I’ve been reading the Easton Bulletin dated June 1, 1888. Geo. H. Jenkins was publisher & proprietor, Dr. F. E. Tilden, the editor. A one-year subscription, paid in advance, cost two dollars. A single copy, 5 cents. It was to be published every Friday. So many things were different in 1888, but many things were the same, including human nature. The Bulletin met many needs of the residents of Easton; it was the social media of the day. The Bulletin included a train schedule, church directory, social directory, humor, baseball scores, local news, gossip, poetry, fashion news, an installment of ‘A Novel’ by Florence Alden Gray, advertisements and more.
Of interest was News and Notes for Women. Easton women were advised that pale pink and gray were favorite colors in cotton dresses, that women in New York had taken to walking for exercise in large numbers and doctors were complaining. (I am not sure why doctors were complaining.) Apparently, Queen Victoria of England frowned on electric lights in her palaces. A Mrs. Shoemaker of Missouri was applauded for not being a ‘gadder’. She was perfectly well, thank you, but hadn’t left home in 25 years, not even to go next door.
In an article on the recent Memorial Day festivities, it was reported that Dr. J. C. Swan spoke of his wish that every soldier be pensioned, and he was glad to pay his share, of his father’s strong anti-slavery sentiment and joy at reading Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Rev. F. A. Warfield of Brockton spoke for an hour, praising the courage of Northerners during the ‘60’s (Civil War) and their heroic spirit, holding the attention of all. The day was declared most successful.
Hood’s Sarsaparilla was advertised as a cure for many things. A personal testimonial from A. A. Riker of Utica, NY claims- if one feels languid or dizzy, has no appetite or no desire to work, the beverage will cure you. “It makes the weak strong.” 100 doses for $1.
There was a local news section for each part of town: Centre Casuals, South Easton Etchings, Sequasset Sketches, Furnace Flickerings. Many of the notices here were pedestrian, about people visiting, ‘stopping’ somewhere, being gifted a colt, becoming ill or housebound. A few were very odd by modern standards.
“Herbert Hewitt is a solid lad. He is 9 years old and weighs 128
“Robert Willis, an old citizen of this place, was taken to the Taunton Lunatic Asylum last Tuesday.”
“Frank Belcher has got a new bicycle. It’s a dandy.”
And in “Here and There: Tommie Fish, a lad of 12 years of age, was accidentally shot in the thigh by the premature discharge of a toy cannon with which he was playing.” The femoral artery was narrowly missed, surgical aid was called, and he was doing well. Tommie Fish lived in Unionville.
Recipes were included for: Rice entrée, potato turnovers, oranged strawberries, and rice and asparagus soup. Just for fun, I made the rice entrée. Recipe: Stew a cup of rice until well done, add a small cup of milk, two well beaten eggs, pepper and salt to taste, pour into a shallow pan, sprinkle grated cheese thickly over the top and bake until the top is nicely browned. It looked pretty, tasted OK; wouldn’t make it again.
Rice entrée made with recipe from Easton Bulletin, 1888.
An interesting article titled “No Almshouses in China” contrasted the US and China in regard to how the poor were treated. The author argued that so many people in the Empire of China lived at subsistence levels that 2/3 of the population would qualify for aid if it were available. However, accommodations in US almshouses were luxurious in comparison, with clean beds and good food. (Youth’s Companion)
The Bulletin was full of far too many stories to adequately sum up, but I’ll end with a story that claims Pond Street is becoming one of the prettiest streets in the village. Elm trees set out years before by Henry McArdle are growing tall, and there is a beautiful view of the Governor’s residence across the ‘clear transparent waters.’ A nice street for an evening’s promenade. It is still a lovely view today.
Blue heron, still in profile
On the bank of Shovelshop Pond
Archaic line drawing
Superimposed onto now
Anne Wooster Drury
Anne Wooster Drury