North Beach Life-Saving Station Wedding
Assateague Island, Maryland
17 June 1905
June 6th found me en-route to Ocean City, where I was met by a young cousin whose nimble-footed little nag soon bore us to North Beach, the objective point. An ah! that ten miles ride along the surf with the spent waves ever and ever curling up around the twinkling feet of "Harry" was an ideal one and one never to be forgotten! The sky was overcast thereby permitting the gaze to rest at pleasure, upon the ever-changing face of the deep--the charm of which never loses it fascination to a true love of the Sea. The balmy wind swept by us laden with the exhilarating salty breath of the inrolling waves. It was all so glorious. The voice of the Sea and the singing of the winds will long fill my waking and dreaming hours.
Arrived at North Beach we found everything and everybody in a delightful flutter and tumult; for lo, there was to be a wedding by the Sea, and the happy day was but a few hours away. Eight o'clock Wednesday evening brought the hour, and--all was ready! The contracting parties were Mr. William I. Purnell, of Ocean City, and Henrietta, daughter of Captain and Mrs. John A. J. Hudson, of North Beach.
Everything went off lovely. There were no attendants. The bride came in on her father's arm and was given away by him. Rev. Mr. England performed the ceremony.
The bridegroom-the bridegroom, poor fellow, usually receives scant notice at such times, he is a very necessary adjunct, to be sure, a sort of side show, you know, but it is the bride who is always made much of and cooed over, deferred to and caressed. However this bridegroom was O.K., and the bride, well, I think there was never a lovelier, sweeter one than this same winsome little cousin of mine as she stood in white-robed purity before the minister to be wedded to her heart's choice.
A unique feature of the Terpsichorean merriment was the dancing of a great aunt of the bride, a lady well on towards seventy. She entered into the fun with as much gusto and abandon as did the youthful dancers, and her step was as light, and her movements as airy as theirs. Mr. George D. Mount was violinist, and seemed tireless as the dancers, and gave us sweetest strains until long after mid-night.
The bride received quite a goodly number of beautiful and useful presents, and there were creature comforts galore for everybody. Thus endeth the wedding.
Mr. and Mrs. Purnell will make their home at Ocean City.
While at North Beach I had the pleasure of going through the L. S. Station. My kinsman, Captain Hudson, showing and explaining the whole equipment of the buildings taking us up into the "look out" and letting us sweep land and sea with the glasses. And last, but not least, by any means, treating us to a number of delicious strains upon a violin of his own making, a beautifully made and sweet-toned instrument. he made the violin in 1878, so years are adding to its mellow sweetness.
With another delightful ten miles ride along the glittering sunlit surf on Saturday morning, I bade adieu to North Beach and its jolly inmates and delightful associations, and returned to Ocean City and thence to Berlin in the afternoon.
Thus ended the most delightful sojourn by the Sea, it was ever my happy fortune to enjoy.
***William I. Purnell & Henrietta Hudson would later divorce.
Scavenger Hunt Clue # 4
A ship wrecked near Ocean City in December of 1958. For months the locals salvaged all kinds "goodies" including gallons of paint - and Worcestershire sauce! What was the name of the ship?
- The African Queen
- The Bark Maddalena Secondo
- The Andrea Doria
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