This Week In Brooklin History

110 years ago this week
December 23, 1887

Xmas fair & the minstrel show

From the December 23, 1887 Whitby Chronicle:


The scholars at the Presbyterian S.S. will give a concert on Friday evening next. When it is to be hoped they will be well patronized.

Mr. John Burchill student in the Collingwood Collegiate Institute is spending his vacation at home, Mr. Burchill, whatever he may have done in reference to Collingwood’s fair daughters has not, at any rate, fallen in love with Collingwood itself.

Mr. Thos. Routley of East Grand Forks, Min., is visiting his parents and brother here. Mr. Routley is greatly taken up with the Western States where he has made a home for himself within a very few years. He believes in Horace Greely’s advice to Go West. Many of Tom’s old comrades have, like himself, sought other fields and pastures green and were not here to welcome him, but those who are still here gave him a right royal welcome. We wish him a safe and pleasant return journey and continued success in his western home.

The Xmas fair on Tuesday was a success and gave great promise for the future. The show of fowls was not so extensive in the turkey line as had been expected although the samples were good that were shown. Geese and ducks were plentiful as also were chickens, some youthful and some venerable. The exhibits of dressed hogs and hind quarters of beef were worthy of our large city markets and no doubt will find their way to some of them before Xmas.

The following is the prize list :--

Judges of produce Messrs. Jno. Davidson, Jas. Stokes and Jno. Morrison. Judges of horses, Messrs. Jno. Kerr, S. Medland, and Geo. Minty. The attendance was quite large and the managers can congratulate themselves on the success of their venture.

Well! Say? Were you at Kerr’s hall on Tuesday night? No. Do you know what fun is? Yes. Well you don’t. If the double distilled extract of all the fun you have ever had were compared with the hours hilarity that prevailed on that memorable evening it would turn green with envy. The Amateur Minstrels and Burnt-Cork artists of Ashburn covered themselves with pot-black and glory, and the little hamlet on the hill woke up Wednesday morning to find itself suddenly famous.

At eight o’clock sharp with every sense on the alert and every nerve strung to its greatest tension, the curtain was rung up and, great Jove what a sight, talk about the palmy days of Cool Burgess, toot your horn in praise of the Georgia Minstrel or the Baird Combination, if you will, but for us the ecstacy of that one look upon the A. M. & B. C., A. of A. as they stood forth in all their brilliancy is about all the happiness we crave at the hands of our fellow mortals.

Look at the array of artists and then kick yourself for allowing the golden opportunity of seeing them, pass unimproved. Towering head and shoulders above the rest, stood Professor Tarvis the greatest bass soloist on the road. Associated with him were Captain Brooks the sweetest tenor singer of the age, Professors Brash and Pearson, the cleverest end-men of the times, the champion clog and step dancers Hunt and Smith, the celebrated comic singers and tambourineist Professor Carney, the inimitable Dr. Anderson, the great musical quintette Bambridge, Jones, Wheeler, Wilkie and the original and only Siamese twins Nichol and Walker.

The entertainment given by the above celebrated company was most rapturiously applauded and the large audience that greeted them on their first appearance shouted itself almost hoarse with encores. When every member of this company does his work to the entire satisfaction of the audience as was done on Tuesday night it would be unwise to make distinctions and we simply add that the young men can congratulate themselves on the success of their first entertainment. We wish them a continuation of the same and promise to be on hand on the next occasion.

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