Last Day of School, Graduation Ceremony, and a Wedding

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

Thursday, April 6, 1911: A warm spring day today it was. We had our second annual picnic out on the school ground. Oh my what fun we had. This afternoon I helped to carry flowers to the church. Alas the afternoon soon passed. When I got home, I had to hurry and get my work done in time to go to the commencement. I had to take my Mamma along, so that impeded my progress somewhat. After commencement came the wedding of Edith and Harry. It was the first one I was ever present at. Well, I guess about all I anticipated was realized. I can hardly believe I can only see him so seldom now even if the distance is short when I used to see him so often.

2010 photo of McEwensville Community Hall. The community hall has a stage that  probably was the site of the graduation.

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

Whew, what a day! The last day of school, the annual school picnic (I wonder if people liked Grandma’s fudge.), Grandma’s sister’s high school graduation ceremony. . . .and A WEDDING (with farm chores somehow squeezed in between the picnic and the graduation ceremony).

It sounds like Grandma’s friend Edith graduated from high school and then a few minutes later got married. I’m amazed how compressed these two activities were. Was there a break, with people perhaps moving from the Community Hall to a church?

Cover of Ladies Home Journal, April 15, 1911

Did Edith change into a wedding gown following the graduation ceremony—or did she just wear the same clothes that she’d wore at graduation?

And, what did Grandma mean when she wrote, “I can hardly believe I can only see him so seldom now even if the distance is short when I used to see him so often”? It sounds like she had a crush on someone at school. Who? One of the graduating seniors?  . . .a classmate?

There’s a lot of information in today’s diary entry.

Another. . . hmm . . . I wonder why . .

Grandma’s older sister Besse was married prior to the time that Grandma kept this diary.  But Grandma says that Edith’s wedding was the first wedding  she’d ever attended. I wonder why Grandma hadn’t attend her sister’s wedding. Might Besse have eloped?

4 thoughts on “Last Day of School, Graduation Ceremony, and a Wedding

  1. Such a poignant entry. One of those days when growing up is more than a little overwhelming.

    An aside – her sister may have gone to the justice of the peace to be married and then returned home for a reception or party. I know of two circumstances in my own family where that happened. The wedding itself was a short legal proceeding.

  2. Maybe that’s what her sister did. It’s one of the puzzles that I haven’t been able to figure out. I’ve tried to find her sister’s marriage date and place, but haven’t found it yet.

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