Celebrate! Holidays in Windsor 1880-1910
2005-July 15, 2006
Did you know there was no pumpkin pie at the
first Thanksgiving? That May Day dew might be the fountain of youth, or
that Santa Claus once came on New Years Day? Learn more about the
holidays you thought you knew as the Windsor Historical Society presents
Celebrate, Holidays in Windsor 1880-1910.
The Victorian era was full of holiday
celebrations both old and new. Americans
created over twenty-five holidays between 1870 and 1910 and made
significant alterations to other established celebrations. Many of these
changes came about because of social concerns. Americans created
Memorial Day to honor fallen Civil War soldiers. Reformers used
Thanksgiving Day to teach immigrant children about the first immigrants,
the Pilgrims, hoping that they would spread American traditions to their
foreign families. Columbus Day unified Americans in a patriotic
celebration of their adopted homeland.
Victorian holidays also reflected the
growing consumerism of the late 19th century. Retailers
advertised all kinds of Christmas gifts, from dolls to sewing machines
to medical cure-alls. Card makers printed colorful valentines for
Victorians eager to buy affordable greetings for friends and family.
Florists and card makers also reaped great profits when Mother’s Day
became a holiday in 1908.
The Windsor Historical Society’s rich
collection offers visitors a fun and colorful way to explore a year of
Victorian holidays. Visitors will delight in historic holiday toys,
valentines, postcards and photographs. Come see the exhibition during
the Society’s normal operating hours, Tuesday through Saturday 10:00a.m.
to 4:00 p.m., and continue the celebration at Society-sponsored
programs. The exhibition is on view in the
Society’s North Gallery through July 15, 2006.