“Mardi Gras Photo Essay”

Carroll County Times article for 8 January 1995

by Jay A. Graybeal


If in these colors you believe,

Then put this emblem on your sleeve
These words appeared on a postcard mailed on March 7, 1908 to Miss Thelma Walden Littlefield of Middleburg. The card is one of several sent to her in 1907 and 1908 that relate to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Each card features the festive motifs and the bright green, yellow and purple colors associated with Mardi Gras.

Like many young women of her day, Miss Littlefield saved her colorful postcards. Her extensive collection of personal possessions, photographs, books and furnishings at her former property “Hard Lodging” near Union Bridge was bequeathed to the Historical Society in 1994. The large collection contains heirlooms from the Walden, Littlefield and Shriner families of Carroll County.

Photo Caption 1: Postcard with an embroidered silk flag inscribed “REX” that the recipient was to remove and sew on their blouse or shirt. The cards illustrated here are from the Historical Society of Carroll County Collection, Bequest of Mrs. Thelma Walden Littlefield Shriner, 1994.
Photo caption 2: Postcard, “King of Carnival, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, La.” Made from an photograph, this card shows a seated King Rex on a float during the Mardi Gras Parade. This c. 1907 unused card was printed in Germany for the Rotograph Co. of New York, N. Y.
Photo Caption 3: The green, yellow and purple Mardi Gras flag dominates this card sent to Miss Littlefield from New Orleans on February 6, 1907. It was printed in Germany for Raphael Tuck & Sons, who noted that their firm was “Art publishers to their Majesties the King and Queen.”
Photo Caption 4: A jester’s head was used with the Carnival Flag on this card which was part of a series of “Carnival” postcards produced by Raphael Tuck & Sons.
Box Text: Meet Me on Bourbon Street! Its time to make your reservations for the 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Ball to be held at 6:30 p. m. to Midnight on Saturday, February 18, 1995 at Wilhelm Ltd., Caterers in Westminster. Committee co-chairs Maryl Harshey and Janet Hollinger have secured Channel 2 weathercaster Norm Lewis to serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Mr. Lewis and his wife Linda live in the Bachman’s Valley area of Carroll County. The committee has planned a festive evening of great food, live entertainment and dancing. Professional performers, including a magician, juggler, balloon artist and a unicyclist, and local drama students will provide live entertainment. Live music for dancing will be by “Just Us.” Wilhelm’s will serve Southern favorites including fresh fruits and vegetables, salad greens with hot bacon dressing, broiled catfish nuggets, oyster poor boys, and crepes with crab filling. The main course will consist of shrimp jambalya, blackened tender loin, chicken tchopatoulis with candied sweet potatoes and red beans and rice. Guests will enjoy Bananas Foster and party cakes for dessert. Costumes are encouraged and masks will be provided at the door. Tickets are $60.00 per person; all proceeds are tax deductible and benefit the Historical Society of Carroll County. To make a reservation or for more information, please call the Historical Society 848-6494.