Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Song from the 1860's

Found among our original documents, is a paper with the lyrics to an old song from the 1860's

The Charming Young Widow

I was born in New Jersey. One morning last summer
I received a dispatch that my uncle was dead.
And it also requested I should come to the city
For a large sum of money was left me they said.
Of course I determined to go on the journey
The very next train of cars I did take.
For had I stayed over I ne’er should encountered
That charming young widow I met on the train

The widow and I side by side sat together
The seat it contained but us two and no more.
Till silence was broken by my fair companion
Who inquired the time by the watch that I wore.
I soon satisfied her and then conversation
Was opened and freely discussed by us both.
Till my brain fairly swirled I became so enchanted
With this charming young widow I met on the train

Some minutes elapsed. We arrived at the station
Within a few miles of that great busy town.
When my fair one remarked as she looked from the window
Good Gracious alive sir. There goes Mr. Brown
He’s my late husband’s brother. Oh will you sir kindly
Consent for one moment my child to maintain.
Of course I consented and off from the platform
Tripped this charming young widow I met on the train.

Three minutes elapsed and the signal bell sounded
The cars began moving. No widow appeared.
I cried out “Stop. Stop.” But they paid no attention
With a snort and a jerk started off as I feared.
In this dilemma I sought for the hour
And my watch, oh where was it. Where where was my chain.
My purse and gold pencil and ticket was gone sir
And so was the widow I met on the train.

While thus deeply lamenting the loss of my money
The conductor came round . ‘Your ticket please sir.’
I told him my story while prancing the infant
The loss I sustained but he doubted my word.
He called more officials they gathered around me
Uncovered the infant, how shall I explain
Twas not a real baby but only a “rag one”
This swindling young widow I met on the train!

Satisfied I’d been robbed I took my departure
Although I agreed to settle next day
And now I’d advise all young men from the country
Not to get caught in a similar way
Look out for all widows who ride on the railway
Who dress in deep mourning, whose tears fall like rain
And look out for your money, for fear they resemble

This charming young widow I met on the train.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Crescent Opera House and "Social" invitations

It takes a long time to sort through papers when a new donation is getting cataloged and indexed.  As always, there are plenty of surprises, including discovering this program from the Crescent Opera House, dated June 25, 1895.  This program comes from a new donation of papers that once belonged to Nan and Zirian Blish, of Fond du Lac, and their mother Martha Aldrich Blish. The Blish sisters resided in Beruit (then part of Syria) for several years ca. 1930.   Zirian Blish later taught at Goodrich High School.

The following "Social" invitations are part of a Blish scrapbook.  These show the many organizations and locations for social activities found in Fond du Lac in the 1870's.

Note:  The name Washington Fire Co. is a bit was in fact the Fond du Lac Fire Dept., and the members choose to name themselves after George Washington.  Almost all of the members of the fire department played a musical instrument.