Richwood Home Coming Week

“On the 8th day of August, 1832, Thomas G. Plummer, a special deputy surveyor under the direction of Levi Phelps, surveyor of Union county, made the survey of the town site of Richwood, which as that time was in the midst of a dense wilderness. What date could be more appropriate for a Richwood Home Coming than the first week in August 1910, the seventy-eighth anniversary of our town?”

This article came from the Richwood Gazette on July 21, 1910. The thought was that the five hundred or so families, who at some point during those 78 years had changed their address, would perhaps wish to visit their old associates and acquaintances in and around Richwood. Flags and banners were strung everywhere in town to welcome visitors. During the week, there were various displays including one in the Mayor’s office which held many curiosities of pioneer days such as photographs of the early settlers of Richwood, scenes about Richwood in pioneer days, and many other things. The fair was also in session during Home Coming week which included a balloon race and parachute drop, a concert of the Fourth Regiment Military Band, and of course 4 horse races on the “best half-mile track in the state.”

While this image was believed to have been taken during Richwood’s 1876 Centennial Celebration, it is a good example of a high wire performance that was also performed above Franklin Street.

The Richwood Gazette reported that over 600 people came to Richwood during the Home Coming Week. One of the biggest attractions that occurred was a high wire performance by James E. Hardy. He gave a show each day and was greeted by a large crowd each time he attempted his miraculous feats in the air. Tuesday morning, August 2, 1910, at promptly 6:30 before many citizens of Richwood were up ad about, all the whistles were blown, accompanied by the ringing of the church bells and firing of anvils, for ten minutes, formally opening Home Coming week.

The entertainment on Wednesday included a baseball game between the Home Comers and the New Comers, the outcome being 9 to 8 with the old “has beens” defeating the younger fellows by one point. This day also included a trip to the Richwood fair and the reunion of the old comrades of Company G, 14th regiment O.N.G. and the old 14th regiment band.

Home Coming week program book
The cover of the official Home Coming week Program Book. Click the image to read through the book.

Thursday morning witnessed a reunion of the old students and high school alumni at the school building. Reportedly quite a large number of former teachers and students were present.

The program committee had prepared quite a surprise for everybody in the shape of a picture show for Thursday evening. Photographs of many of the older residents of the town, a few of whom were still living, had been obtained and slides were made from them. The pictures were shown on a screen on the building that was occupied by the Farmers Deposit Bank. The street opposite was jammed with people pushing and scrambling to get as close as possible. Proceeding the show was a sextette composed of J.A. Phillips, S.A. McNeil, Don Van Winkle, C.G. Johnson, Dr. Brown and Fred Rapp, sang the following official song of the Home Comers:

My Old Richwood Home
Tune, "We'll Stand by the Colors" by J.A. Phillips.
Where a village stands in splendor
In the grand old Buckeye state,
There the welcomes, warm and tender,
For my wandering footsteps wait.
'Tis the place where hills in glory
Sparkle 'neath the morning's beams.
'Tis the land of song and story,
And the palace of my dreams.
Home, sweet home, my dear old Richwood home.
Back where the roses and the wild clematis bloom,
Home, sweet home, I'm going home once more,
Back where the voices of my loved ones bid me come.
I can hear the robins singing
As they sang in days before,
'Mid the morning glories clinging
To the trellis by the door.
I can hear light footsteps falling
When the evening breezes blow,
I can hear loved voices calling
From the days of long ago.
How we linger and we listen
When the dear old song is heard.
How the eyes will dim and glisten
As we harken to each word,
And with happy visions thronging
How we join the sweet refrain,
Till our hearts are filled with longing
For the dear old home again.

The Richwood Gazette includes a list of names of those whose pictures were shown during the show. A few names include: Dr. John P Brookins, Grandma Brookins, Andrew McNeil, Jacob C. Sidle, Judge Hastings, Uncle Peter Finch, Orrin Beem, Dr. E.Y. King, and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Conkright.

A drawn rendering of visitors coming to Richwood Home Coming week on the Columbus, Magnetic Springs and Northern electric line. Appeared in the Richwood Gazette in 1910.

The grand mardi gras festival on Friday evening concluded the week’s program and was joined in by both young and old, and dozens of amusing costumes were present. C.J. Fifer, manager of the C.M.S. & N. railway, had the company’s work car furnished with seats and decorated in flashy colors. Along each side of the car was stretched a large banner bearing the words, “C.M.S. & N. Summer Car,” and needless to say the car was packed with jolly masqueraders and amusing costumes with each trip it made through town. The following prizes were given for the best costumes:

Best Uncle Sam, box cigars given by Bruce Street Grocery- won by C.J. Fifer. Hazel Osborn was the best masked lady, and received a pair of kid gloves from the Robinson & Wilkins Co. For the best masked gent the Peet Hardware Co. offered a pocket knife; the judges awarded this prize to Harry E. Peet of the above named firm. Miss Helen McAllister received the china salad dish given by J.W. Kyle & Son for the best Spanish dancing girl. The Roman chair offered by F.L. Winter for the best Indian costume was won by J.G. Smith. George W. Worden was awarded the necktie given by A.I. Glick for the best comic gent. The $2 worth of bathroom essentials offered by M.C. Wolgamot for the best Indian maiden was awarded to Miss Ruby LaDow.

All in all, it seemed as though this Home Coming was a screaming success and surpassed the expectation of even the most optimistic.

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