After two and a half years away from their home in Edgartown, Laura returned with her mother and brother, Prescott in the spring of 1871. Captain Jernegan returned from the Arctic in the fall that same year after the Roman was crushed in the ice. In August, 1872, Laura’s youngest brother, Marcus Wilson Jernegan, was born.

While at sea on the Roman and on land in Hawaii, Laura's education was provided by her mother and the varied experiences she had. Back in Edgartown, she attended public school for the first time at age nine in 1871. She graduated from Edgartown High School in 1876.

Laura studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up to become an accomplished musician, teaching violin and piano, and serving as organist in the Baptist church for 10 years.

In 1894, at the age of 32, Laura married Herbert W. Spear, chief engineer in the U.S. Revenue Marine Service. Her brother Prescott, an ordained minister at the time, performed the ceremony in the front parlor of the Bungalow, across the street from her parent's home. It was the social event of the year, with all of Edgartown's elite in attendance.

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Martha's Vineyard Museum