Hot Day to Sit in Church

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

Sunday, July 26, 1914:  Went to church this afternoon. I was pretty warm.

church pews
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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


Whew, it doesn’t sound pleasant. I bet that it was hard to concentrate in the heat. Was there a breeze coming in through a window?—or was the hot air still? Did you have a fan?

11 thoughts on “Hot Day to Sit in Church

  1. I wonder about the social expectations of sitting in church on a hot day. Now I sometimes hear folks complain about disrespectful behavior in church–for things like chewing gum or wearing flip-flops. Not to argue those examples one way or the other… I just wonder if it was considered disrespectful in her time to whip out a fan in church. Hopefully not!

  2. Brandy, my childhood church had no air conditioning until I was grown. We had the paper fans (most of them had local funeral home advertisements on the back), and everyone fanned. As long as it wasn’t done over-zealously, it wasn’t frowned upon!
    This post brought back memories of all those fans being used on hot summer Sundays!

  3. I remember the days of no AC and the paper fans we used. Then we had electric fans before the AC. Hugs

  4. Although our church has air-conditioning, we use it only when absolutely necessary, so at times it can still get very hot with all the body heat and only few overhead fans going. A few years ago the church purchased the old fashioned pew hand held fans. Cardboard fans on a lightweight stick. They work great too. I wonder if they had them? some day when there is no breeze even with windows opened it can get sticky hot that is for sure.

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