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  • Dancing Around 1900

    July 4th, 2011
    contra  [html]
    Two cartoons of dancing by John McCutcheon published in the 1904 book Bird Center Cartoons, Social Happenings at Bird Center:

    The Harvest Home Party In Mrs. Reily Withersby's Barn
    Right royally did Mrs Reily Withersby entertain the social elect of Bird Center last Thursday eve. It was the occasion of a Harvest Home festival held in the large and commodious barn belonging to the charming hostess, and everybody attended costumed de rigeur in country style. The barn was appropriately decorated in seasonable fashion, large yellow pumpkins blending in harmonious sympathy with shocks of corn and sprigs of ruddy sumach. Japanese lanterns and strings of golden ears of corn were festooned gracefully hither and thither, while interspersed here and there were great bunches of particolored autum leaves, the whole making a scene long to be remembered. A barrel of sweet cider helped to enliven the festivities and attracted much favorable comment. Mr. J. Milton Brown, the well known artist, and his talented wife, Mrs. Lucile Ramona Fry-Brown, did the decorating and were warmly complimented upon the results of their tasteful genius. Messrs. Orville Peters and Wilbur Fry discoursed sweet strains on fiddle and banjo, and it was not until the wee small hours that the rollicking merrymakers adjourned to the arms of Morpheous.
    Additional Notes
    Rev. Walpole was among those present and courteously joined in the Virginia reel, winning many friends for the liberality of his broadmindedness.

    Congressman Ephraim Pumphrey, who is in Bird Center on legal business, also attended, and he announced that he expected to have Congressman Landis of Indiana as his guest, but Mr. Landis telegraphed at the last moment saying he could not be among those present.

    Many and vaied were the old fashioned tunes played by the talented orchestra. "We're just as good as town folks be, / And a good deal better if the truth were known," was a popular refrain. When the Virginia reel was danced the guests all united in singing "With a hand in the hopper and another in the sack, / Ladies step forward and gents fall back." Another jolly old timer that came in for attention was "Possum up a gum stump, coon him in the holler, / Johnny in the grapevine, fat as he can waller."

    Mr. Riley Peters entertained the crowd with many a quip and a joke and was voted by Miss Pickett of Danville to have been the life of the party.

    May there by many Harvest Home parties is the wish of all Bird Center society.

    (p89)

    And:
    Mrs. Smiley W. Greene, Wife of the Popular Undertaker, celebrates Thanksgiving by entertaining the Dancing Club
    The Dancing Club met at the home of Mrs. Smiley W. Greene on Thanksgiving eve. A full quote of our fellow townsmen attended and all agreed on parting that a most enjoyable time was had. Mrs. Greene was beautifully gowned in a blue and white creation trimmed with sprays of immortelles. Elegant refreshements were served and the occasion was rendered quite Bohemian in character by the presence of our talented local artist, J. Milton Brown of the Bird Center Tintype Studios. Rev. Walpole and family dropped in for a few moments during the early part of the festivities.
    Additional Society Notes
    Chris C. Newbower was also among those present at Mrs. Smiley W. Greene's dancing club entertainment. Chris says that he is not much of a shining light in the social whirl.

    Miss Barnard, of Xenia, Ohio, who has been visiting the Misses Niebling, has decided to remain here a week longer. Here's to you, R---y P---s.

    (p140)

    via trad-dance-callers

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