First, let me thank everyone who chimed in with information gleaned from their weddings. I got a couple of comments, some emails, and two people stopped me on campus to let me know that the chandelier was there when they got married. (I really, really appreciate the comments. Even negative ones. Please don’t hold back. But don’t be mean either!!)
I spent most of my afternoon running around campus checking up on things. (More on this later.) When I got back to the Woodson I discovered that my colleague, Lee Pecht, had taken the opportunity to dig around for the answer to the mystery of the origins of the chandelier. He didn’t quite get there, but he got awfully close.
He went looking for a postcard collection that I had completely forgotten about. (This is one of the biggest benefits of having two people in the archives who have been at Rice for twenty years. One of us usually remembers what the other has forgotten.) Here he found enough information to narrow the search significantly. Here is a postcard of the chapel made in late 1960 or 1961:
And here is a postcard made in 1964:
This is real progress, people. And Lee gets the glory this time.
The postcard collection came in well before my time, but Damon Hickey, the Rice alum who gave it to us, seems like the kind of guy I’d really enjoy knowing. I found this short bio of him on Amazon.
For those who are waiting breathlessly, I promise a carillon post tomorrow. I’m also working on a post about the genesis of the chapel itself. Plus, photos from this afternoon! Here’s one as a teaser:
I am not sure what Lee found out, but the story in the Rayzor family was that Eugenia Rayzor bought that chandelier on a trip to Spain. I am afraid I do not have much more information than that.