The wedding of Genevieve S. Pucilowski to Stephen W. Mirota was celebrated on 26 August 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. This lovely photograph shows the wedded couple with Stephen’s parents, Joseph and Sophia Szczerba Mirota. Steve had been born in 1911 and had grown-up in Readington Township working on the family farm, and remembered it as the hardest work he ever did. Genevieve, called Jean by the family, had been born in Grodno, Poland, also in 1911. She came to the United States as a young girl with her parents, John and Amelia “Emily” Pucilowski. She, and her siblings, had gone to a private school in Brooklyn. Her father was a chef, had a restaurant, and owned his house in Brooklyn. Jean was said to come from a “good” Polish family. I would think Stephen’s parents were thrilled that their son married someone that spoke Polish, and knew the ways of the old country. After their wedding, Jean and Steve lived next to her parents in Brooklyn for a while, and then later moved to New Jersey. Steve worked for the Central Railroad of New Jersey for many years.
Steve and Jean met at a wedding of mutual friends. Shown in this picture above from 1932 are both sets of parents at the Mirota farm in Readington Township, Hunterdon County, NJ. Jean is standing at the top of the steps leading into the kitchen. I’m not sure of the man next to her, because he doesn’t look like Steve. Any suggestions?
The photos above and below were taken on the day of the wedding in Brooklyn, showing the bridal party. Both pictures were stored in the same album, but were developed at different places. It is remarkable how much the picture below has faded. The bridesmaid in the center below is Mary Mirota, and on the right is Genevieve Mirota; both sisters of the groom.
After their children were born, Jean would spend many weeks of vacation with the children at her in-law’s farm in Readington Township, NJ. They would take the same railroad line that Steve worked at, from New York City out to White House (shown in the postcard at the bottom) to the train depot, which was one mile from the Mirota farm. One of their sons remembers those days in this way:
We would come out for a few weeks in the summer and also in the winter. We would take the train out, and my mother would always say she would lose weight from helping out at the farm. It was hard work and the boys would be expected to pitch in, too. There wasn’t any electricity or plumbing until Uncle Joe came back from WWII. He modernized the house. Before that, in the winter the house was icy cold. The boys would pile into the one bed upstairs next to our grandparent’s room and cuddle up to stay warm under Bapcia’s down and feather blankets. In the morning there would be ice inside on the window pane. There was only one wood stove in the kitchen that tried to heat the entire house. We would have to get up and run outside to use the outhouse. In the summer we would play and sleep in the barn. It was a wonder we never broke any bones jumping off the hayloft and playing on the beams. Once my older brother found a bottle of whiskey hidden in the hayloft. He convinced me that we should tell our grandparents about it. Boy was Bapcia mad at Dziadek for hiding that bottle. He was in deep trouble. She yelled at him in Polish. My mother’s family did not quite approve of my father’s family because they were from a lower social status in Poland. The name Mirota meant something like peasant or farmer.