Wilbur Newton and his younger family members were worn out just after a extended day of swimming, ingesting as well a great deal potato salad and jogging 3-legged races. About 2,000 other Mead staff and their families were also at the Fourth of July celebration, but the eight-member Newton tribe captured 1st place for greatest relatives in attendance. The prize, a 25-pound bag of sugar, now well balanced on Wilbur Newton’s shoulder as the proud papermaker and his happy relatives remaining Meaco Park for their close by 8th Avenue property. It was an Independence Day they ended up certain to try to remember.
A single hundred decades in the past, July 4, 1921, there have been nicely-attended patriotic-themed events in the city at Yoctangee Park and the Chillicothe Region Club, but if you have been lucky ample to have a relative utilized at the Mead Pulp and Paper Organization, then the area to be for America’s 145th birthday bash was Meaco Park (now Mead Park), on South Paint Street.
Hundreds of personnel and their households started trickling into the park early in the early morning, quite a few heading to the baseball subject to watch the 10 a.m. activity in between the machine tenders and the foremen. The activity had become a custom at these Mead gatherings, and they had been enjoyable. The rosters were being purposely drawn from lists of personnel who or else by no means picked up a bat or glove.
The video games ended up a blast mainly because ordinarily Mead took its baseball pretty severely. A aggressive four-group intramural league designed up of Mechanics, Machinists, Finishers and Office employees regularly squared off at the conclusion of prolonged shifts. And the year before, Mead joined the Twilight League, competing in severe game titles towards other regional firm teams, which includes the B & O Railroad, Union Shoe Co., Chillicothe Paper Co. and a crew from Camp Sherman. The Cincinnati Reds, Entire world Sequence champs in 1919, even performed an exhibition game at Meaco Park in October 1920. The papermill was mad about its baseball.
And so, the spectators filling the bleachers were not always there for the purest of factors. They have been there to enjoy the off-duty Mead workers muff program groundballs, excursion more than bases and misjudge straightforward flyballs. They have been there to giggle. The sport was a riot and set the mood for the day’s celebration. For the file, the foremen outlasted the equipment tenders 18-12.
At the exact same time roars of laughter had been coming from the baseball field, hundreds much more employees and their people streamed into the 4-acre park, a lot of staking out territory in the picnic region. It was a attractive sunny working day and the young kids bolted for the playground and the older kinds to the beach.
In advance of very long, while, the Mead young children were competing in the standard Fourth of July games and contests still common to us today.
- Very pleased young mom and dad entered their infants and toddlers in a baby exhibit contest for young ones a few and young. Initially location cups were being awarded for heaviest, prettiest and youngest infants.
- Boys competed in a three-legged race, sack race, shoe race (a race to see who could lace and tie their footwear the fastest), extended toss baseball and a pie-taking in contest. The flour bin contest had boys rooting for 50 % bucks in a pan of flour. The greasy pig contest was received by “Ham” Riley, and he bought to consider the squealer household as his prize.
- The women competed in only two functions: An egg race and a thing named a bean contest.
Later in the afternoon, the picnic-goers moved to the beach to enjoy the boys compete in numerous swimming races and a substantial diving contest. There had been no general public swimming swimming pools in Chillicothe at the time, and whilst there had been other well known destinations to swim in the city, primarily along the Scioto River, the best beach in the town by significantly was at Meaco Park.
Situated on Paint Creek, which snakes its way alongside the edge of the park, there was a bathhouse, lockers, a diving system and board, a significant slide, floats, and a swing that, in accordance to the Gazette, “ sends a person far out more than the waters to drop into the cooling depths from a traveling perch 15 ft earlier mentioned Paint Creek.” On days there were no firm outings, Meaco beach was open to the public and was wherever several of Chillicothe’s children took their swimming lessons. It was the best spot for the day’s water activities.
The remaining event of the working day was also the only a person that would look out of area at a Fourth of July celebration today. There ended up four boxing matches. And the Gazette described they were “staged for and by the youngsters.” They had been authentic bouts! The main battle, probable 3-rounds, was in between Eddie Bunderant of Chillicothe and Joe Johnson of Circleville. Bunderant received with a knockout in the 2nd spherical.
In among all the exciting routines, families emptied their picnic baskets, devouring cold sandwiches, fried chicken, potato chips, potato salad, deviled eggs, watermelon and other mouth watering summer favorites. If alcohol was at any time allowed at these corporation outings, it was forbidden this yr mainly because of prohibition. Nonetheless, the Gazette did report that the “bartenders ended up pretty fast paced at the pop stand.”
Alcohol was not the only thing that might have been prohibited at the Mead celebration. In the vicinity of the finish of the past summer season, city council passed an ordinance prohibiting the discharge of fireworks in the town. The ban was meant to choose impact right away, but fireworks sellers threw these types of a in shape that council amended the ordinance and granted “local sellers till July 5, 1921, in which to get rid of their accrued inventory.” It is uncertain if there was a firework show that night at Meaco Park, but it is really hard to envision the young children did not at minimum wave sparklers in the air just after dim.
No matter whether there ended up fireworks mattered small to the Newton spouse and children. With 6 young little ones, together with an infant, they ended up likely tuckered out extensive right before darkish. They should have been pretty a photo on the small wander property eight of them, crowding the sidewalk, mother keeping the infant, dad the sack of sugar and the kids’ carrying recollections to past a lifetime.