Thursday, December 7, 2017

Looking Back: The Holidays In Dorchester -- 71 Years Ago

Christmas decorations on the third floor of the old school.

Seventy-one years ago -- when World War II operations were winding down and a person's home community was often the center of his/her universe -- the Christmas season was a busy time for several organizations in Dorchester.

The Dorchester Times staff examined Christmas-time issues of The Dorchester Star newspaper from 1946. Here are some of the activities on the Dorchester calendar the week before Christmas:

  • Dorchester Activities Club:  The Dorchester Activities Club, which met once a month, had 68 residents attend the December 1946 meeting to share a turkey dinner prepared by "the ladies" and then to hear from a guest speaker discuss the future of "atomic energy."
  • American Legion: On Dec. 15, 1946, the Dorchester American Legion Post 264 held a trap shoot for the public at the J. Owen Potter farm.  Pheasants were at "such a high premium" that year that it was decided shooting at clay pigeons made more sense than a hunt.  On Dec. 19, the Legion and Auxiliary held a Christmas covered dish supper for the community (just as they did in 2017).
  • Dorchester Quilting Club:  The Quilting Club enjoyed a Christmas party at the home of Mrs. Lillie Arnold.
  • Friendly Nabor Club:  The 20 members of the Friendly Nabor Project Club met at the home of Mrs. Sabina Potter on Dec. 11 for lunch and had a exchange of homemade gifts.  They announced the January meeting would be hosted by Mrs. Hans Weber and Mrs. Jay Younkin.
  • Triple A Club:  Mrs. John Freeouf was hostess of the Triple A Club.  It was reported that "Miss Myrtle Briker was high at bridge."
  • Dorchester Bridge Club:  The Bridge Club met Dec. 17, 1946, at the home of C.C. Whitcomb.
  • Dorchester School:  Dorchester's 5th and 6th graders decorated their classrooms for Christmas with posters of Christmas scenes, as well as poinsettias and candles and a Christmas tree.  Jack Bruha brought a new 1947 calendar for his classroom.  In high school, the DHS Pep Club girls decorated the hallways and student assembly, and they "dressed a tree placed in the upper hall."
  • Dorchester Library:  The Dorchester Public Library was open on Saturdays in December 1946 from 7-9 p.m. on Saturdays and from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
  • Methodist Church:  The Dorchester Methodist Church's young people went caroling around town on Dec. 21, 1946.  The "Junior Department" of the UMC Sunday School held a pageant "A Little Child" on Christmas Eve.  The adult choir practiced on Dec. 19.
  • L.M. Club:  The weekly L.M. Club (we don't know what L.M. stood for) met at the home of Mrs. William Sehnert, as Madames Earl Moser and Henry Andelt received traveling prizes.
  • Women's Club:  The Dorchester Women's Club held their weekly meeting on the afternoon of Dec. 18 at the Community Hall.
These were just some of the holiday events we found taking place in Dorchester seventy-one years ago.

How has our community changed over the years? How is it still the same? 

Consider sharing this with your children and asking for their opinions.

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