On Sunday, May 17th, 1998 at the Four Season's Olympic Hotel in Seattle more than 25 descendants of the "Mercer Girls" came together to remember their pioneer women ancestors. A great granddaughter came from as far away as New York city!
134 years earlier, on that same day in the month of May, and on that same piece of property, the residents of Seattle had welcomed 11 ladies to their young city. The reception that day had been held at the University Hall and Rev. Doane had expressed, "a wish that those who had come might find pleasant homes, and that Blessings might attend, and success crown, their every effort". A vote of thanks was also tendered for the "self-sacrificing spirit the ladies had manifested in leaving the loved firesides of happy homes to plod life's weary way on this North Western coast".
As the descendants gathered to remember their ancestors they exchanged memories and stories of courageous and loving women. Most were meeting one another for the first time and some had not know until recently that their ancestor was a member of the Mercer Girls group.
Also attending were Bridget Hanley and Henry Beckman. Actress and Actor who had portrayed Candy Pruitt and Capt. Clancy in the TV series "Here Come the Brides", 1968-70. The television show had been based on the true voyage, and arrival in Seattle, of the Mercer Girls. Bridget is a native of the Seattle area and a true supporter of the research being done on the Mercer Girls. Henry Beckman lives in Washington state and is also an admirier of the courage these women possessed when they made the trip from Massachusetts to Washington Territory in 1864.
As the group dispursed for the evening it was noticed that many "new found cousins" were leaving together to continue the evening talking and sharing their stories. Addresses and phone numbers were also exchange. Everyone had a wonderful time and were indeed proud to proclaim, "My Ancestor Was A Mercer Girl!".