Columbus Day – 1892
By Dick Perue
It was celebrated on an extensive scale by the Saratoga School and people generally
A day that will long be remembered
The above headline and subheads in the Oct. 27, 1892 issue of the Saratoga Sun proclaimed the celebration of a special occasion nearly forgotten today. Part one of the article reads:
Friday morning dawned bright and pleasant, and the streets were soon thronged with gaily-dressed children and people from the surrounding country. At 9:30 a.m. the crowd gathered at the schoolhouse, and the ceremony of raising and saluting the flag – a most impressive scene – was gone through with, after which prayer was offered by Rev. Huntington.
In the morning
The exercises of the day began by the scholars singing “Freedoms Flag.” This was rendered with effect by the happy fluttering crowd, and the audience began to realize Columbus Day really meant something.
“The Meaning of the Four Centuries,” by James Cowan, was heartily applauded. This was followed by the “Song of Columbus Day” by the school.
Myrtle Walden then recited an “Ode to Columbus” and received a round of applause.
The song “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean” was sung, and everybody that could sing, joined in the inspiring strain.
Mark Crawford then read “The Landing of Columbus” with good effect and was liberally applauded.
“The Story of Columbus” by a class of small boys was unique and brought down the house.
Another class of boys recited “The Starry Flag” with such effect there was moisture in many eyes, especially old ones.
“Columbus” was recited with beautiful effect by Essie Gibbons and was greeted with abundant applause.
An exercise by the kindergarten was then given, which was, for such little people, quite remarkable and was roundly cheered by everybody.
“Christopher Columbus,” an original essay, by Ethel Maxfield, was accorded a liberal measure of attention. It was a remarkably fine production for one of her years.
Miss Hood’s school, which attended in a body, now rendered a selection which was highly creditable to both scholars and teacher and was a pleasant feature in the day’s program.
“Columbus Acrostic” by a class of lovely little girls, was a delightful piece of work. They were appropriately dressed, and each wore a letter on her breast and arranged in line so as to spell the name of Columbus.
Then followed “America,” which was sung with a spirit that sent a thrill of pleasure along the veins of every one present, after which little Frankie Brewer recited “Christopher C,” a comical piece of verse, with such effect that he was the hero of the hour.
Willie Ryan recited “A Boy’s Complaint,” which was well received. Dot Maxfield recited “The Starry Flag,” a beautiful piece of verso, which was followed by a song by the school.
In the “Claims of the Nations,” which followed, Luella Ayers represented Columbia, Cara Huntington represented Italy, and Ether Parker represented Spain. Each was dressed in costume and carried the flag of the nation represented.
A composition, “Columbus,” by Ella Meason, was very fine. The morning’s exercise was then closed by singing “Marching through Georgia,” in which all joined enthusiastically.
The celebration continued on into the afternoon and evening, but then that’s for next week’s Postcard.