Went to Senior Class Play

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

Saturday, February 28, 1914:  Ruth and I went up to Watsontown with Pa this evening. The senior class gave their play in the opera house. Was the best one I ever was to. Some parts certainly did call forth plenty of laughter. Can hardly begin to describe how much I enjoyed it. After seeing this I don’t feel so put out over the party. Perhaps it’ll be some other time.

I'm not sure where the Opera House was located, but here is a recent picture of downtown Watsontown.

I’m not sure where the Opera House was located, but here is a recent picture of downtown Watsontown.

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

What a fun evening! And, a what nice way to end the week after the disappointment over the canceled sleighing party the previous day.

According to My Watsontown there were 12 students who graduated from Watsontown High School in 1914—6 males and 6 females. Grandma graduated the previous year from McEwensville High School–and was part of a graduating class of 6.

It’s interesting that Grandma and her sister Ruth went to the play with their father (though it probably meant that both girls were very well behaved. . . . absolutely no flirting. . . but it didn’t seem to reduce their enjoyment).

I don’t think that Grandma’s father has ever previously been mentioned in the diary in conjunction with a social activity. In fact, he’s seldom mentioned at all —though his presence hovers in the background of many entries. I get the sense that he was a busy farmer who probably isn’t very involved in the daily household activities.

18 Responses

  1. Hooray! Something fun for Helena, at last.

  2. It’s nice to read the happiness!

  3. Is it possible he didn’t attend the play but just went up to town and brought them so they could attend? Anyway I am glad she ended the week on a good note.

  4. It’s so nice to read Grandma’s happy tone in this entry!

  5. Now I wonder if ‘he’ was at the play as well. Grandma seems very enthusiastic!

  6. My grandparents enjoyed this opera house in their small town in western IL.

  7. I love how she was more “talkative” about the play!

  8. I think it’s easy to forget that there was not a lot of entertainment available in those days. No TV, etc… so the event that was cancelled would be doubly disappointing and going to a play would have been like going to broadway in NYC. Glad Pa got a night out too.
    Diana

  9. I am pleased to see Helena had a good time with Ruth and her Pa.

  10. how easily folks were entertained in the past….imagination was still alive and well in the world!

  11. I wish we could know what play she saw–she was so tickled by it! Nice to hear her being so mellow and happy!

  12. Happy, happy Grandma. Whew, finally one in her court. I just love the photo of Watsontown. Tickles my fancy and I want to visit in person. It is so appealing.

  13. I must say I love the way these entries take me back to youth and teenage years in my little town in Connecticut. Our plays were presented at the firehouse, where it was a thrill to see my uncle’s coal business advertised on the curtain.

  14. A father/daughter date!

  15. Your Great Grandfather probably had little personal time. But it’s thanks to the work of his daughters that contributed to the success of the farm each year. I’m sure he appreciated that and made the time to take the girls to the opera.

  16. Outings for fathers and daughters may be rare but they are memorable. My dad used to take me shopping and I remember these times so well. Jane

  17. Isn’t that the life of teenager – disappointment one day and happiness the next. I love it!

  18. Isn’t this the year the gentleman she married graduated???… I could be wrong :-)

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