Virginia Lee Lawrence (1864-1891) was the daughter of Frederick Newbold Lawrence (1834-1916) and Elizabeth Miller Boyce (1835-1894). She was my wife’s great grand aunt. She died young, predeceasing both of her parents.

St George's exterior

St George's interior

She married Louis Meredith Howland in St George’s Church, Bayside, on December 19, 1883.

The wedding was celebrated precisely at 12 o’clock. A special train over the Long Island Railroad had taken up the guests from New York, and the church, despite the snow and wind outside, was thronged from chancel to door.

He dress was white satin, cut square, and covered with old point lace. She wore a point lace veil, held in place by a diamond star, which was the wedding gift of her mother. The lace was an old family heirloom of great value. She carried in her hand a bouquet of white roses.

My wife informs me that the old point lace veil that Virginia Lee wore is still in the family. Her mother wore it at her wedding, and my wife wore it at our wedding.

After the ceremony the guests were conveyed by the special trains that had taken them from this City, four miles further, to the old Lawrence homestead at Bayside, where an elegant collation was served. The house was beautifully decorated with holly and cedars, and the parlors were filled with the wedding presents.

Among these were a thousand–dollar bill [$25.000 in 2015 dollars] from the groom’s father, and one of half that amount from the father of the bride. Mr. Roosevelt, the groom’s best man, presented them with a very handsome repoussé silver tête-a tête set.

Tete a tete tea service

A  repoussé tête-a tête tea set

I trust there was a private detective on hand to keep an eye on the jeweled egg boilers.

The guests included dozens of Lawrences ( a very prolific family), many Townsends, Embrees, Schencks, and other worthies.

Alas, she survived the wedding only ten years, and left three small children , Elizabeth Lawrence Howland (1885-1973),  Hortense Howland (1886-1975), and Nathalie Mary Howland (1887-1931).

She is buried in the Lawrence Cemetery in Bayside.

Lawrence Cemetery

Lawrence Cemetery 


Leave a Comment