July 4th 1879 – Celebration in Junction City, Oregon

“FOURTH OF JULY

Those who remained in Eugene on the 4th, say it was one of the most quiet days ever seen in the place.  The only change from the general monotony being the appearance of four young people from some place down the valley with too much benzine on board, who effectually exhibited their total lack of refinement.  Two hundred and ninety-six tickets for Junction and return, were sold at the depot, and not less than one hundred persons went from here in carriages. To say that Junction was full doesn’t express.  Everything and almost every body was full.  The bands from Eugene made life and enthusiasm with their excellent music.  The procession was formed in good shape,  the ladies on horse back, some of whom were most glorious to behold and others not so much so, made an imposing appearance.  The Blue Ribbon department was remarkably thin.  On arriving at the stand the bands furnished some nice selections.  Mr. McCorkle offered a prayer and Robert Bean read the Declaration of Independence in splendid style.  Then came a grand foot race, not down on the programme, but nevertheless entered into by nearly all present with spirit, especially by the ladies.  Mean while the rain began to pour down.  The was a general gathering up of loose paraphernalia and a grand display of ankles.  It looked as if all the barber shops in creation were running away.  Dinner  was next in order, those who were thoughtful enough to take a basket with them repairing to the cars and other places while others less fortunate scrabbled around town for a few bites.  At half past one the crowd assembled at the stand, and listed to a most eloquent and interesting oration by J.H. Mitchell.  A game of Baseball was also inaugurated between Junction and Harrisburg clubs resulting in a victory for Junction 28, to 3, 5 innings.  Then there was some glass ball shooting and foot racing, and finally a grand horse race between the notorious Sleepy Dick and the Claypool horse.  Betting was almost two to one on the bay horse, Dick, before the race the sorrel not having many backers.  They were a long time getting ready to start, but when they did start the sorrel showed his white nose to the front and although Sleepy Dick was thoroughly awakened with whip and spur he failed to show the requisite speed, and the judges decided in favor of Claypool horse.  The plug uglies undertook to make a show but it was a complete failure.  Six o’clock having arrived the train for Harrisburg and Eugene began to be filled and were soon on their way.  There was a grand ball at Brassfield’s hall in the evening in which about fifty couples took part.  Also a ball in one of the warehouses.  We hear of only one accident to mar the pleasure of the occasion.  Miss Mary Spencer had an ankle dislocated by the turning of her saddle.  The number of drunks staggering about was enough to almost disgust one with the place, yet taken altogether the celebration might be called a success.”  Oregon State Journal, Jul 12, 1879, pg. 5, col. 2.  University of Oregon Knight Library, Newspaper Collection. 

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About gtoftdahl

Researching in Oregon Newspapers
This entry was posted in Eugene History, Junction City History, Lane County Oregon History, Oregon History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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