Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fourth Sunday, August 1843

Fourth Sunday, August 1843

[Thomas Cole's "The Picnic," 1856, Wikimedia Commons]

Looking back...

The "Fourth Sunday" tradition, begun over 10 years earlier here in the Oak Creek valley, of what is not officially Oak Creek Township, continued in August 1843. This special social event, where all are encouraged, and perhaps even 'expected' to come is held south of the General Store, in the community building built in 1841, and in the nearby pasture of Jake Patton's place - at his request and encouragement. Everyone shared in a noon-time community 'pot-luck' meal - choosing to sit with new neighbors or old friends. A few announcements are usually made before, during, or after the meal (sometimes, all three) - before people start scattering into, generally, three groups… the men, the women, and the young folks…for afternoon social conversation and social activities of all kinds.

One special event on this particular Sunday was the introduction to the community of Caroline McDonald born to Harry and Sarah (Baldridge) McDonald on the 2nd of August earlier in the month. It was her first trip away from home. Harry and Sarah had married in June a year earlier.

Caroline had been the second child born in the east valley this summer. On June 15, Lewis Truesdale had been born to Hugh and Victoria Truesdale. 

A young couple that were especially interested in the babies seemed to be Ralph Campbell and Sally Rhodes. Ralph had only recently moved to the central valley from his west valley parent's home to work full time for the Oak Creek Mule Breeders partnership of Hugh Truesdale, Victor Campbell and Jake Patton (that began with conversations at Fourth Sunday gatherings a few years ago). Sally had come to town earlier this summer to work at the Patton Hotel, where Ralph was now living. They had known each other for years, and were now talking of getting married sometime next year (when they would be more 'mature'). 

Part of "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction family saga stories

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