Fourth of July (1887)

Thirty-five hundred visitors were guests at Cooperstown, July 4, 1887. The magnificent procession was over two miles long, as reported in the Griggs Courier of July 8, 1887. It further reported:

At 10:30 A. M. the parties taking part in the parade commenced to gather on the common between the Union House and the depot-four horse teams, traction engines with their train of farm machinery, multitudes of Callithumpian maskers, equestrians, unique single handed representations, gaily comparisoned horses, with the busy marshals Thompson, Stork, Simington and Frost darting hither and thither arranging the details of the parade.

At 10:30 A. M, the train arrived from the south with three full car loads of visitors from Valley City, Sanborn, Dazey, Odell and Hannaford. The crowd had been nicely gauged so that while there was no room to spare, all parties were made comfortable. After a well rendered selection of music by the Valley City band under the leadership of Prof. Aasgaard, the procession started for the driving park a half-mile distant. The grand stand had been rebuilt and enlarged; the track placed in perfect order, and all that was lacking for the races were horses. . . The first race was the free for all running race, half mile and repeat. . . The pony race bid fair not to fill until Mr. (H. P.) Hammer, to keep the fun going, paid entrance fee on the bay mare Lizzie, owned by Ben Climie, besides his own Cream. Cream took the first heat... Lizzie took the next two heat-best time 58 seconds-and the race, the Hammer pony being winded.

The trotting race was a hippodrome between a poor defenseless cripple and Johnson's Old Gold... Old Gold won the heat and race. Time 3 minutes.

It was then announced from the judges stand that the rest of the exercises would be held on the common in the centre of the town, and the procession again started. At noon the hotels, restaurants, peanut stands, etc., were filled with a dense, struggling and hungry mass of humanity.

Great pains were taken by the townspeople to feed the hungry and after some time all were properly filled and returned to the campus. . . A grandstand accommodating 500 people, a tented bowery 100 x 16 feet, tents, booths, etc. arranged in a semicircle about the ball grounds, afforded shade for about 2000 people. The male quartet, Messrs. Whidden, Brown, Stork and King, assisted by Mr. Enger upon the cornet sang the Star Spangled Banner, after which the orator of the day, Mr. David Bartlett, was introduced by Mr. Adams. . . The quartet then sang Banner of Victory. . ., and the ball game between Sanborn and Hope was called. The game was close and interesting and won by Hope by a score of 18 to 12.

A gun contest followed . . . entries being made from Steele, Barnes, and Griggs counties. . . J. M. Burrell and George W. Bathy divided first money-$30, while H. B. Simington captured the second money-$15.

The great bowery was in the meantime alive with dancers, the Cooperstown orchestra furnishing the music. Fireworks lasting about an hour and a half delighted young and old, and then the grand ball and home. The Valley City orchestra furnished the music for the ball and it was unusually good.

All in all it was the most successful celebration we ever witnessed in so small a town, the attendance being variously estimated at from 3500 to 6000 people.

Source:  Cooperstown Diamond Jubilee 1882-1957 Page 64

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