What Bisbee did for Easter 100 years ago

Easter as it was celebrated 100 years ago in Bisbee and the holiday of today may not be as different as one would suppose.

Easter in 1912 was commemorated on April 7, and The Bisbee Daily Review of that day said that “Easter time, like Christmas, is dedicated primarily to the children, and so the question of finding something which will interest and amuse them is important.”

Going to church on Easter

This front-page illustration tells a tale that is every bit as relevant today: It's time for a break from politics.

And thus follows a short article about painting faces on the eggs. One difference, it seems, was that many painted eggs at that time were simply for display and would take on their normal use thereafter. The paper says, “if the eggs are to be played with, it is better to boil them first.” Today, that goes without saying.

And there was at least one Easter-egg hunt, put on by Mrs. R.O. Owen for her girls’ Sunday school class. This was done on Saturday aftenoon at her home on School Hill.

Also baseball in Bisbee

There also was baseball on Easter afternoon, but that was something usual to a Sunday. On that particular day, the teams of the Tri-Town League — Bisbee, Lowell and Warren — entertained the spectators, with Bisbee getting the worst of the deal.

“A holocaustic catastrophe at Warren park Sunday afternoon,” the Review printed in its next edition on Tuesday, “and the casualties was the Bisbee base ball team of the Tri-Town league, the Bisbee team that so proudly rode down to Warren park on the streetcar of the Warren-Bisbee railway, with hope in their hearts and chewing gum in their pockets, yes, and car fare.

Lowell won the game 15-3, making it two victories won by the “middletonians from the gulch dwellers.” Then Warren beat Lowell “by a large and square margin,” which wasn’t specified.

Churches are filled

Perhaps most importantly on Easter, the Tuesday paper reported, was that the churches were filled.

Something for kids to do“Bisbee goes to church once a year, on Easter Sunday, whether it needs to or not,” the Review said. “Every church in the city was filled to capacity at the morning services,” it added.

All of the churches were decorated for the holiday and the paper described one, the Presbyterian, as consisting of several kinds of lillies. The service at this church was called “particularly elevating, as the songs were given to pipe-organ accompaniment.”

Most churches had special services and music for Easter and the Review dutifully listed this information in its Sunday morning edition.

Time for finery

Easter, of course, is a time when many folks of a century ago (and perhaps still today) dress in their finest, especially women.

The Review, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, referred to this as a “sordid” reason for so many people attending church. They go, it said “to exhibit their own glad raiment and to view the raiment of others.”

And, of course, by the time Easter day rolls around, it’s already time for the after-holiday sales, as shown by the following advertisement that ran in the Sunday paper.

After Easter sale on hats






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