In western North Carolina there is a woman who dislikes Valentine’s Day. She feels it is a greedy set-up by Hallmark, candy companies, and florists. She refuses to participate.

On the other hand, how much the bright reds and pinks and the hearts are needed on the gloomy, muddy days of February!

J.W.M. (Billy) Gooch was too young to be married when he wrote his 1861 diary. He was just finishing school, and then he went to war. (He married in later years.)

He did write about the pleasant times in Cedar Hill at the beginning of 1861. For example, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, he had gone to “Mr. Matheses” with Jenny Polk. They had a good time, he reported.

On Saturday, March 22, there was a party at the home of M.A. Jackson. Guests there “bid good by” to “Miss Mollie.”

No “romantic interests” are noted for Billy Gooch in 1861.

In “Warm Hearts and Saddlebags” - the journals of Jeremiah W. Cullom, the preacher lists many of the weddings that he performed, including those in and around Springfield. He married 30 couples while in Springfield in 1855-1857.

On Oct. 13, 1857, Cullom wrote of his own marriage to Mary B. Isom in Lincoln County.

He wrote that the event was “providential” and that he had “never received from her a cross word.” (Wow!) He added that she had “great common sense and decision of character.”

Billy Parker of Greenbrier provided the Robertson County History Museum with a description of a wedding that occurred on March 9, 1873. This was the wedding of Margaret Powell to Albert Porter.

They were married at the home of her grandparents, Billy and Charlotte House Powell, on Carr’s Creek. George Fiser, Justice of the Peace and steward at New Chapel Methodist Church, married them.

The bride wore a royal blue alpaca dress in polonaise style. Polonaise meant a tight bodice with a skirt opening from the waist to show a decorative underskirt. This bride also had an overskirt. She wore black velvet shoes with “kid heels and toes.” 

Margaret Powell’s cousin, Sarah Moulton, had made the dress and was one of the attendants. Sarah and Emma Stark, the wife of John Stark, helped the bride to dress.

The women watched for the rest of the wedding party by looking through the small openings in the walls of the bedroom where the bride was dressing. These holes had been cut during the Civil War since those watching inside the house could not be seen by the enemy outside.

The newly wedded couple attended church that day at Mount Zion Methodist. They returned home for an outdoor “infair” with turkey, salads, custards, and wedding cake.

Johnny Stark was one of the few friends and family who did not attend the wedding. He told Margaret that he went fishing that day. She was his favorite cousin, and he did not want to see her marry.

According to the article, Margaret Powell Porter never regretted her marriage to Albert Porter. The article was written by “Amy Antique.”

In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.

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