“Carroll’s Observance of 1900”
Carroll County Times article for 2 January 2000
By Jay A. Graybeal

The last time local calendars rolled over to a new century was in 1900. There was no Y2K type scare only the novelty at the arrival of a new century. The local press reported on how local people welcomed in the Twentieth Century. The January 6, 1900 issue of the American Sentinel contained several New Year’s Day stories:


New year’s Day was observed in a very quiet manner in this city. Business was generally suspended and the only public demonstration was a parade of the drum corps.  There was little or no firing of guns or explosives.


At midnight on Sunday night, as the old year expired and the new year began, High Mass was celebrated at St. John’s Catholic church, this city.  This was the first instance in which the period was so observed at that church.


Manchester Items

We are writing 1900, a pleasure we will never again enjoy to see the incoming of a new century.  The past week among us has been one of merriment and fun-making, in a joyous and friendly manner, particularly among those who enjoy masquerading.  A great deal of taste was displayed in many of the make-ups so that the disguises were complete in many characters, adding much to the interest of the masked parties and the curious-to-know. But above all was little Huns and his big monkey Sam.  They broke the record for fun and display.  While the other members of the company made a fine showing for hideousness, Charley was on top.  Thus it was each night so that the young society had a merry holiday season.

New Year’ Day was also a time for parties as reported in the American Sentinel:

“Birthday Surprise Party

A very enjoyable birthday surprise party was given Mr. Denton Yingling, son of Mr. Jonas Yingling, near Pleasant Valley, on Monday evening, by his friends from Pleasant Valley, Silver Run and vicinity.   The guests arrived about 8 o’clock, rushed into the house and congratulated Mr. Yingling on having reached his 17th birthday.  After he had recovered from the surprise he joined the merry party in social games and conversation which was continued until 11:30, when all were invited to the dining room, where a table was set and loaded with all the delicacies of the season.  About 12:00 the crowd departed well pleased with the evening’s enjoyment.  The straw riders from Silver Run and vicinity were very happy until they struck a steep grade when the horses came to a stand-still.  The laughing suddenly turned into screaming and a general mix-up took place.  Fortunately no one was hurt.

Frizzellburg Items

The New Year records quite a pleasant event which took place at the home of Mr. Wm. Waltman, on Tuesday evening last.   The occasion was a surprise pound social, given in honor of his son and daughter, Clinton and Elsie.  The extreme cold weather prevented the full party from coming out, but with those present the evening was very happily spent.  The kind host and hostess had make ample preparations, and all were royally entertained. A sumptuous luncheon was served late in the evening, consisting of ice cream, cake, candles, nuts, etc. When the hour for departure approached, they bade adieu, assuring the host and hostess that a merry time was had.”

Happy New Year from the Historical Society of Carroll County. 
Photo caption: Father Time was a popular motif on turn-of-the century New Year’s Day post cards. This example was made at the turn of the century by Raphael Tuck & Sons of England. Historical Society of Carroll County.