Tag Archives: Wedding

Historic Wedding at Fairlawn Mansion

Imagine Fairlawn Mansion’s decorated interior as two couples were married in the parlor on an early June day in 1896. Two of Martin Pattison’s nieces, Mary Ann Gowling and Eva Irene Thayer, married men from Superior – Ralph Pope and Frank Hamen. “Fairlawn never looked so beautiful as when its spacious apartments were decked with flowers and foliage” wrote a reporter for the June 4th edition of the Superior Telegram. “The parlor is decorated with pink and white roses and smilax [leafy vines] in festoons over the mantle, the music room with white and yellow flowers while the reception room and library beyond present a most effective picture with American beauties and other beautiful flowers amidst the green foliage of potted plants.” Weddings like this made the news during the Pattisons’ day, and the article in the newspaper was filled with information that locals wanted to read.

parlor

An early photo of Fairlawn’s family parlor.

About 50 guests were invited to the wedding ceremony – mostly close friends and family. The details of the double wedding included music and decoration, refreshments and dinner. “The brides will be given away by their uncle, Mayor Pattison, and they will look beautiful in their gowns of Gloria silk. Miss Gowling’s dress is trimmed with pearl ornaments and she will carry a handkerchief of lace, one hundred and fifty years old.” At the end of the ceremony, guests were sent up to the ballroom on the third floor of the mansion, where they ate a wonderful supper. The ballroom tables were decorated with pink candles and apple blossoms.

The menu included croquettes, salads, olives, almonds, meats and chips, with ice cream and strawberries to top off the meal. Once the wedding cake was cut by the brides, the billiards room was opened up to allow the wedding guests to admire wedding gifts that included “silver, cut glass, rare china, pictures, beautiful embroidery, linen” and more. The evening reception included refreshments for nearly 400 well-wishers in the dining room under a canopy of climbing asparagus, with carnations decorating the table. Once guests chose coffee, chocolates, cake or ices, they could wander through the conservatory, greenhouse, lawns, and outdoor gardens.

Fairlawn, with its beautiful interior and cheerful gardens, lends itself perfectly as a backdrop for weddings. Whether a small wedding in the parlor or a larger gathering near the landing, many couples have celebrated their marriage at Fairlawn.

Planning a wedding? Call our Events Coordinator at 715-394-5712 or email events@superiorpublicmuseums.org to schedule a private tour.

 

The Season of Weddings

Tying the knot during warmer summer months has long been a tradition, so what better time to talk about weddings at Fairlawn Mansion. Beginning with the Pattison family in residence, weddings have been celebrated in the mansion and on the grounds with both lavish extremes and simple, quiet elegance.

No less than four brides descended the grand staircase of Fairlawn when it was home to Martin, Grace and their children, beginning with Martin and Grace’s  nieces, Eva Irene Thayer and Mary Ann Growling on the occasion of their double nuptials, June 3, 1896.

Two later weddings followed in rapid succession when another niece, Grace Margaret Frink was wed September 7, 1902 and daughter Ethyl Mary exchanged vows in October of the same year.

Such weddings were considered high social occasions in the town of Superior, often times with numerous fetes being held for days before the big event, all described in great detail by local news reporters.

One historical account from our archives reported on a wedding breakfast at the mansion, “The breakfast room was most handsomely decorated and was a marvel of exquisite taste and skill.”

For the wedding of Grace Frink, another archived report describes the lavish decorations throughout the mansion. “The spacious dining room was in pink with the mantle banked in sweet peas and ferns, while pink roses graced the table. The hall, where the wedding ceremony was performed had been transformed into a bower of beauty. The mantle was banked with sweat pea and ferns, while festoons of ferns hung from the ceilings, and were caught in the center by a large ball of white asters. The stairway was draped with sweat pea and Elysium.”

Modern Fairlawn couples prize the mansion for its elegant décor and intimate setting to host a wedding that transcends the ordinary. Whether they chose to fill the mansion with floral arrangements as did Fairlawn brides of the past, or opt to go sans decoration, their wedding ceremony is a beautiful sight to behold.

For more information on rental of Fairlawn Mansion for weddings and other special occasion events, email our Events Coordinator or phone 715-394-5712 during business hours.