I recently posted the first part of an 1874 newspaper article describing an evening excursion taken from the Peach Bottom Railway station in York to Springwood Park in York Township. The second half of the account is below, describing the good time had by all:
“Soon partners for a ‘grand march’ was called and responded to by quite a number of ladies and gentlemen who were of the excursion. ‘Partners for a plain’ called eight ‘setts’ to their feet and dancing was the order for full two hours, with the exception of a catch-breath for the members of the Sponsler Orchestra, who added much with their acceptable music to the success of the excursion. How delighted all seemed at the real pleasure afforded them by the P.R.R.W. Company to spend such a pleasant time in their spacious pavilion and the opportunity of a cheap ride to their already popular pic-nic grounds. While gratefully thinking of these advantages and the substantial benefits derived from them, the President of the Road reminded us that ‘only 5 minutes’ of the time before the return remained and we ‘pitched in tucker’ before we took departure for the cars. We made it a point to ascertain how the party was pleased with the excursion, and we are sorry to say there was one who did look mad, and to our questions of ‘what it the matter?’ she replied, ‘Well, I don’t care, I am just mad, just as everybody was so happy they call train time–I think they might have stayed until 4 o’clock, and arrived in York in time for market.’ We thought that was a great over-sight, but knowing of one other ’4 o’clock’ excursion on that road in which the parties ‘were not happy,’ we could be appease her wrath by telling her she must wait and take her chance at the next ‘Saturday night,’ which don’t return until 4.
Thus ended the first excursion on this road in which both sexes participated, and as we noticed that the party was highly delighted it may be surely predicted that these trips on the ‘Peachbottom’ will form in the future as something ‘where you get your money back.’ From the President down to the track hands, we defy the next road to excel these officials in politeness and accommodations, which cannot fail to bring abundant success to this enterprising Railroad, and we tender them, one and all, a vote of thanks for the inauguration of a system of evening excursions, in which old and young can recreate for a few hours at such a small price. But fearing the ghost of a vision under the lapel of someone’s coat–’give us a r–t.’ we subside, awaiting the next opportunity of “riding on a rail,” and all that are going along will please hold up their hands!–’That settles it! We go!’ A. L. B. Y.”
Does anyone know what kind of informal dancing they would be doing in 1874? They mention partners and sets, so would it have been some kind of square dance or folk dance?
The account of the irate lady is amusing. It shows that people haven’t changed–there is always someone that will find something to complain about. The writer, however, certainly felt that everyone got their money’s worth.