|Dr. Gawn as part of Eaton's float on the 4th of July|
Another Sunday in Eaton, more pleasant than many lately as Mother Nature has come through with a rainbow of green colors with a bit of purple... as the lilacs finally opened down here. We still had two nights this week in the low 20’s… but the days have improved.
I have been putting together clips of video taken 20 years ago on Monday, and I started wondering what the town will look like and who will be here in 20 more.
The Eaton History Day that started in1995 has been put on to bring the community together as a celebration of what is right with living in a small and historic rural town. Nothing is wrong really, except perhaps the distance for many to go to work…but now we have so many beautiful cars to do it…no longer needing a horse and wagon. What is sad, is that most people don’t realize what caused a loss of community. We no longer used it.
You might say, “use it”… yes, use it. We lost our grocery stores and businesses because we no longer need to shop in town or near by. In the old days money that was paid out came back to the community or stayed in it supporting “the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker”. 100 years ago there were 4 stores, barbers, Doctors, machine shops, mills, and all kinds of small business. Today we have a Price Chopper and Walmart people shot at.
There were 3 churches in town then, luckily we still have one on “Back Street”, it has been working for 182 years. As a mater of fact when the bell rings on Sunday… as I write the Sunday blogs for you… it has been ringing like that since 1848. It reminds me that the community is still alive.
Eaton still has a mini-mart and gas station, though remnants of the old Tower Gas Station are still in town housing the Post Office. We have a volunteer fire department... that still rushes to help those in need in the community. We still have that Post Office… something that is also disappearing from rural America. Our cemetery is still kept up and by the original Eaton Cemetery Association that was formed by George Morse in 1856.
We also have a museum that keeps the history for the Town of Eaton and the community, although the Town does not run it.
So this is where you as a member of the community come in. Come out to Eaton before or after the parade… that this year is in West Eaton. Have a hot dog and soda like the old days, buy a pie at the 200 year old American institution of Pie Sales to raise money, join the Friends of Eaton Society that keeps the museum alive buying a commemorative 220th History Book (You can buy it for those special people who can’t come to the event this year)… listen to the speakers that this year will include Harry Riggall Historian of West Eaton and Mary Messere former Madison County Historian....and enjoy HISTORY AND THAT THING CALLED AMERICANA.
If you were at the original Bicentennial in the parade, or watching Dr. Willabee Gawn, at the Cemetery, at the Church, at the cutting of the giant Birthday Cake… then you can view yourself on a video that will be playing during the day….Memories for sure!
The kids in it are now full grown and many have children of their own... many faces have disappeared from view... though they now rest on the hill in the cemetery or in a nursing home, and unfortunately some of us are a bit heavier…but we are there enjoying that day. So come out and enjoy this one!!
*The museum will not be open for the day, but Back Street Mary will giving a tour of the Cemetery at 2 PM.