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Hickock Wedding - Benjamin Hickok & Florence Flanders
Photo & Derby Line information contributed by Carolyn Flanders McPherson

Hickok & Flanders Wedding Photo (1944)

Left to right, including (maiden) and married names:

Miriam Hall (Nelson) Flanders, the bride's mother
Florence Nelson (Flanders) Hickok
Benjamin Blakely Hickok, grandson of Hannah (Rich) Peters and William Blakely Peters
Sarah Peters Hickok, the groom's mother and daughter of Hannah Rich Peters & William Blakely Peters.


Benjamin Blakely Hickok was a cryptographer in the Army Air Corps. He met Florence Nelson Flanders at the Army Air Corps base in Presque Isle, Maine, where she was the librarian. The Presque Isle army air base was part of the elaborate network of air bases involved in "air ferrying"; that is, moving planes safely to the European war zone via a northern route that included Greenland. Benjamin Blakely Hickok was shipped to the Azores islands four months after the wedding.

Derby Line, Vermont
Derby Line, Vermont, is a village of 776 people, and straddles the US-Canadian border. In fact, Derby Line, Vermont, and its Canadian twin, Rock Island, Quebec, share the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, probably the world’s only edifice of its type built on an international border. (In recent years the village of Rock Island has been consolidated into the municipality of Stanstead, Quebec.)

In the library portion of the Haskell building, the doors to the library are in the US and the books are in Canada; in the opera house portion of the building, the audience sits in the United States to watch plays being performed in Canada. Several houses and a factory were also bisected by the border, which was ignored by early founders of the community.

The border markings in these twin communities were thought to represent the 45th parallel; that is, 45 degrees of latitude. Recent improvements in surveying techniques, however, have demonstrated that Derby Line is, in fact, located at 45.005 degrees of latitude, meaning a small portion of the US is really in Canada!

This wedding picture was taken at the Nelson Homestead in Derby Line, Vermont, Florence Nelson Flanders’ home. Florence and her groom Benjamin Blakely Hickok, the grandson of Hannah Rich and William Blakely Peters of Delaware County, NY, were married in the Anglican Church in Stanstead. Technically speaking, going to church that day, 7 August 1944, constituted an invasion of Canada, as the groom and his party were in US military uniforms. Fortunately, the bride, the groom, and all their guests were allowed through customs without a call-up of Canadian armed forces.

Florence Nelson Flanders' paternal grandfather was Rev. Charles Ruston Flanders, Headmaster of Stanstead College. (Click at the top on "Profiles and History," and then on "Photo Gallery.")

Photo Album of Hannah (Rich) Peters - Elizabeth M. Blakely
Marriage Notice, Bloomville Mirror - William B. Peters & Hannah (Rich)
Haskell Free Library and Opera House (Outside Link)
Charles Ruston Flanders, Headmaster of Stanstead College (Outside Link)


Updated 02 Jun 2014
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