On June 29, 1914 Frances and Leon decided to get married – “just like that and unbeknown” to their families. They eloped – “quietly slipped away” and were married in the parsonage of the Baptist Church in Portland, ME.
For their honeymoon, they took a boat from Portland to Boston and stayed overnight. Then they took a ferry to Revere, where they found a room on a side road near the beach. As Fran recalled, they barely heard the music and parties of the festive tourist attraction – the Dance Pavilion, the crowds of bathers in their wool skirts and derby hats, the promenaders on the Boulevard, the music from the Carousel at Wonderland, the clacking of the wooden rails under the roller coaster or Scenic Railway.
“We two could not know that anyone else existed in the whole wide world but us. We gradually came back to earth.”
They eloped, in part, because Fran’s parents wanted them to wait, to gain more experience in life before marrying. And, Fran recalled, perhaps they wished that Leon had more experience beyond a farm and grainery. But, she said, “My parents were fair minded, loving, and understanding. I had never been a rebellious child but anyone that has been in love as Leon and I were in love will understand. I do not advise anyone to run away and get married and cause your family to worry. Think before you leap. But our parents forgave us and tried in every way to give us the happiness and security that a good marriage needs.”