Golden Anniversary

A story from the Waterbury Daily American, Thursday, Sept. 18, 1879, about the anniversary of my third great grandparents Hinman Atwood (1799-1880) and Anna Eliza DeForest (1809-1887) who lived on a farm (corn) in Watertown, CT, and had at least 11 children.

“The Golden Wedding”

“On Wednesday, the 10th, Mr. and Mrs. Hinman Atwood celebrated their golden wedding day. The event is worthy of more than passing notice, for in these days it is no common thing to find husband and wife living together for fifty years. Not the least remarkable feature in this case, is the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Atwood have spent all the years of their married life under the same roof-tree where they are now living. This fiftieth anniversary of their wedding was made the occasion of a family reunion, and many friends besides came together with the relatives to offer their congratulations. The company assembled in the evening numbered considerably over a hundred persons, though very many of Mr. Atwood’s contemporaries, feeling that advanced years and a dark ride at night was in compatible, made their call in the afternoon. The party was a very happy one, nor could it have been otherwise in view of the happy cause that had occasioned. About the middle of the evening when all was ready, the rector, the Rev. Mr. Stoddard, being requested, made a brief address to the ancient bride and bridegroom, congratulating them upon their half century of married life, and expressing in behalf of all present the best wishes for the future and the belief that the Good Father who had already been so kind to them would crown their remaining years with peace. He also read a poem composed by one of the ladies present and appropriate for the occasion. Shortly after this the company were asked to sit down to supper at a table loaded with good things. It is needless to say that ample justice was done to the abundant fare. The feast and gayety were continued till a late hour, and when finally the guests departed, they  did so feeling the event would be one long to be remembered as a bright spot in their lives. Surely Mr. and Mrs. Atwood could not but appreciate t he bright and charming aspects of the day. It was no little thing to have good-will expressed by so many friends. But best of all, and what doubtless they are most thankful for, was the sight of their numerous family. Their children of three generations were gathered together around their hearth-stone; and in view that they numbered then present more than 40, it can be truly said of this celebration, as the poet has written of another golden wedding day:

The ancient bride groom and the bride,
Serenely smiling on the scene.
Behold, well-pleased, on every side
Their forms and features multiplied.
As the reflection of a light
Between two burnished mirrors gleams
Or lamps upon a bridge at night,
Stretch on and on before the might,
Till the long vista endless seems.”

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