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Celebrating history: Fundraisers for playground equipment


May 16, 2014

Courtesy photo

The old Lincoln School, left, and McKinley School are shown in this undated photo. In front is some of the playground equipment mentioned in the story.

For this 19th installment celebrating the 150th anniversary of Montana Territory, information comes from the Havre Daily Promoter's May 15, 1914. edition. Most news pertained to the war in Mexico and very few local articles were in the paper. A band concert was scheduled, and this article showcases local student talent, complete with misspellings:

Grade School Pupils In Excellent Program

Excellent and Varied Program Given By Pupils of the Grade Schools at Orpheum this Evening in Interest of Playground Movement

If the enthusiasm displayed in advance is any indication of the quality of the program to be presented by the Havre youngsters at the Orpheum this evening, it will be a remarkable program, indeed. Both in the rehearsals that have ben going on all of this week and in th ticket sale which began Monday, the grade school pupils have demonstrated that they have abundant faith in their "show". It is a long ways from being the old type of school entertainment as may be seen from the details below. It is varied, snappy and original and of a length sufficient to fill in a whole evening.

Judging from the rate at which the tickets were being snapped up the middle of the week there will be very few seats left when the box office opens Friday. This will be done at seven o'clock and only as many tickets are to be sold as there are seats in the house. All the school children of the city were given the privilege of a free admission at the rehearsals this afternoon. The whole proceeds of this evenings program will be donated toward paying for the playground equipment-swings and teeter-boards-now in use on the grounds of the Devlin, Lincoln and McKinley schools and toward the purchase of more apparatus of the same kind. It is planned to hold other functions of this kind next year so as to gradually put the Havre schools in possession of a full outfit of playground apparatus.

The following is the program in detail. It will start on time as announced.

Prelude-Hilla's Orchestra

Songs-Sixth Grade, McKinley School: Under the Bending Trees; In Happy June.

Baby Show-First, Second and Third Grade Girls, Lincoln and McKinley Schools.

Dutch Girls-Second and Third Grade Girls, Devlin School.

May Pole Dance-First Grade, Devlin School.

Recitation-Flattering Grandma Alexander McDonald.

Indian Club Drill-Fourth and Fifth Grades, Devlin School.

Interlude-Milla's Orchestra.

Choo Lee and Haru-Fourth Grade, Devlin School.

Recitation, Lost Tommy-Amy Dexter.

Folks Dances-Seventh Grade, Lincoln School: the Minuet; Virginia Reel; They Tyrolienne; Norwegian Mountain March.

Yankee Doodle-Fifth and Sixth Grade Boys, McKinley School.

Flag Drill-Fifth Grade Girls, McKinley School.

Song, A Marry Life-Chorus.

Good Night and Thank You.

Several people I have spoken with in the past remember maypole dances. These were not merely kids frolicking around a pole holding a ribbon and doing so for no reason. Skillful and precise dance steps combined with carefully choreographed movement of the ribbons resulted in elaborate designs on the pole. These dance steps and patterns are ancient, firmly rooted in pagan Europe. The Germans, Austrians, Irish, English, Welsh, Scottish and in parts of Italy all had their own rituals. Most performances take place in May but are often done at other times of the year. Many places in Europe still perform this custom.

What is also interesting is how it has always been fundraisers such as this that has paid for playground equipment at our schools. It continues to this day, and more than likely will in the future.

Here are some entries in the social pages column:

Items Of Local Interest

Deputy Sheriff J. R. Crites returned Wednesday morning from Warm Springs, where he confined Lars Hanson, the dryland farmer from Cottonwood, who was declared to be insane and committed to the asylum.


D. C. Payne of Carter, the flourishing town with the woman editor, was looking after business matters in the city yesterday. In connection we might mention the fact that Carter supports a right up-to-the-minute weekly newspaper.


Get your fresh cream from Gourley's Bakery.


The members of the Havre fire department and their ladies gave a reception last Tuesday evening at the Fireman's hall to Mr. and Mrs. Elbert H. Hoose, who were married last week. Ice cream, cake and other refreshments were served. Mr. Hoose has been a member of the department for several years and was presented with a nice chair as a wedding present. Edward Stokke made the presentation speech.


Billy Yeon received by parcel post a day or so since a box of luscious, ripe tomatoes. They were grown in the sunny southland, and were sent by Billy's old friend Carl Tschepin, who has laid aside the brazier, pipe wrench, gaskets, flush bowls, lightning adders and other tenements, hereditaments and appurtenances to the plumbing business appertaining or in anywise belonging, and has developed into a real fruit farmer in the land of winter sea baths, oranges and tarantulas, marked on the map as Florida. Carl writes that he is said to be looking fairly well, knows that he is feeling fine, and is sure that he just threw a natural when he decided on his present location, all of which will be satisfactory news to his big bunch of old time Havre friends.

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