From my “Over the hill” series.
At night noon on July 16, 1912, a caravan of limousines arrived at St. Matthews in San Mateo. Jennie, whose fortune was now estimated at $15 million, stepped out of the third automobile wearing a $1,000 lace wedding gown and jewels worth $100,000 — a veritable fortunate at the time.
Responsible for protecting the diamonds and pearls were plainclothes San Francisco policemen, secret service agents and Hillsborough Officer Marshall Conens. When Conens was not policing the millionaire colony, he worked as a private secretary for one of Hillsborough’s wealthy residents.
Despite the strong show of police, onlookers scrambled atop automobiles an carriages for a better view of the lovely bride. Holding a bouquet of white hydrangeas tied with blue tulle, Jennie was ushered into the cool, fragrant chapel, as bright summer light streamed through the memorial stained glass windows.
The setting was exquisite with masses of pink and lavender orchids bordering the aisles; potted orange trees with fragrant white blossoms banked the walls. On instruction from Jennie, horticulturist Maier purchased the entire supply of orchids on the Peninsula.
(Next: Part 9)