Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Community Christmas Sing of 1913

The Marietta Daily Times, December 19, 1913:

Interest in "Sing" Growing

A Christmas Sing, in which a thousand school children and citizens will take part, will be held on Christmas Day on the steps of the Court House and promises to be a most interesting event.  A big Christmas tree will also be on hand and will be decorated with pretty lights.

The sing will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will be under the direction of Prof. James Bird, music teacher and instructor in the public schools.  Children from the fourth to the eighth grades in the public schools will take part, with the students of the high school.  All the citizens are invited to take part and the choirs from the various churches of the city will be on hand to assist the school children.

Much interest is being taken in the plan and if the weather permits there will be a great time.

The Modern Woodman band has donated its services and will furnish instrumental music.

Should those in charge of affairs decide that the weather is unfit to hold the sing, a signal of some kind should be given to inform the people that the affair has been called off.  It has been suggested that in case of bad weather, the citizens be notified by the ringing of the fire bell.

The Marietta Daily Times, December 20, 1913:

The Christmas "Sing"

The "Sing" in front of the court house on Christmas afternoon, for which preparations are going forward, promises to be one of the most fitting celebrations of the holiday Marietta has ever known.  It is such a wide departure from the usual modern way of observing Christmas, and is so much more in keeping with the real spirit of the birthday of the Christ Child, that the plan appeals to all classes of people.  It is good, too, that the public school children are to be the principal performers in this municipal observance for Christmas, for Christmas is most properly the children's holy day.

As announced, the plans call for the illumination of a big pine tree in front of the court house late in the afternoon.  About it will gather the school children and such church singers as are willing to take part, and songs especially appropriate for Christmas Day will be sung by a chorus which it is hoped will be an immense one.  The people in general are invited to join in the celebration, which promises to be a most enjoyable and appropriate one.

Such a celebration is certain to make a profound impression, and a happy one.

The Marietta Daily Times, December 23, 1913:

City's Tree Brought In

A tall, stately cedar tree, which will be the Municipal Christmas Tree, was chopped down Tuesday morning on the Stacey farm near Devol's Dam and was hauled to this city Tuesday afternoon.

The tree, which is a beauty, was donated by Mr. Stacey and stands 30 feet high.  It will be erected Wednesday morning by a gang of workmen under the direction of Contractor E. H. Stewart.

The lighting and wiring of the tree will be done by the B. S. Sprague Electrical Company and it is understood that the decorations will be looked after by a number of ladies of the city.

The tree will be erected on the terrace at the corner of the Court House building, and about it the Christmas Sing will be held.

Mayor Leeper has announced that the street will be roped off to stop traffic on Putnam street, between Third and Second streets, between 4 and 5 p.m. on Christmas day, when the sing occurs.  Police will also be stationed to prevent any possible accidents.

The Marietta Daily Times, December 24, 1913:

Big Tree Is Ready For Sing

Workmen Wednesday morning placed the big Christmas tree in position on the Court House lawn, with the aid of heavy ropes and timbers.  As soon as the tree was erected, men from the B. S. Sprague Electrical company began wiring the tree and placing the lights in position.  The large tree, which is a very fine one, will be decorated with 200 red, white, blue and green electric lights and will present a very pretty appearance.  The lights are four, eight and sixteen candle power.  A large star will be placed in the top of the pine.

All school children, parents, and members of the choirs of the city who will take part in the Christmas Sing, which will be held promptly at 4 o'clock on Christmas afternoon, are requested to gather at the Court House at 3:30 o'clock.  The Modern Woodman band, which has donated its services, will occupy the steps of the court house.

Four songs will be sung by the hundreds of school children and citizens.  The program is as follows:
     1.  "Oh Come All Ye Faithful"
     2.  "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear"
     3.  "Silent Night"
     4.  "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem"

Following these four Christmas carols, "O Tannenbaum" will be sung in German.  All the tunes will be played by the band before the songs are sung.

Big Crowd in City

Marietta was thronged with Christmas shoppers Wednesday, and every store in the city was crowded throughout the day.  Everyone had money and the Christmas spirit prevailed throughout the entire crowd.

Restaurants and lunch rooms were unable to take care of all the hungry visitors and it was not an unusual sight during the day to see the shoppers eating sandwiches and drinking hot coffee on the streets in the business district.

The M. C. & C. shoppers' special was made up of five coaches and brought all the people who could get into the cars or stand on the platforms.

The Marietta Daily Times, December 26, 1913:

Marietta Enjoys Its First Community Celebration of Xmas With a "Sing"

Beastly weather, the most disagreeable this region has experienced on Christmas day in years, did much to spoil the community Christmas celebration that was held at the court house, Thursday afternoon, but even then the occasion was one worth while and the celebration was enjoyed by a big crowd of people, estimated at from 1,000 to 1,200.  This was the first municipal celebration of the holiday Marietta has ever known, but it is probable that others will be held as many people are in favor of making such an observance an annual event.

A big Christmas tree, erected on the court house lawn, was illuminated with red, white, blue and green electric bulbs.  Massed on the steps of the building, with Prof. James Bird as director, were a number of children from the public schools, with a number of members of the choirs and congregations of the churches of the city who sang five numbers of most appropriate character.  The vocalists were accompanied by the Woodman band, which was stationed at the top of the court house steps.

Just off from the singers was massed a big crowd of spectators, men, women and children, while on the opposite side of Putnam street a crowd packed the sidewalk for some distance.

Rain, which had fallen during the greater part of the day, cold and drizzling, held off while the exercises took place.  But the tree and the equipment for electric lighting it were as wet as water could make them, and it was a big task to make fuses so that the colored lamps could be lighted, illuminating the fine pine to its highest tip.

The Sprague Electrical company, which had provided for the illumination of the tree free of charge, the municipal lighting plant having undertaken to bring the current to the tree, had been informed that the exercises would be postponed until today, and consequently did not give the tree attention that it would otherwise have received.  It could not be lighted when the exercises were begun.  A fuse at the transformer of the pole at the corner had been burned out previously and the city department had failed to replace it.  The Sprague company went to work with a will as soon as the condition of affairs was discovered and before the exercises were over the tree was illuminated and presented a very pretty sight, shining out briskly in the gathering dusk.

The program of exercises opened with the singing of "O Come, All Ye Faithful," by the chorus.  A joyful carol, "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear," followed, and then the chorus sang "Silent Night," which was probably the most enjoyable number on the program, as the voices sounded clearer and stronger, reinforcements having come with the arrival of belated singers who had evidently thought that the weather would prevent the celebration.

The Nativity was then sung, and the choral numbers were brought to a close by the rendering of the splendid German hymn, "O Tannenbaum," in which many of the men and women among the spectators joined.

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