Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Northampton Celebration - 1894

From the Jackson,, NC website:

Jackson, the county seat of Northampton County, NC, got its first railroad in 1894. It served Northampton and Hertford Counties. The formal opening of the new rail line took place in Jackson on January 18 of that year. The following is an that occasion.

The Banquet
At six o'clock a banquet was served at the Burgwyn Hotel, which is a model country inn kept by Mr. James Scull. The banquet hall had been beautifully decorated with evergreen and bunting, and banners with appropriate inscriptions and monograms adorned the walls. Among these was a German flag displayed in honor of Manager Kell who is a native of that country. The tables were covered with snow-white linen and groaned beneath the load of good things thereon. I did not hear the tables groan and do not know why they should have done so, but I use the regulation phrase to be in fashion. I will remark, however, that I slept in the room that night with some of those who feasted at the banquet and I heard them groan in their sleep, and I knew why.

The menu consisted of Lynnhaven oysters, salads, cold meats, escalloped oysters, ice cream, cake, fruits, nuts, and raisins, together with a delicious article of champagne. The decorations, the arrangements, and the menu were the work of the ladies and their work was simply perfect. These ladies were Mesdames M. M. Randolph, R. A. Weaver, W. P. Moore, John E. Moore, J. A. Buxton, S. N. Buxton, B. S. Gay, James Scull, H. W. Lewis, and Misses S. E. Peebles and Pattie Peele.”

The Toasts
Mr. John Burgwyn MacRae was toastmaster and very gracefully and intelligently did he preside. The toasts and responses were as follows:

Our Guests; response by Mayor C.G. Peebles; the Northampton and Hertford Railroad; response by Dr. H. W. Lewis. The Ladies; response by Mr. J. Burgwyn MacRae, Gumberry; response by Captain R. B. Peebles; the Press; response by Mr. H. B. Hardy of the North Carolinian and Mr. W. S. Copeland of the State. President Clark. Superintendent Whisnant of the Seaboard Air Line, and Mr. T. J. Anderson, general passenger agent of the same line, were also called for and gracefully responded. Everything went off without a hitch and the management was admirable. The committee in charge were Messrs. H. W. Lewis, J. A. Buxton, J. B. MacRae, W. W. Peebles, B. S. Gay, G. P. Burgwyn, W. P. Moore, J. S. Grant, S. J. Calvert, R. A. Weaver and D. A. Jordan.

Borjes orchestra from Norfolk furnished delightful music for the occasion.

The Ball
After the banquet, a grand dress ball was given at the hotel and the belles and beaux of Northampton and adjoining counties were seen in all their glory. Mr. George S. Urquhart, who was, until Mr. Kell came, the “King of Gumberry” (if Captain Peebles is authority) was master of ceremonies and those who knew him needed not to be told that his management was superb. He was well assisted by Mr. E. J. Peebles, who has always been a general favorite with the young folks. Captain R. B. Peebles and his handsome wife and his charming daughter also contributed their full share to the enjoyment of the dance.

Among the ladies present were Mrs. Dr. Moore, in lilac china silk; Mrs. R. B. Peebles, black silken train; Mrs. J. W. Weaver, white bengaline silk, pearl trimming; Mrs. J. T. G. Gooch, terra cotta silk; Miss Kate Prescott, old rose silk, cream lace; Miss Eliza Grant, cream cloth; Miss Nita Selden, blue and white crepon lace; Mrs. Charles Gay, cream cloth; Miss Wingfield of Portsmouth, cream crepon cloth; Miss Wilson, of Portsmouth, pink cashmere; Miss Mabel Picard, pink cashmere, lace, pearls; Miss Sallie Peebles, cream cashmere and ribbon; Miss Sue Urquhart, cream cashmere and ribbon; Miss Dancy, pale green crepon; Miss H. Peebles, cloth and fur; Miss Annie Sancell, pink crepon, lace; Mrs. F. Kell, black silk; Mrs. Phil Meisel, black silk; Mrs. A. L. Bundy, cream silk; Miss Bena Gay, figured organdy, lace; Miss Mamie Lee, rose colored silk; Miss Hazeldine, steel silk; Miss Kittie Hazeldine, black silk; Miss Drewett, steel silk; Mrs. R. F. Keeling, brown henrietta and velvet; Mrs. B. H. Mock, black silk; Miss Lillie Grant, blue silk; Miss Annie Peebles, becoming dress of black.

Mr. George P. Burgwyn, Mr. S. J. Calvert, Mr. B. S. Gay, Mr. Faison Calvert, Dr. Rob Stancell, Mr. William Barrow, and other citizens exerted themselves to the utmost to give everybody a good time, while Mr. R. A. Weaver of J. P. Yancy & Co., and Dr. W. P. Moore fairly outdid themselves in acts of generous hospitality.

Mr. J. W. Zeaver, Rich Square, was present with his bride, who was one of the prettiest women in the company.

Mr. Kenneth Barrow, an old Jackson boy, but now with the Norfolk and Carolina railroad, was on hand and received the cordial greetings of his friends.

Mr. J. S. Grant, proprietor of the Cleveland Hotel conducts the “Administration House,” which is as popular as its namesake.

Exactly forty years later on January 18, 1934 the current manager, H. O. Carlton, announced the intended abandonment of the Northampton and Hertford Railroad.

[Taken from Footprints in Northampton : 1741-1776-1976. (Rich Square, N. C. : The Committee), 1976.     http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/16815 ]

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