Large Gathering of Notables Attended 1934 Zollicoffer-Summers Wedding

On Oct. 14, 1934 at 8:00 p.m., Mr. John Zollicoffer and Miss Helen Summers became husband and wife at the home of bride’s parents in Mountcastle Hills. The Johnson City Chronicle described the ceremony as “dignified simplicity.” Several out-of-town guests attended the gala affair. The Rev. Robert King, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, impressively and beautifully solemnized the rites.   

The spacious rooms of the home displayed an alluring aspect with an improvised altar before the massive eastern fireplace of the drawing room. Tall cathedral candles and baskets of mammoth chrysanthemums were placed at each side against the ivy covered, white background. Ivy and baby chrysanthemums were entwined along the lovely colonial stairs and small boxwood pots marked the aisle for the entrance of the bridal party.

A program of nuptial music began at 7:45 p.m., rendered by Mrs. H.L. Burbage, pianist; Mrs. Edward Brading, violinist; and Miss Mary Luther Wright, harpist.

The Mountcastle Hills Home of the Summers Family Where the Wedding Took Place

The exquisite numbers were “Traumeri,” “Morning Calm as the Night” and “Toujours L’Amour Toujours.” Mr. Charles Broyles, tenor, sang “All for You.” At the closing bars of “Liebestraum,” the bridal party entered to the strains of “Lohengrin’s Wedding March.” During the service, “Sweet Evening Star” was softly played and as a recessional Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” and Schubert’s “Serenade.”

The bride’s brothers, Frank and Jack Summers, preceded the bride to the altar. Mrs. Frank Summers served as matron-of-honor while Miss Edith Summers, only sister of the bride, was maid of honor. The bride’s father gave his daughter in marriage. They descended the stairs and proceeded to the altar where they were met by the groom and his best man, his brother, Algernon Augustus Zollicoffer.

The bride was radiant in a bridal gown of white satin, fashioned on straight princess lines, distinguished by a deep braided satin period collar and cuffs and sweeping train. Her exquisite bride’s bouquet was of orchids and valley lilies. The bridal veil of rose point lace was shaped to the head with a coronet of orange blossoms.

The dining table, covered with an imported lace cloth, was a picture of exquisiteness. A great bowl of white chrysanthemums centered the large table and white tapers burned in silver holders. White tulle was festooned in streamers from the chandelier to four edges of the table.

The bride cut a lovely four-tiered bridal cake, decorated with lilies of the valley and calla lilies. The talismanic favors were contained in the beautiful cake. Ices were shaped to resemble bridal slippers and wedding bells. Mints were decorated similar to the cake and served with coffee.

Assisting in the dining room were Miss Mary Gump, Mrs. William Preas, Miss Mary Elliott, Mrs. Glenn Elliott, Mrs. R.N. Dosser, Mrs. Welsford Artz, Miss Effie Leland, Mrs. Jay Gump, Mrs. Harris Sanders of Nashville, Miss Marjory Shipley and Miss Elizabeth Shipley. Guests were received at the door by Mrs. Allen Harris and Mrs. David Miller and entertained by Mrs. Paul Wofford, Mrs. L.L. Copenhaver, Mrs. George Oldham, Mrs. Ward Friberg and Mrs. Frank Henderson.

The groom was a graduate of the University of North Carolina Law School, a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and engaged in the practice of law with his brother, Mr. Jere Zollicoffer.

Immediately following the reception, tendered by the bride’s parents, the bride and groom left by motor for a two-week honeymoon to the Chicago World’s Fair. Upon their return on November 1, they resided in Henderson, NC.

What makes this wedding so special is the fact that the couple in later years rescued the city’s gorgeous Lady of the Fountain from being melted. They stored it for a period of time in their E. Watauga garage before taking it to their home in Henderson, NC where it became a garden decoration with running water from the urn. The pair eventually agreed to let the bronze statue come home to Johnson City where she belonged and hopefully will remain. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Zollicoffer.