Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bovina Loudly Celebrates the 4th - 1919

NOTE: I still have something to learn about blogs. I wrote this to be automatically posted on July 4, since I knew I likely would not be in 'blogging mode' on Saturday. For some reason, it didn't happen. So technically, this is a day late. I'll get this figured out!


In celebration of the 4th, I want to pass along an article from the Delaware Express that reported a rather loud early morning celebration of the 4th of July in Bovina in 1919:

"What's All This About Bovina? Correspondent Claims the Village Has Been Awake. Wild West 4th of July. No Such Excitement There Since Russ Archibald Moved to Delhi - Not the Bolsheviki

"Most Bovina folks have always been aware that perhaps to a little great degree Bovina ought to be wakened but nobody ever dreamed that she deserved such an extreme and rough awakening as occurred on the morning of July 4th from about 12 o'clock midnight until about 3 o'clock in the A.M. It sounded like the 27th division smashing the Hindenburgh line. It reminded one of the tremendous fury of the American artillery at Chateau Thierry

"At 12 o'clock sharp, the zero hour, the dry-milk plant whistle broke loose and never quit until about 2 o'clock. The dark night air at once began to be pierced with the roar of explosions. Fire crackers were they? Not much they were. Sticks of dynamite sir; fifty pounds on hand for the fray, too, so the people say. Bang, bang! Bang, bang for hours! The midnight celebration wakened everybody not only in the village but for several miles in the country. Somebody from among the midnight revelers, bent upon making still more noise got into the U.P. Church and pulled the bell rope and sounded forth the peels of the big bell that we always like to hear calling us to church. But no villager lying in his bed, waiting until the fury of the celebration should pass so that he might get back into his sleep, ever thought of going to church at that uncanny hour. His thoughts were just opposite of church-going thoughts. The school bell too was run. Someone broke into the firemen's building and rang the fire bell. Meanwhile a truck with dynamite drove up through the village, stopping every now and then, and some one would take a stick of dynamite and set it off. Sometimes the celebrators must have set off several sticks at a time.

"They went up Main Street and then up Maple Avenue and then back down over the same route. Not a soul could sleep for a long time. The charges were so heavy that the occupants of the beds could feel the houses shake. A number of panes of glass were broken and a number of trees were put out of business. Several automobiles ran up and down through the village. In these were wildwest fellows shooting off their revolvers into the night air.

"At last the roar and the blasting and the monotonous bell-ringing began to die out and people fell off into sleep again. But while they slept, several pranks were performed. Some one stole Frank Miller's sheet and put it into Dixon Thomson's bedroom where it caused fright and much confusion to the occupants of the bedroom. All in all it was a great awakening. Who the awakeners were is a matter only of conjecture. Surely it was not done by the women. Surely it was not done by the old men. Then it must have been done by the young bloods. But what young bloods? Are there any Bolsheviks in Bovina?"

Delaware Express, July 11, 1919

1 comment:

  1. from what i remember the sheet was flying under its own power and would have been freighting to anyone.

    s dixon w. thomson