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Chapter 9
Picture Post Card Village of the 1880s and 1890s
Table of Contents

Title Page
Author's Preface
1 The Road through Richmond Hill
2 First Peoples on the Land
3 The European Settlers Arrive
4 From Miles' Hill to Richmond Hill: The Birth of a Community
5 Tories and Reformers
6 Stagecoach Lines and Railway Tracks
7 The Neighbours at Mid-Century
8 Fire Brigades and Fence Viewers
9 Picture Post Card Village of the 1880s and 1890s
Spires on the Hill
Coming of Age in Richmond Hill
Pranks, Vandalism, and Village Crime
Business on the Hill
Tiles in the Mosaic: Men and Women Who Shaped Late-Ninetenth-Century Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill's Lacrosse Champs
The Old Lamplighter
For Whom the Bell Tolls?
Local Politics at the End of Victoria's Reign
10 Rails through Richmond Hill
11 The Flowering of Richmond Hill
12 The Village Transformed
Epilogue
Appendices
Table of Illustrations
Index

Coming of Age in Richmond Hill

Hanging Around

A number of the young men in this village are in the habit of standing around on the sidewalks in front of business places, in the evenings, and persons passing are compelled to run a gauntlet between some dozen or so starers. This is extremely unpleasant and especially to ladies, several of whom have complained to us about it. We hope the young men will not persist in this rather ungentlemanly practice. If they must congregate together, let them choose a back street, or a ten-acre [four-hectare] field. But they would be much better at home, employed at some useful and profitable study or recreation.

York Herald,April 14, 1881

Promenading

With the return of the pleasant evenings, the young people have commenced promenading. Yonge Street with its fine stretch of sidewalks affords beautiful accommodation for promenaders. Of course none of our young people ever hang themselves over a garden gate!

The Liberal,April 21, 1882

No Flirting

The girls in the principal cities and towns of Canada are noted as follows: Montreal, the best dressed. Toronto, the tallest and most stylish. Ottawa, the most intelligent. Markham, fond of novel reading and flirting. Richmond Hill, rather pretty, very sociable, and somewhat interesting; no flirting.

York Herald,January 29, 1880

Skating

The ice on Wilson's pond is now in excellent condition, and the young folks are enjoying the exhilerating [sic] exercise of skating thoroughly. We heard of one young lady who thinks skating "just splendid," so on Saturday she gratified her feelings by skating from 10 o'clock a.m. until about 9 p.m. It must be excellent fun.

York Herald,January 15, 1880

Sleigh Riding

The big warm sleighs would be filled with straw, and there were lots of buffalo robes for warmth. The harness and sleigh bells jingled merrily and the occupants of the sleighs sang as they drove along. After a couple of hours in the frosty air, a stop would be made at a home or church hall where hot cocoa, sandwiches, cake and cookies made a pleasant ending to the evening.

Mary Dawson,"Yesterday's Winters,"The Liberal,March 29, 1978

Picnicking at Bond Lake

Merry maidens and dashing young men of a similar temperament are frequently to be seen camping out in the grove, for a few hours, and taking tea under the trees. There is also considerable fun in taking a row around the lake, getting splashed with water, and having to pay $3 for the boats when you get to shore. Then you can walk along the shore, tumble down and roll into the water, get your feet wet, etc.

York Herald,July 15, 1880

Thinking of Marriage

When the girl names the day, the wedding cake is ordered and the minister requested to hold himself in readiness to tie the Gordian knot. A married man is frequently seen hunting a house, and confounding some of our capitalists for not building a number of cottages to rent. But this thought never seems to bother would-be benedicts, judging from the large number of marriages which have taken place in this village and neighborhood this fall.

York Herald,November 30, 1882

Serenading the Newlyweds - The Shivaree

There was considerable enthusiasm aroused amongst the small boys on Monday evening last, on the return home of two newly-married couples. The sound of the tocsin [town bell] was heard at the south end and west side of the village for a short time, but the boys were gratified with a large quantity of candies, and withdrew their forces.

York Herald,September 23, 1880

Dancing

The young men in this village have made arrangements to open a dancing school in the fine large hall in Palmer's new block, over Pogue's new store. The music will be of a first class order, and judging from those who have the matter in hand, its success and proper management are assured. The school will be open once every week on Friday evening, and the terms will be 25 cents per night for gentlemen; ladies free.

York Herald,September 9, 1880

 

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