Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Independence Day 1861 ~ by Dorothy Jacobs Buchanan - Saga of the Sanpitch




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(From the History of Mt. Pleasant, by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf)
Independence Day, July the 4th, 1861, was celebrated with appropriate ceremonies. A new flag pole was erected on the Church Square. It was one straight, long pole brought from the mountains by Svend Larsen, Abraham Day, William Morrison Sr., and others, and prepared with a plane and' draw knife brought from Norway by Erick Gunderson Sr., was set up by Erick Gunderson Sr., Gunder E. Gunderson, Jacob Rolfson , William Morrison Sr., and others. There was much rejoicing; an ox had been killed for the occasion and a public dinner was given in the bowery, on the south side in the square. A pitch pine torch in each corner of the bowery furnished the light for the dance held in the evening, for which music was furnished by John Waldermar, James Hansen, Lars Nielsen (Fiddler), and others. All enjoyed them selves to the utmost. R. N. Bennett states, "I recall the dances held often in the old bowery, dancing on the dirt floor, some of us barefoot, but we would make the dust fly. Bishop Seeley was great on big eats. A saying was, 'We'll cut a squash, kill a chicken and have a treat.' The only fruit I remember we ever had were bull berries, service berries, and choke cherries, these were dried and used in the winter, too."
History of Mt. Pleasant p. 72 by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf



The Fourth of July (1864) was appropriately celebrated. Wellington Seeley and George Frandsen had been appointed to see that a liberty pole was erected and that the American Flag was hoisted at sunrise. The 24th of July, honoring the pioneers, was also fittingly celebrated.



In the evenings, the voices of the children could be heard at their gatherings in the street. Among their popular games were

Steal Sticks, 
Stink Base, 
Pomp, Pomp pull away, 

and many other similar games. For the grown-ups, there was buggy riding behind spirited horses, and with the first fall of snow, sleigh riding, in bob sleighs, and later on in the fancy cutter, drawn by fancy horses, bedecked with strands of tingling bells. There was always dancing.
Rasmus Frandsen and Perry McArthur were appointed managers and conducted all the dances. Sometimes other musicians joined the John Waldermar, Lars Nielsen group in furnishing the music.

History of Mt. Pleasant  p. 92 by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf

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