1926 – 1927: Dances, Minstrels and Plays

by Patricia and Edward Shillingburg © 2006

Part of Page Eight of the Cookbook: Because the members of the Community Club held a bake sale whenever they thought they had a market, we thought a few cake recipes might be enchanting. No Betty Crocker cake mixes in those days. Everything was from scratch. Recipes are lacking baking times and instructions on assembling of ingredients. Everyone just knew those things, we suppose.

Unless otherwise noted, the source for this material is the Suffolk Times.
    Throughout the fall and early winter of 1925, the Community Club held another series of entertainments. The fourth was on Wednesday evening, January 20, 1926 at the Firemen’s Hall, the Playcraft Company, consisting of four players, entertained with the play Happiness.
    Officers elected at the annual meeting of the Community Club in January 1926 were Mrs. Thomas Young, president, Mrs. St. John Cambell, vice president, Mr. Moses Griffing, treasurer, and Miss Lillian Loper, secretary.
    On Saturday, February 6, the Club held a bakery sale at Mrs. Cambell’s. Clam chowder sold for 24¢ per quart. Other homemade foods included cakes and pies. Proceeds were about $19.
    The last in the entertainment series was held on March 10 in the Firemen’s Hall. Tickets were 75¢ for adults and 35¢ for children. George Leo Paterson “delivered a fine lecture on Star Lore. Mr. Paterson showed a wide range of knowledge and put his address in such simple language that even the more scientific part of his address was clear to the youngest in the audience.”
    The Club held a minstrel show and dance at the Firemen’s Hall on Wednesday evening, April 7. Tickets were 50¢.  “The Firemen's Hall was crowded to the limit last Wednesday evening and quite a few had to stay away because of lack of seats. The Community Club's Minstrel Show was given on that date to an enthusiastic audience. The curtain rose on a chorus of 15 ladies costumed as Aunt Jemina of pancake fame. Little black Sambo sat also on the stage as mascot. A lively program of songs and jokes was given. A quartette sang Go Along Mule with effect, and Sisters Angelina and Violet sang I'm Going from the Cotton Fields, as a duet. A number of clever local hits were worked into the show also. The second part was a play, the Vinegar Vaudeville Agency, of which Eph, the janitor, was a shining star with Mr. Vinegar himself as a close second in comic impersonation. Solos by Walter Clark, Marion Payne and Mrs. Walter King, jiggs by Mrs. Joseph Mack, Joseph Maurey and Dorothy Thompson, and violin music by Filmore Griffin, made up a large part of the agency's offerings. Miss Turner recited a piece and the brilliant comedians Thompson and Thompson appeared in a short sketch. Capt. Willard Griffing also gave a banjo piece. The show ended with a lively chorus Show Me the Way to Go Home. The floor was then cleared and Messrs. Smith, Walther and Clark played for dancing.”
    The minstrel show was so acclaimed that it was repeated the following week at the Greenport auditorium. Tickets were 50¢.
    The Community Club held a bake sale at Mrs. Bowditch’s in late May.
    The Club again participated in Decoration Day by placing flowers and wreaths at the Memorial Boulder with a large mass of white iris and lilacs banked on one side. “The Community Club made the Chamber of Commerce Day's program complete by giving an entertainment in the Auditorium in the evening. The selections and numbers were: Piano solo, Wesley Smith, vocal solo, Miss Genevieve Downs; violin and piano duet, Miss E. Reid and Miss Neil; Recitation, Mrs. Cartwright; solo, Benjamin Conklin, a saxophonist in the Sousa Band, accompanied by Wesley Smith at the piano; drill by 10 young ladies: Marion Ryder, Jennie Sherman, Flora Jennings, Marion Payne, Belle Hallock, Lois Halsey, Martha Halsey, Cynthia Baldwin, Dorothy Thompson. The entertainers were heartily applauded and responded with encores. The Chamber of Commerce wishes to thanks Mr. Wesley Smith, pianist, Benjamin Conklin, saxophonist and Robert Walther, drummer, for the music they furnished for the dance. The Chamber also thanks all those who took part or helped make Memorial Day's program such a success.”
    In mid-June, the Club went to Sagg Beach and after dinner at the beach, they went for a ride thorough Bridgehampton and Southampton.
    The Community Club held its annual fair on Wednesday, August 4, this year on their own lot in the Center. The committees were: Fancy Table - Mrs. Burton Reed, Mrs. Clifford Cartwright, Mrs. Francis Myers; Cake Table - Mrs. Ollie Wells, Jr., Mrs. Ralph Cartwright; Candy - Mrs. Milton Sherman, Mrs. Eleanor Griffing; lunch - Mrs. Moses Griffing, Miss Lillian Maurey; Hot Dogs - Mrs. Walter King, Mrs. Stanley Thompson; Grab Bag - Miss Belle Bowditch, Miss Lillian Loper; Country Store - Mrs. Joseph Mack, Mrs. Leonard Bourne, Mrs. Wright; Rummage Table - Mrs. Graham Reevs, Jr., Mrs. Donald Clark; Ice Cream Table - Mrs. Mabel Treadway, Mrs. Floyd Hallock, Mrs. Addie Flagg.
     “A large crowd visited the scene and bought lavishly. Owing to the extreme heat, ice cream and punch were especially in demand. Cake, candy, rummage sale, hot dogs and other booths were well patronized. The lot was a pretty sight with its groups of tables shaded by covers of green boughs. During the evening, dancing was enjoyed and the lot was lighted by long rows of varied-colored lights. Wesley Smith, Roger Walther and two friends of Mr. Smith, furnished some fine dance music and long rows of car gathered outside to watch the dancers. The affair brought in a goodly sum for the treasury.
    “The Community Club desires to thank all who helped to make their Fair such a success. Special thanks is due the following gentlemen, who so kindly helped: Labor and dance platform, Frank Smith, Joe Mack, Burton Reed, Stanley Thompson, Milton Sherman, Henry Sherman, Charles Reevs and Emerson Mitchell; Donating lumber - Jack Myers, Percy Griffing and Clarence Wilcox; Electrical decorations, Thomas Young; Loan of electrical decorations - H.E. Raymond; Booths, etc. Ollie Wells, Stanley Thompson and Richard Griffing; Loan of piano, E. H. Payne; Moving piano William Johnston; Music for dance - Wesley Smith and Roger Walther; General favors and kindness, E. E. Gray.”
    The Community Club kicked off its 1927 fund raising events with a production of the play June on Wednesday evening, February 16 in the Firemen’s Hall. Tickets were 50¢ for adults and 35¢ for children.
    They held a Pinochle card party at the home of Mrs. Francis Myers on Monday evening February 28, and a St. Patrick’s Day Vaudeville Show on March 17. That evening the Firemen’s Hall was filled to capacity, and the entertainment, which consisted of short Irish sketches, Irish verse and music, was followed by a dance.
    On March 29, the Club held an old-fashioned Barn Dance. Firemen’s Hall was decorated with cornstalks and rings of apples and lollipops, “for the theft of which the dancers were fined or imprisoned in the jail at the rear of the hall.” The large crowd of gay couples dressed in bungalow aprons and sun bonnets and overalls. The orchestra was composed of Mrs. Edna Walthers on the piano, Floyd Sherman, harmonica, Walter Clark, banjo-uke guitar, and Mr. Griffing.
    On April 12, the Club gave a Pinochle and “42” party at the home of Mrs. Alice Clark. After the games, packages of cake, candy and other articles were auctioned.
    On Wednesday evening, April 27 at Firemen’s Hall the Club put on the play Harold Slick from Pumpkin Crick, a three-act comedy. The Shelter Island Banjoliers furnished the music for the dance, which followed the entertainment.
    Off focus for a moment, the Community Club teamed up with the Daughters of America and served supper to about 125 guests at the Mechanic’s Hall on Wednesday evening, May 11 with proceeds to be used for Mississippi flood victims. They raised $61.35. (Mechanic’s Hall is now once again the Manhansett Chapel, owned by the Historical Society.)
    On May 28 the Club held a bake sale on Mrs. Ella Bowditch’s front lawn and raised $20.20. And, on Saturday, July 2, they held a cake sale in Willow Square. Mrs. Ralph Cartwright was in charge.
    On Wednesday evening, December 14, a large audience enjoyed the Club’s production of the three-act play, A Poor Married Man, in the new school auditorium. A dance followed the play. The school had recently undergone expansion, which included an auditorium.

1923 Community Cookbook