Eaton Field Days in a Bustling Town
The best remembered and photographed times were the “field days” held yearly to celebrate the Fourth of July. This community, born out of Revolutionary blood felt it a duty to put on big yearly celebration.
The big day (Now Memorial Day) usually started with cannon volley, (This year it will too thanks to Jim Monahan & the Revolutionary War Re-enactors) which in later years is remembered as Patty Miles “firing” his anvil. This was done by filling the hole in the bottom of the anvil with black powder and setting it off. Any late sleepers would be awakened if their children had not already forced them out of bed in their excitement to get downtown.
Horse racing was part of the day and baseball games were played in different fields around town, big rivals for Eaton’s team was the Bouckville Bucks. Food was available everywhere from the churches where the ladies aid put on a dinner, to the food stands on Main Street (front street) and the hotels, some brought their own lunches, but everybody ate.
Town filled with music and people listening, especially when the Eaton Military Band played. In the evening there was always a dance that was well attended at the opera house in town, and the Rebekah Lodge usually served coffee to the attendees, with the dance continuing until midnight.
By the 1920’s, the world was at war; the steam engine plant was closing, water power had given away to electricity, woolen mills were closed, the Chenango Canal had ceased to be a transportation route and was only used to fill the Erie Canal, the “Great Depression” was on and the march to the city for work began.
So come out to Eaton this year and enjoy a parade, cannon blasts, history & commemoration at the cemetery & museum, bake goods and ice-cream social...step back in time...savor...
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