MOUNT VERNON — Weddings, for most people, are special events which generate memories that last a lifetime. When the marriage takes place in a historic building which has seen more than 100 years’ worth of weddings, it is more memorable. When the venue has been in one’s family for seven generations, the experience is even more precious.
That is the case for Jillian Howell Berry and her new husband, Joshua. Jillian is the seventh generation of the Russell-Cooper family and was recently married in the historic Russell-Cooper House on Gambier Street.
The family connection to the house is through owner Tom Dvorak’s late wife, Mary. He said the first family member to live on the premises was a Dr. Russell, a surgeon who purchased the property in 1856. Later, Dr. Russell’s daughter married Col. Robert Cooper and the couple lived in the house on Gambier Street.
Dvorak, grandfather of the bride, said the quaint old building was the site of his and Mary’s wedding reception and hosts four or five weddings every year. Jillian and Joshua’s nuptials were exceptional, he said, because they featured his granddaughter, who was also baptized in The Russell-Cooper House.
Jillian said she loved having her wedding in the historic venue. She spent a lot of time at The Russell-Cooper House when she was growing up, and helped her grandmother make the beds and do some of the cooking for the bed and breakfast guests.
“The house is a big part of our family,” she said. “It definitely was nice to get married there. It was my grandma’s when she was alive so it was like having a piece of her there. It was just an amazing experience. Anybody’s wedding day is special but being married in a place so close to my heart is indescribable.”