The holiday season is in full swing. The downtown has its wreathes and the parks are cheerfully decorated. On a nicer night than this, the lights on Scenic Hill are beautiful to behold. The museum just had its open house and many individuals and groups are planning social events for the season.
It seems a good time to look back to see what Kent was doing in our founding period.
Then as now, the holidays were a time for family and friends to gather. In 1895, the White River Journal posted numerous returns starting in the second week of December. John Dow of Spokane returned to see his parents and his brother Ed may also come up from Oregon.
Other times, it was friends visiting, like Miss Maud Horton who visited with Dr. Taylor and stayed for the dance.
Then as now, presents were exchanged. Here in Kent, the Berlin Brothers would love to provide Kent people with new shoes, old hats, or fine candy and nuts.
Cornelius and Mylroie could provide raisons, coffee, currants, sugared lemon and citron peel, chocolate or coconut. Actually that sounds like a pretty good holiday basket today, doesn’t it?
W. Greenleaf could provide customers with Japanese goods, toys, cards, popcorn and candy.
The Reverend William Brown had a good selection of books that made for nice presents.
Or Kent people could go up to Seattle, where G. A. Newhall has the largest stock of Holiday goods ever displayed in Seattle, or so he said!
Then as now, December was a time for breaking bread together. The Presbyterian Ladies would like to invite you to an oyster dinner, including oysters, baked beans, potatoes, boiled ham, and salads. Just 25 cents gets you in!
A stranger one, the Ladies Guild gave a Bon bon Party at the home of Mrs. Blanchard. Now, I assume that the bon bons were the candies, but and I quote, “Each one in attendance will wear what is contained in the bon bon package to which they are entitled when admission is paid.” I am not sure what that means, but it might be worth the 25 cent admission price to find out!
Then as now, the religious communities in the valley were active for the holidays. In 1895, the 6 Christian churches all had services of one variety or another on Christmas day. Here is the Episcopal minister Rodney Arney in the church, where there will be a morning service and entertainment with a Christmas tree in the evening.
Also, on Christmas night, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows held their annual dance. Just 75 cents and you too could dance with these fine gentlemen. Yes, this photo was taken in 1904, but the dance was held here, at the first Odd Fellows Hall, over on Titus Street. This photo of Kent circa 1892 comes from the White River Historical Society and shows Mount Rainer dominating the skyline of old Kent.
Finally, the holiday season ended with the Woodmen of the World Ball, on New Year’s night, 1896.
That was probably enough to keep the 800 or so people in Kent busy for the holiday season!
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