HODGDON — When Ellsworth resident Daniel Fenton started online dating Moncton, New Brunswick resident Danielle Thomas earlier this year, he knew there was a spark.
They met through Facebook Dating.
“We met this summer and became friends talking back and forth and they kept, you know, we just assumed one day they would open the border and we could meet,” Fenton said.
He added, later, “Dating, come to find out, isn’t an essential travel through the border.”
Canada closed its borders in March in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
That didn’t stop Fenton from finding a way to meet Thomas.
“I just started satellite mapping the border, basically,” he said, adding, “I found those two roads that come together down below Houlton.”
The rendezvous point in Hodgdon is where the Lincoln Road on the U.S. side and the Union Corner Road on the Canadian side run parallel for about 1,600 feet. It’s about a three-hour drive for both of Fenton and Thomas.
“We found that spot, went down and met and she walked up and soon after border patrol showed up … [they] wanted to make sure we weren’t smuggling anything,” he said.
The couple meet in person while staying in their respective countries weekly through the summer and fall.
Fenton said “this type of dating from each side of the country line made us really stop and get to know one another because it was just all talk.” And they had plenty to talk about, with each having three kids from prior relationships.
“Every Saturday we’d go up and I had to tell Border Patrol,” he said, adding they really got to know the local agents who would sometime drive by just to check on things.
Fenton added later, “We fell in love at the border and decided we’d do it.”
The couple got married Saturday at the international border.
“By the power vested in me by the state of Maine, the United States of America, and with any luck the Canadian government, I now pronounce you husband and wife,” said Ben Dismore, an ordained friend who presided over the wedding.
A member of the U.S. Border Patrol was on hand for the ceremony.
“We had to get permission to do it and then they sent and agent over to monitor it,” Fenton said.
The newlywed couple did break international law by kissing and right now, no honeymoon has been scheduled.
“We left separately after the wedding. That was a little bit tough,” Fenton said.
“She needs her green card or they won’t let her over. Even though we’re married, she can’t come over,” he said.
That process could take up to six months.
“We’re really excited for her to get over here,” Fenton said.