Thursday, July 28, 2011

Old Home Week. Waverly August 1910

As we finish up our plans for Bears on Broad Street - I hope you all find this newspaper article as inspirational as we do!

August 28, 1910 The Telegram (Elmira):
On Old Home Week. Waverly Put A Fine Time For All. An Event Of Big Moment. The Celebration Was A Magnificent One, And Created A Most Profound Regard For The Old Town
By Former Citizens - Brief, But Comprehensive Review Of The Great
Events Of A Great Week. Waverly, N. Y., Aug. 27. -

When the citizens of Waverly start to do anything, they do it right. This week was
unquestionably the most memorable in the history of that village. It
was Old Home Week, and never before did the village see such large
crowds. Never before were the decorations so handsome and never before
did the residents and thousands of visitors enjoy themselves more
thoroughly. To say that the Old Home Week was a success would not be

Whether the visitor arrived in Waverly by the steam railroad, or by
trolley, he was met by members of the reception committee. The members
of this committee wore badges and they were alert for all strangers.
The first sight of the village dazzled the eyes, so profuse and
magnificent were the decorations. Banners, American and foreign flags,
bunting, festoons of red, white and blue were on every building.
Arches of vari-colored electric lights spanned the streets. Many of
the store window decorations could well be taken as a pattern by
stores in the larger cities. The crowds were happy, and the new-comers
caught the spirit. It was contagious.

The Old Home Week officially opened last Sunday with special religious
services in the various churches and at the opera house. The residents
and former residents were thus permitted to hear sermons by former
pastors. Special singing was a feature of all these services.

On Monday the events of the week commenced by a reception which was
held in the opera house. Captain Charles L. Albertson, president of
the Old Home Week celebration, gave an address of welcome. Village
President Tucker responded for the village. There were other prominent
speakers, and an original poem written by Fred Emerson Brooks,
formerly of Waverly, but now of California, was most interesting.

The Baby Parade Was A Pleaser. On Monday afternoon the babies were
paraded and the little go-carts and carriages were decorated in a most
handsome manner. The parade was held in the park near the high school
building. Prizes were awarded to the babies as follows: First division
- First prize, Harriet Adams; second, Dorothy Letts; third, Marion
Cowles; fourth, Baby Hogan; fifth, Eva Sutton. Second division -
First, Richard Van Duzer; second, Clifford Rockwell; third, Lang Hall;
fourth, Arthur Carpenter; fifth, Harold Dewitt. Third division -
First, Florence Loomis; second, Hubert Root; third, James Brooks;
fourth, Eleanor Wright; fifth, Richard Robinson. The judges were: Mrs.
J. C. Van Atta, Mrs. E. W. Eaton, Mrs. Harvey Ingham, Mrs. John
Johnson, Mrs. C. Collins and Mrs. E. C. Brooks.

The first real big day was Tuesday. The parade of floats and
automobiles in the morning was one of the finest that has ever been
seen in this section of the country. The different floats which were
exhibited by the business men was far in advance of the expectations
of the citizens of the village. The first prize for the best decorated
automobile was awarded to Arthur B. Sharpstein. George Fairchild
secured the second prize in the decorated automobile class. David
Caulkins had the best decorated farm rig. Coal Dealer John H. Murray
carried off the prize for the best mule team. Fred Brink, of
Litchfield, took first prize for the best appearing farm team and
wagon. Charles Fields secured the second prize for a farm team and
wagon. Mrs. Frederick Elsbree was awarded the first prize for the best
appearing single rig, driven by a woman. David Caulkins won the $15
prize for the best farm float. The best matched team was driven by
John Ketchum.

Handsome Floats In The Line. While the business men and manufacturers
had handsome floats, no prizes were offered or awarded in this class.
Among these floats one was worthy of special mention, although all
were of the highest class. John H. Murray exhibited a miniature coal
breaker, which was loaned for the occasion by the Scranton Coal
company. The judges wished to have special mention made of the floats
in the following order: Harry W. Knapp, dry goods; John H. Murray,
coal dealer; F. W. Genung, coal dealer; Tioga Mill and Elevator company.

Following closely upon the industrial parade was the Forepaugh and
Sells Brothers circus parade. It was with great difficulty that this
parade could get through the streets, so great was the crowd. The
parade was good as circus parades usually are. The crowd at the circus
tent in the afternoon was a record breaker for Waverly. It is claimed
that 14,000 tickets were sold. The bringing of the circus to Waverly
was a clever scheme on the part of the executive committee. The circus
was first booked to show at Sayre, Pa. Suddenly and unexpectedly to
many the announcement was made that the circus would show at Waverly.
About this time the enforcement of the Sunday "blue laws" at Sayre was
commenced. Following this was the battle between the officials of the
traction company and those who wished to enforce the law. When the
announcement came that the circus was to show at Waverly many people
in Sayre said that it was on account of the enforcement of the Sunday
laws. Let these people be deceived no more. The reformers, or the
anti-Sunday law people had nothing to do with the change. It was the
old home week executive committee. When they learned that the circus
was booked for Sayre, they immediately began to get busy, and as a
result the circus showed in Waverly. The committee saw that this was
an opportunity not to be missed, and they won out in their efforts. As
a result thousands of people were brought to Waverly.

While it is difficult to estimate the number of people assembled in a
village the size of Waverly, it can be said that there were fully
30,000 people on the streets during Tuesday. After the circus parade
Broad street was literally packed from building to building from Loder
street to Pennsylvania avenue. Wagons, automobiles and street cars
were forced to discontinue running.

On Tuesday the veterans of the civil war held a reunion. Hundreds of
old soldiers from all parts of the country were present. They were
given dinner in the G. A. R. hall by the Women's Relief corps and the
auxiliary to the Son of Veterans.

Tuesday evening Kramm's band played many selections about the streets
of the village and then gave a concert on the midway. The large crowd
was exceptionally orderly, and the police had little bother.

Wednesday Was One For Visiting. While Wednesday was a big day, the
crowd was not so large as on Tuesday. The forenoon was given over to
visiting and renewing old friendships. The merchants did a thriving
business. At 1:30 o'clock the fraternal and civic parade was held. The
fireman appeared at their best, while the different fraternal
societies had handsome floats. The Redeemer Church Cadets were awarded
much well deserved applause. The floats of the Odd Fellows, Eagles and
Hibernians were the best ever exhibited in Waverly.

Immediately after the parade the races were held and resulted as
follows: The nine mile Marathon was the most interesting of the
individual running races. There were nine contestants and they ran
around what is known as the belt line, a distance of three miles,
three times. Thomas Holland, of Athens, Pa., completed first, time -
fifty-five minutes, thirty-two seconds; Charles Capwell, of Sayre,
Pa., second, time - fifty-five minutes and thirty-four seconds; Purie
Capwell, of Sayre, Pa., third, time - fifty-five minutes, thirty-nine
seconds. The three men who completed the race were awarded handsome
silver loving cups.

Good time was made in the one hundred yard dash. Alfred Bird, of
Forkstown, Pa., secured first prize, which was an elegant leather suit
case, time - ten and three-fifths seconds; Earl Kitchen, of Sayre,
Pa., was a close second.

It was impossible to get any fire company to race against the Waverly
Hook and Ladder company in the hook and ladder race. The company gave
an exciting exhibition run, covering two hundred yards in thirty and
one-fifth seconds. They were awarded a handsome $10 rocker.

The hub and hub races were hard fought. The Spaulding Hose company
carried off first honors by covering the distance of two hundred yards
in twenty-six and one-fifth seconds. The Howard Elmer Hose company, of
Sayre, Pa., was second, time - twenty-eight and one-half seconds. The
Cayuta Hose company, of East Waverly, finished last, time - thirty and
ond-fifth seconds. The winning company was awarded a leather
upholstered oak rocker.

All roads then led to historic Spanish Hill. It was a case of walk
over the hill, for it was barely possible to make the climb of several
hundred feet on foot. In the valley on the south side of the hill a
sham battle between Indians, who were represented by the Sayre Red
Men, and General Sullivan's army, represented by the Redeemer Church
Cadets, was fought. Nestled down in a corner of a large field was a
small cabin. A settler's family was living in the cabin and the
children were playing about the yard. An Indian was seen approaching
the cabin and finally when he was near enough to be seen by the
children they ran into the house.

The Battle Was A Thriller. They opened fire upon him, but he was soon
reinforced by other members of his tribe. Before they were able to
surround the house, one of the larger boys escaped and ran for the
pasture lot, where he secured a horse, mounted it and rode away for
assistance. The men were scalped and the women and children were held
prisoners. The Indians then burned the cabin, and while the flames
were mounting high into the air they danced about the fire and chanted
a war song.

Finally the strains of "Yankee Doodle" sounded from the woods nearby
and the army was seen marching towards the burning cabin. The Indians
soon discovered the approaching army and the battle was on. It was
truly realistic. The army had about 1,000 rounds of ammunition, while
the Indians were equally qualified for the fight. General Sullivan
displayed his strategy by flank movement and of the manoeuvers, which
were applauded by the thousands of people assembled on the side and
brow of Spanish Hill. The fighting lasted for nearly one hour, when
the Indians were at last defeated and forced to retreat. The
exhibition was more than pleasing. The entire battle was under the
direction of Editor Frd B. Appleget, of the Waverly Free Press, and
Edward S. Betowski.

On Wednesday evening, J. Alden Loring, of Owego, one of the field
naturalists who accompanied Former President Roosevelt through Africa
on his hunting expedition, gave a most interesting and educational
lecture. Stereopticon views were used to illustrate the talk which
made it all the more interesting.

On Thursday, the day was given to the present and former school children.

The Midway Had Its Sensations. The Midway, which occupied all of
Elizabeth street, between Fulton and Waverly streets, was the center
of attraction for thousands of people. The free exhibitions were
excellent and consisted of Zingerella, who stood on a ball about two
feet in diameter, and rolled this ball about forty feet to the top of
a spiral. Sullivan and Peters, two Waverly boys, gave a clever aerial
trapeze performance. Then there was a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round,
a "wild girl" and numerous side shows. Conspicuous on the Midway were
numberless games or devices for separating the visitor from his money.
Wheels of fortune, mechanical racing horses, prize packages, etc. The
wheels hummed merrily, and the operators raked in the money. The
"cappers" won considerable coin, but the "suckers" left theirs behind.
It was noticed that the penny-in-the-slot cigar machines have been
banished from the stores in Waverly, but the wheels of chance were
allowed to operate on the Midway.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a charming article! Thanks so much for sharing!

    What an amazing event that was for a small town town like Waverly. It's fun to envision our grandparents and great-grandparents attending such a momentous celebration!!