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Sept. 5, 1888: All aboard for a Lake Minnetonka wedding!

  • Blog Post by: Ben Welter
  • June 1, 2013 - 3:39 PM
 
St. Martin’s by-the-Lake Episcopal Church in Minnetonka marked its 125th anniversary this weekend by re-enacting the first wedding held there. The marriage of Lucy May Camp and Henry Von Wedelstaedt on Sept. 4, 1888, was a gala affair. Among the 150 in attendance were some of the Twin Cities’ most influential men, including the bride’s father, lumberman George Camp, who commissioned the chapel; George Brackett, former Minneapolis mayor; Loren Fletcher, who served six terms in Congress; A.J. Blethen, owner of the Minneapolis Tribune; and U.S. District Judge William Lochren. The chapel, designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert, was “decorated entirely with wildflowers,” including an abundance of goldenrod. The Minneapolis Tribune captured all the excitement -- include a nearly catastrophic train accident -- in the next day's paper.
 

A GOLDEN WEDDING

 
The Gold Was the Gold of the Beautiful Flowers That Prevailed in all the Decorations.
 
Marriage of Miss Lucy May Camp and Henry E. von Wedelstaedt – Brilliant Reception at the West.
 
The marriage of Miss Lucy May Camp, daughter of Major George A. Camp, to Henry E. Von Wedelstaedt, of St. Paul, took place in the beautiful Camp memorial chapel at Minnetonka Beach yesterday noon. Coming so soon after the pleasant ceremony attendant upon the dedication of the chapel, this event was particularly appropriate and happy.
 
 
  The Camp chapel, which is now the home of St. Martin's-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church on Lake Minnetonka's Lafayette Bay, got a new bronze bell in 2004. Above, crane operators lifted the steeple back into place. (Star Tribune photo by Richard Sennott)
The chapel was decorated entirely with wild flowers, the most prominent of such being golden-rod. The carpet had been crushed and golden-rod thrown over it; the musicians were screened by golden-rod; the altar rail decorated with it, and from the center of the arch above the altar was suspended a large ball of that beautiful flower, with baskets of other wild flowers on either side. The arrangement of this floral display was by an expert florist, and nothing could have been more natural or prettier. The guests from Minneapolis and St. Paul came to the wedding ceremony in a special train, and fully 150 were present. The bridal party, consisting of Samuel E. Hill and Park von Wedelstaedt, ushers; Miss Barnard of Lincoln, and Miss Von Wedelstaedt, bridesmaids, and Maj. Camp, accompanying the bride, were met at the chancel steps by the groom and his best man, Mr. Stanley Proudfit. The bride was attired in cream white moiré antique trimmed with lilies of the valley and pearl ornaments. She carried a bouquet of white rosebuds. The maids were attired in white silk with tulle overdress and carried bouquets. The marriage service of the Episcopal church was read by Bishop Gilbert, he pronouncing the couple man and wife. After the ceremony the bridal party, accompanied by their friends, were served a wedding breakfast at the cottage of Maj. Camp. The music for the occasion was rendered by an orchestra of string instruments, which played during the wedding service and the repast.
 
Returning from the beach a special train brought the entire party to Minneapolis. An accident to the engine detained the train some 30 minutes, about two miles west of the Hutchinson junction. While they were stalled there what might have been a terrible accident was averted by the good fortune of a brakeman, who ran to the rear of the train just in time to discover a freight train approaching at a rate of 30 miles an hour. The narrow escape was forgotten, however, last evening in the brilliant gayeties of the reception. Over 300 guests accepted the invitation to be present at the West [Hotel]. The entire first floor was given up to the reception, and the rooms were exquisitely decorated with flowers. Dr. Guy R. Montgomery, Cavour Langdon, Luther Newport and Park von Wedelstaedt acted as ushers. In the center room was a beautiful ribbon of flowers, with the monogram C. & W. worked in its center; this stretched diagonally across the large mirror. Tasteful decorations of roses and ivy were plentiful. The refreshments were placed upon serving tables in the room opening off the parlors, and were served in magnificent style. The tables were loaded with beautiful candy and wax designs, and elaborate game and fruit pieces. One of the designs was in the shape of a miniature pond, with tiny boats
 
The West Hotel, Minneapolis, in the 1880s. (Photo courtesy of Hennepin County Library's Minneapolis Collection.)

 

 

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