While visiting a little-traveled area of the Detroit Historical Society’s collection, our Curator came upon an unassuming glass jar that contained porous, brown chunks of what appeared to be sea sponges. What are these things? Or perhaps more to the point-what were these things? The mystery was short lived as a label became visible on the other side of the jar. Little did we know how grateful we were about to be that someone had the foresight to thoroughly cork and seal this jar.
Handwritten upon the label is, “Wedding Cake of William T. Mumford & Beatrice Griffin. October 10, 1894.” Oh goodness. Now many of you are probably familiar with the custom of saving a piece of wedding cake to be eaten on the first anniversary or the birth of the first child, whichever came first. And I’ll make the jump here and assume that was also the intention of Mr. and Mrs. Mumford. So I’m wondering if they did indeed sample a little on 10/10/ 1895 and put the rest away out of a sentimental spirit. Or perhaps it was placed in a pantry only to be found later by the now perhaps elderly Mr. and Mrs. Mumford. I can imagine them sharing a chuckle over the neglected pastry and an afternoon spent in nostalgic reminiscence.
I think we can posit with a fair amount of certainty that the Mumfords didn’t anticipate that their lovely morsel would wind up here within the Society’s collection. In fact, they probably weren’t inclined to think that the cake would persist past their own lifetime. But I do like to think that they would be happy to know that their small piece of happiness has endured. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Mumford, we are delighted that you’ve shared this special piece of history with us.
Here’s to love and cake!