"The American Four" Who Visited The Hall Farm, Drumquin, in 1885
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- For the month of September 1885, four young Americans came to Drumquin to visit their Hall family relatives. James Fremont Bailey kept a journal of their visit, recording their activities in great detail, the people they met and providing us with a wonderful glimpse into the daily as well as social life of area families.
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, twins Alice and James Bown, their older sister, Jennie, and their cousin, James Bailey, were greeted at the Oakville train station by their cousin Joe (junior) Hall, and driven to be greeted by Aunt Ann and Uncle Joe at the family farm on 7th Line (now Trafalgar Road), near Britannia Road.
These young "city people" helped with the farm work, saw local sights such as "Mr. Lawrences' school on the Base Line", they went roller skating in Oakville and visited the Toronto showgrounds ending that day with a glass of the novel "Ginger Ale". They had a lot of fun in the evenings with music and some of the songs they sang are named such as "Mrs. Fogarty's Cake I had but Fifty Cents" as well as hymns. James Bown played the organ, Mr. Lawrence the piccalo and cousin Will Bailey played the violin.
They played cards, croquet, horseshoes, "Quakers meeting" (perhaps this was a quiet time), a game called "Boston", dominoes. They ate very well as the farm produced its own meat, vegetables, fruit. The men took their guns out hunting and they fished.
A sense of enthusiasm and enjoyment of their visit rings through the journal entries. For example, the night before their departure, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves playing games and dancing with the Freeman family, the Turners, the Downs, Mr. Lawrence and many family members. There were 18 at the first table. After dinner they had vocal and instrumental music until 2:30 a.m. and "only Jim went to bed". The others had breakfast at 5:30 a.m. and all started the trip home at 6 a.m.
- Two other digital records are linked to this record with further information. Joseph and Ann Hall were the Drumquin hosts of the "American Four". The other record linked here has several pages from the journal.
A descendent of James Bailey, David Helsel, has put together photographs of Joseph and Ann Hall and the four young Americans with notes of further information for presentation to the TTHS.
- Date Of Event:
- Personal Name(s):
- James Winfield Bown, 1861-1955. James Freemont Bailey, 1862-1912. Alice Victoria Bown, 1861-1936. Clara Jane Bown, called "Jennie", 1858-1935. Joseph Hall, 1820-1898. Ann (Bailey) Hall 1831-1910.
- Local identifier:
- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
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- Recommended Citation:
- "The American Four" Who Visited The Hall Farm, Drumquin, in 1885
Trafalgar Township Historical Society
Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton