Didn’t Have a Good Time at the McEwensville Festival

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, July 27, 1912:  Ruth and I went to a festival this evening up at McEwensville. I didn’t have a very good time, and Ruth said she didn’t either.

Recent photo of the McEwensville Community Hall and picnic grove. The festival probably was held in this small park.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I wonder why neither Grandma nor her sister Ruth had a good time. Weren’t their friends there? . . . Did the cute guys ignore them . . .

When I was a child there was an old-fashioned  carnival at McEwensville each summer.. I imagine it being similar to the festival a hundred years ago. .

There was lots of great food– barbequed chicken, chicken corn soup, cakes, pies. . .

And, a cake walk, penny throws, balloon boards . . .

There’s no longer a festival or carnival in McEwensville, but the sign is still stored in the rafters of the picnic shelter.

And, music, good times with friends . . .

There was a dunk tank. They were always looking for kids willing to be dunked. Sometimes my cousin sat in the dunking chair.  I never was brave enough to do it.

18 Responses

  1. That’s too bad that they didn’t have any fun. Perhaps, being young ladies, some of the fun to be had was too “childish” for them.

  2. I am also sorry they did not have a good time. One wonders why. Interesting seeing the old sign up in the rafters … kind of poignant.

    • It looks like someone was optimistic that there would be another carnival the following year when it was put up in the rafters.

  3. Yes, interesting about saving the sign. Care to share the image? Would like to add it to my Signs of Life collection. Thank you.

  4. Ah, Chicken Corn Soup, that must be a local thing. I love watching the dunk tank, Ellen Degenerous often does one on her show for charity…even move fun to see it in slow-mo after.

  5. Some towns around here are trying to bring back festivals and small carnivals. We enjoy the Heritage Days one in Watsontown, free samplings of food from yesteryear – where I had my first try at the Three Sisters Soup – delicious! When you pay to go in they give you a spoon – the worse thing I tasted was the homemade ice cream..ick too salty for me. The weekend ends on Sunday with a church service at the Warrior Run Presbyterian Church (http://freelandfarm.org/warrior_run_church.php) – it is an historical sight now, and the second building of that church. I am not sure who is having more fun with blog me or Sheryl. :) Patty

  6. Maybe it was too hot… Maybe, as you say the fiends they expected never showed up while they were there, maybe something was missing that year that they wanted to be part of this time… I’m always overwhelmed by the festivals we have around here… there’s always something to fascinate you, or something interesting to learn about the area you live in.

    • There are lots of great festivals in the summer. I wish that we didn’t need to cram so much into the short summer months and that we had more time to enjoy all of the activities.

  7. Ohh, the angst of teenagers really hasn’t changed all that much over time — sounds a bit like my granddaughter last weekend. LOL.

    a

  8. How sad to see that bit of history passing. I hope the old sign gets preserved in a local museum somewhere if it’s never going to be used again.

  9. Being between an adult and kid, they were probably board.

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