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MiGreatPlaces: World War II Wedding in Historic Village

Historic Village in Houghton Lake. A place meant to tell stories.

"We have a country store, a doctor's office, a pharmacy, a barber shop, a carriage house, a chapel..."

But this village, meant to depict a 1890's lumber community, got quite a gift. A trunk from a local business owner.

Agnes, President of the Historical Society explains, "This trunk contained all sorts of wedding memorabilia and the dress and the vale and the cake top and the bouquet and invitations and cards of a couple that was married in April of 1944. The gentlemen was in the US Army and they were married while he was on leave because he was being shipped to the Pacific."

picture: black bridesmaids dresses

The trunk was full of memories between Virgil and Dolores Blackburn of Bay City. Some happy, some sad.

"And everything surrounding his death and his wedding were left in this trunk." Including the letter no military family wants. This one from one of the most famous names of World War II.

"A letter signed by General Douglas MacArthur. A condolence letter to the family. There's a lot of materials relative to War Department correspondence and their letters going back and forth. It's a wonderful treasure that we hold for them."

"I was up getting ready for work and we get the Restorer on Thursday and I read the first picture on the bottom and I saw my mom's name and I was like 'Oh my gosh!' I went to work that day and I was telling everybody, "I saw this stuff on my mom there's this story about this World War II couple and he went off to war and died and didn't come back," and it ended up being my mom," said Therese.

It turns out Dolores' daughter, Therese, and one of her sons lives in Houghton Lake. Through circumstances that aren't important anymore, she accidentally lost the trunk and these memories.

"They were high school sweethearts and he got asked by his friends to go into the war. I guess he didn't have to do the war thing because he was an only son."

Then, "they wanted to get married, and so they got married in April and it was over a weekend and then he had to leave for the war and then he never came back."

Virgil was killed in New Guinea. Some time went by and Dolores fell in love again. Married Edward Kusmierc and they had five children together.

But with this new find at Historic Village, Therese found a way to honor her mom and someone she never knew.

"She really did love Virgil so it was kind of mixed emotions all day long."

"During Village Days we have a opportunity for people to renew their vows in our historic chapel and very often they wear old fashion clothes but she chose to renew her vows in her mother wedding vale carrying the train on her wedding vale were her two grand daughters," said Agnes.

"We didn't know until we got back but they put her cake topper on top of the cake."

Fitting, a World War II soldier and his bride and a trunk full of memories reunited after 70 years.

"It's a part of history and it's a part of, kind of a small homage to her. Hopefully she's up there looking down and enjoying it."

read more: SheinDressAU Purple Bridesmaid Dresses

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