I bear in mind how exciting it was for our country to rejoice the bicentennial in 1976, so I decided to glance back at the Monroe Sentinel from 100 several years earlier to see how the regional communities celebrated the Centennial. I would picture that persons in this article at that time had identified folks, it’s possible their moms and dads or grandparents, who shared what it was like to have lived in this region when it received its independence. I’ll share below how the paper documented it the upcoming day, with significantly of its fascinating wording once again.
The hoopla started out with a huge advert in the June 14 challenge of the Sentinel when it announced that the festivities would get started at 10:00 o’clock on the sq. with a procession to the fairgrounds where the exercises were to start out at 11:00. The fairground stalls had been open up for absolutely free for all groups ice h2o was to be offered for everybody. It was to conclude just after the fireworks with a grand ball in floral hall.
A limited short article in the paper on June 21, mentioned, Mrs. Allen experienced procured a fantastic good deal of females and misses hats for the Fourth, as very well as a excellent assortment of hats for kids. The adhering to week it said, “The new flags have come and it is proposed that the greatest one particular shall be ‘flung to the breeze’ from the top of a liberty pole, raised in the community sq..”
The Centennial was celebrated in Monroe by a “large, respectable, peaceable, superior-hunting group, estimated all the way from 6,000 to 10,000 persons. The rain all through the evening experienced laid the dust effectually, and purified the air, the working day dawned interesting, and grew to perfection at noon time, winding up with a thunder storm at 11:30 o’clock in the evening. The procession was above two miles in size, and countless numbers who did not sign up for the procession were wending their way all the early morning to the Fair Grounds, where by the ceremonies have been to be held.”
The procession to the fairgrounds was formed at 10:00 and headed by Monroe Cornet Band in “their sophisticated chariot.” Quite possibly because there had been so several persons, it moved west on 11th Street, then north on 11th Avenue, and last but not least east on 9th Street to the fairgrounds. The Mammoth Decorated Car stuffed with young girls, symbolizing the States and the Goddess of Liberty, was the principal attraction, and the Pioneers’ Carriage, the live eagle, and other options of fascination have been in their destinations.”
A team from Jefferson, “turned out in splendid style, coming with flags, banners, four horse groups and a Martial Band, and took position adhering to the Monroe delegation. Other cities were being totally represented, and entered into the spirit of ’76 with appropriate zeal.”
The workout routines at the stand bundled an oration by Rev. Sawin, of Janesville, who was a “fine speaker, and a profound thinker and scholar. His oration was listened to with awareness and satisfaction all through the large multitude who were congregated in the bowery produced for the purpose.” The Sentinel claimed the oration was “the greatest ever sent in Eco-friendly County.” After the oration, the bands entertained with soul-stirring new music.
After evening meal the foot races “elicited much fascination and took up virtually as significantly time as horse races”. Clyde Copeland was the victor in the free-to-all foot race. George W. Bloom, of Richland, took the purse in the fats man’s race. Cecil Copeland, Clyde’s brother, received the sack race. A younger person named Cullen, from Adams, who ran splendidly, received yet another foot race in which 13 had started off.
Regrettably, the night fireworks had been not as profitable as hoped. Numerous pieces requested have been not located in Chicago, but that news came too late for the committee to buy from elsewhere. Luckily, about $200 worth of rockets, roman candles, wheels, blue flames, flower pots, and additional have been discharged, which occupied 3 several hours.
The dance was a success as significantly as the crowd was concerned. The Agricultural Corridor was very huge, nevertheless, there was not sufficient space to accommodate all who desired to dance. Floral Corridor experienced been “given up to the close friends from the country, who, getting detained by the rain, manufactured their bivouac below its spacious roof. It was loaded with males, gals and children, who were lucky in locating so excellent a shelter from the pouring rain, when the teams were sheltered in the stables belonging to the Agricultural Society.
“Notwithstanding the disappointments and downsides which always are so unsatisfactory to the committees, who do the perform and acquire the blame absolutely free of charge, in all these kinds of affairs, and notwithstanding the threatening weather conditions of the day earlier, which interfered with decorations and other preparations, it can certainly be explained the Centennial Fourth of July was properly and mainly celebrated in Monroe, and will long be remembered by all who participated.”
In relation to the weather conditions that night, it was reported the next week, “The farm properties together the streets top into Monroe ended up thronged with returning celebrators, on the night of the 4th, overtaken by the storm. There was an abundance of dry merchandise and finery spoiled you might be confident.”
It reported, in the identical paper, that the net proceeds from the Grand Ball in Mechanic’s Corridor amounted to about $150, which was turned in excess of to the Inexperienced County Agricultural Modern society.
Monroe wasn’t the only group to celebrate the Centennial. Argyle planned anything grand with orators, tunes by the Argyle Brass Band, and Glee Club, a evening meal, and fireworks. Postville planned their celebration at Green’s Prairie with Martial Songs, vocal audio, firing of a cannon, speeches, and a common superior time. Brodhead also prepared a significant celebration with the procession lead by the Brodhead Cornet Band.
Just one can only envision what it was like for these people today to celebrate 100 several years of freedom for their place. Some may perhaps have known their ancestor who served in the Innovative War. I want each of you a secure, memorable Fourth of July.
— Matt Figi is a Monroe resident and a neighborhood historian. His column will surface periodically on Saturdays in the Instances. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 608-325-6503.