepy and silent. The mountain scenery is incomparable. The variety of peaks gulleys grooves and clearings give scenery of endless interest. The mechanical feats performed in constructing the road bed are incredible. Horseshoe Bend thrills one as he watches the engine and rear coach at the same time from the middle coach. The beautiful Juanita river basin has scenes beautiful to the eye. The fifty miles above Harrisburg pass with almost incredible swiftness.

Harrisburg is home. It is here we found those whom we knew. It was here we found stores and homes like our own. After half and hour's delay we found a trolley for Mechanicsburg and after a short walk came to the home of Cousin Christ. Here supper awaited us and of course we did justice to it. And tho impolite we suggested an early retiring and this granted all was well until the early Sabbath call. Our cousins took us to a church in Mechanicsburg where Rev. Sanil Hess preached the sermon. Hot and dusty we spent the p.m. observing one old spinning wheel etc. in the parlor. In the eve Christ drove us to Uncle Peter's and here we spent two nights and a day in a pleasant manner. The people were harvesting so Esta and I were much together. Esta stole a sleep and I took a walk more p.m. midges were bad and after these came mosquitoes. After a fond farewell on Tues morn Mary took us to the trolley in the new surrey. Esta forgot her coat no less than three times, lost her handkerchief once. Our train for Lancaster was 30 m late and after lunch at Nissley's we turned up at Gordonville 12:25 p.m. to the no little concern of the shop girls and loungers. Ivan brought us to Cedar Lawn after rehearsing our many experiences writing some letters and reading our mail it was ours to retire to sweet dreams and sleep. Honeymoon trip ended but not the Honeymoon. Forbid that it should end, during these many happy days which we hope to be ours in the future.

The trip occupied twenty-six days, covered two-thousand miles, visited about forty friends. We spent one night on boat, one on the train, and four at Hotels, only one of which was first class. We saw ten different city Park, seven city buildings, two state capitals, and also took several excursions into the country.

Mother and Father gave a reception in our honor to about eighty five guests on July 15th, and the two days following Esta spent with me at home. Most of the joys of the new relationship must never be told. They exist only for those concerned and would not be understood by others. But sufficient to say the life is far beyond the highest expectations and promises to grow better daily.

Gifts Currency
Susanna Hershey 5.00
Hershey Leaman 1.00
Maggie Hershey 1.00
Katie Wenger 1.00
Amos Wenger 1.00
Christ Metzler 1.00
Levi Wenger 1.00
Sanil Denlinger 1.00
Amos Hershey 1.00
Annie Brackbill 1.00
Hettie Kreider 1.00
Susanna Metzler .50
-- 1.00

Diary after return from Honeymoon

  • July 14 - washing dirty dudds, Home and to shop with Nancy
  • July 15 - back to Cedar Lawn and home to the reception Esta donned her wedding [dress] and supper went off nicely
  • July 16 - at home with Esta and Mother. A bit lazy all day with a walk to Isaac's in the evening
  • July 17 - Dinner at Pharoas [Phares] Buckwalter's Shopping in town and lunch at home afterwards
  • July 18 - Sunday - no church - no drive - a full round loaf with much letter writing
  • July 19 - Hoeing at Esta's home with Father Leaman a perfect reconciliation
  • July 20 - no work, a drive to Bro's and a little information about a farm returned about 9:30 and was lovingly rec'd by Esta
  • July 21 - helped Isaac build a stall, Esta spent the day with me at sisters'
  • July 22 - rain many places, sufficient for plowing
  • July 23 - a son born to Isaac Buckwalter, visited with Dan Eshleman, threshed at Esta's home
  • July 24 - Esta wanted to attend service at Kinzer but we didn't go, Hershey preached
  • July 25 - a sad accident to Elwood Hershey, leg badly shattered in gasolene engine, amputation necessary, condition serious, Did a bit of work at Isaac's,
  • July 26 - Tuesday with Isaac, p.m. with Esta
  • July 27 - Mission meeting, crowd immense, animated and strong speakers
  • July 28 – Nothing doing at Cedar Lawn
  • July 29 - Threshed with Freeland Buckwalter
  • July 30 - spent day with sister Annie on the farm, Evening at Intercourse singing at Uncle Benj Hershey
  • July 31 - home with family, all is pleasant, nice drive to Red Well Church