Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcoming the New Year -- 1886

This article comes from the January 9, 1886 Delaware Express. It's an 'anonymous' review of an event in Bovina, a New Year's Night event held January 1, 1886 at Hastings Hall, which I believe is now Russell's Store. So here's a look at an event in Bovina from 124 years ago:

Bovina is a town of steady habits; her people always move along in the even tenor of their ways, undisturbed by any of those great events which ruffle the social life of her sister towns, such as lecture courses, opera houses, skating rinks, etc. You can hardly imagine the surprise it created when it was announced that the Y.P.C.A. of Bovina, would give a lecture and entertainment course this winter. Some laughed at the idea, a good many shook their heads and said it would be a fizzle; why, they said, we have had some of the best lecturers here that can be found on the platform, and they did not draw a corporal's guard. But the managers of the Y.P.C.A. had their course tickets printed and went to work to sell them, with a determination that was bound to succeed. Now what has been the result? Why every course ticket they had printed has been sold, all the single tickets that were offered for sale were taken in less than an hour after they were placed on sale and many more could have been sold but the seating capacity of the Hall was exhausted. One of the posters we saw in the Post Office excited our curiosity; we give it as a novel method of advertising.

Hastings Hall, New Year's Night. Bovina String Band. College Boys' Orations. Music - Acting Charades - Tableaux - International Quartette.

Come and See, Hear, Laugh.

We accepted the invitation and started for the Hall. The door keeper passed us in on our good looks and we settled down in a seat ready to take notes. The first thing we saw was a Bovina company of young people. It is evident if the famous lecturers can't command an audience in this place, the young people of Bovina can. The programme was well rendered, well received, and at a late hour the company left the audience - not the audience the company. Every person who took part deserves honorable mention; but space forbids us only to give a brief report. The music was well received judging from the moving of the feet in keeping time to the same. The songs sung by Misses Maggie Coulter and Maggie Miller, were among the best we ever listened to. A character sketch of Mark Twain by E.C. was received with ripples of laughter, which plainly said, the writer had hit his mark. The acting charades were plainly represented. Misses Bena Gow and Libbie Miller, represented their part remarkably well. A laughable scene in French pantomime was given by Miss Bena Gow and Mr. Wm. Ormiston, representing the first attempt of a green country boy at 'Sparking,' when from behind the scene was heard that song, "One night I went to see her - O how ashamed I was." There was only two persons in the Hall who were not convulsed with laughter and those were the actors. The International Quartette deserves notice; their gestures were immense. One of the best efforts of the evening was a recitation - The Polish Boy, by Miss Gussie M. Hastings. Miss Hastings is gifted with a remarkably fine voice, and the easy and graceful manner in which she gave this recitation won the deserved applause which she was received. Then came the college boys. Mr. J.B. Lee, Jr., has often spoken in Bovina, and the audience expected a fine oration from him, and they were not disappointed. Mr. Lee is a fine speaker, in fact it is hard to find a better orator on the platform today; his oration was extracts from a speech of Senator Fry, and was delivered in a manner that held the audience all the way through. The orations of Messrs. Doig and Young, were a surprise. This was the first time they had ever spoken in Bovina. Mr. Doig is a young speaker but he is a natural orator he has a fine heavy voice and he carries his audience with him; we only hope that we may be favored to hear from him again in the future. Mr. Young gave us Garfields's speech at Chicago, when he nominated John Sherman for the Presidency. I could see the fire of enthusiasm gleam in the eyes of many in the audience as he rolled out those fine sentences of Garfield. Thus closed the first entertainment on the course. One peculiarity of this course is that it is Bovina all the way through. The next entertainment will be by the Y.P.C.A., assisted by home talent. The third entertainment will be a lecture by a Bovina boy, Rev. J.J. Dean. And the fourth will be a literary paper by the Bovina girls and a debate by the Bovina boys.

Yours, X.

No comments:

Post a Comment