Luzerne pigs ham it up in 1884 Thanksgiving entertainment

The turkeys may have been about the only unlucky ones at this Thanksgiving eve entertainment in 1884.

“A turkey raffle was held at George Montee’s saloon on Wednesday evening. About twenty of the birds were distributed to those that were lucky,” the Luzerne correspondent to The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Nov. 29, 1884.

While turkeys hogged the spotlight on dinner tables of Luzerne the next day, pigs were the stars of the Thanksgiving evening entertainment.

“The receipts of the pig show at town hall on Thursday evening amounted to four dollars and ninety cents,” the equivalent of $138.29 in 2021 dollars.

At Glens Falls, roller skating was a preferred exercise to work off multiple helpings of turkey and stuffing.

“There was a large attendance at the skating rink Thursday evening. The blind man’s race was won by Ernest Hurtibus.”

Historic newspapers of the region chronicled myriad options for Thanksgiving entertainment in the 19th century.

A Thanksgiving evening spelling match at the Salem Methodist Church in 1890 raised $13.55 — the equivalent of $408 in 2021 dollars, The Granville Sentinel reported on Dec. 5, 1890.

The Young Men’s Catholic Literary Society of Sandy Hill, now Hudson Falls, was set to hold a Thanksgiving evening variety show and dance at Middleworth Hall, The Morning Star reported on Nov. 28, 1883.

“The participants include the best local talent.”

About 100 people attended.

“The number included a large number from Glens Falls and Fort Edward,” The Morning Star reported on Dec. 1.

At Glens Falls, about 40 couples attended the Colvin Hose Company Thanksgiving night dance.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY