Carroll’s Yesteryears

29 November 1992

Looking back on Carroll Christmas, 1892

By Joe Getty

We extend a special invitation to our membership, friends, and the general public to attend the Victorian Christmas Tea on Sunday, Dec. 6. The Shriver-Weybright Auditorium will be decked out in holiday cheer for the Historical Society’s annual holiday social. The Victorian Christmas Tea will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at 210 E. Main St. in Westminster.

Carroll County Christmas decorations and memorabilia from the Historical Society’s collection will be on exhibit. Videotaped programs about holiday customs produced by the Historical Society staff will also be on display. A book table of publications and Sherman-Fisher-Shellman House miniatures will be available for gifts of local history themes.

Communities throughout Carroll County have sponsored varied holiday traditions throughout their history. Listed below are reports from community correspondents about the holidays of 1892:

* Manchester: The masqueraders had it all their own way on Monday night, so that we had no less than eight or 10 different crowds, each of which had quite a nice time entertaining the folks in many homes. One of your ex-mayors played the role of Dr. to perfection in a party of 14, and received hearty applause. The masqueraders put in their full complements of fun and merry-making during the week, Friday evening exceeding in numbers. They were of all ages, in fantastic dress, from the beautiful to the ridiculous.

* Uniontown: The last of the Christmas entertainments in our town was the one given by the Methodist Protestant Sunday school last Sunday evening. The church was decorated with pine and artificial flowers. In the front of the church stood a large star bearing the motto, “Glory, Glory, The Christmas Angels Sing.” In the center of the star a lyre was placed, while back of it stood a cross. Festoons of pine connected the windows and star. There was also a large center piece. The singing was under the leadership of Mr. William R. Zollickoffer. Miss Emma Erb presided at the organ, assisted by Messrs. E. Lee Erb and Bernard Hesson on their cornets.

* Daniel: One of the most pleasant events of the holidays was the public meeting or entertainment given by Enterprise Lodge No. 275, I.O.G.T., on Thursday evening. Only two weeks prior to the above date did the Lodge decide to hold a public meeting was conducted by William Aldridge C.T. The tableau was universally admired and heartily applauded. The audience filled the spacious hall. Representatives from the Freedom and Woodbine lodges were present.

* Medford: The pupils of Medford School assembled with their much-loved and esteemed teacher, Miss Anna M. Barnes, at the usual hour of opening school on the 23rd ult., and after going through with the daily routine of study in the forenoon, were given a few hours for indulging in the pleasures of school-life, which they did with merry good will, knowing that they would not meet again for some days. In the mean time, their teacher was preparing a surprise for them in the school-room, and the ding-dong of the school bell summoned them again to the school room, not to study, but the scholars gave recitations, reading, etc., after which each was presented by the pupils with a very large and handsome plush photograph frame, a large chromo, also framed, and a box of perfumes.

* Harney: On the evening of the 26th Dec., 1892, the Lutheran Church at Harney was filled to its utmost with anxious hearts and eager eyes, to witness one of the most delightful exercises ever rendered by our Sunday school. The church was beautifully and tastefully decorated with evergreen, and presented a scene that was greatly appreciated by the large and interested audience. The exercises began with an anthem by the choir, followed by an address of welcome by Miss Nettie Slagle. The speeches that succeeded were all highly appreciated, but after the address concerning Santa Claus, the pupils’ faces were lit p, for they knew that Old Santa would present each scholar with a box of candy and two oranges.

* Patapsco: The holidays were very dull in this community.

If you would like additional information about the Victorian Christmas Tea, please call the Historical Society at 848-6494.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Historical Society of Carroll County

Photo caption: These costumed girls participated in a Manchester Christmas pageant in 1915.