Monday, July 2, 2007

An Independence Day Picnic in the Hills: July 4, 1912

A party consisting of 26 persons from our little city, boarded a wagon decorated with American flags and slowly winded their way to a quaint old mill about two miles distant, and spent a pleasant day Thursday. The wagon was drawn by three yoke of oxen driven by Sidney Harden, one of our stalwart industrious young men. The personnel of the party was one of interest. Rev. A.I. Mathison, our genial friend and spiritual adviser assisted by such good women as Mesdames Copeland, Mathison, Holley and McRea, kept us quiet and peaceful.

No more picturesque place could have been selected to spend a day. The scenery was grand, dense shades, a beautiful pond of water and an old fashioned mill were the most attractive. The youngsters spent the day doing many things. Some fished, others practiced shooting at the target and boat riding. Beneath the shade of a large beech tree one of the most sumptuous and delicious dinners was spread.

There was no timidity or reserve practiced by any in feasting upon the many good things to eat, but all felt as if the setting was a matter of common interest. Among the party was a number of young lovers, and no doubt as rare gems of love and flirtation as Longfellow pictured concerning Miles Standish and Pricilla eminated from J. S. McNealy, Claud Smith, Charley Shaw and Walter Edwards, while listening to the music furnished by the Quartette of beautiful belles – Misses Dewdrop McFadden, Lester Nabers, Myrtle Copeland and Pearl Bonds.

Many pleasant incidents were experienced. When the party arrived at the mill, the thirsty oxen plunged headlong in to the pond before the passengers could get out, and an exciting yell arose as frightening youngsters sprang from the wagon. An old but strong canoe was constantly floated back and forth filled with youngsters upon the beautiful pond above the mill. A little maid among the number discovered a snake at short range and her desire to leave the scene became so sudden that she left both her shoes instantly and was fast fleeing when she was reminded that the snake was not pursuing her.

The incident was very amusing as well as laughable. Late in the afternoon all gathered together and started homeward aboard the slow moving train. The total weight of the party was 3,242 pounds.

Source: The Itawamba County News, July 11, 1912, Page 4

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