1903 Thanksgiving in Norfolk

Thanksgiving in Norfolk

Quiet Home Observance a Feature of the Holiday

Town Wore Sunday Aspect

Business Houses Generally Closed During the Afternoon, and Many of Them all Day—Services held in Several of the Churches of the City.


            Thanksgiving was very generally, though very quietly observed in Norfolk yesterday.  There was no public observance outside of the services in the churches, and in an amusement way, the ball of the firemen at the Marquardt hall, but, after all, it was perhaps one of the most completely enjoyed holidays ever observed by the people of Norfolk.  The family gatherings, the rest from the toils of a week or a year, were the appreciable features, and nearly everyone participated in the observance to this extent.  The downtown business streets had an almost Sunday-like aspect during the entire afternoon, and a number of the business houses remained closed during the entire day, while the proprietors and the clerks observed the holiday after their own inclinations.  In spite of the high price of the Thanksgiving turkey, many of them were disposed of by the local dealers, and there were few in the city but who sat down to a dinner of more than ordinary excellence.  It was an unusual holiday in the matter of weather.  The people of Norfolk have experienced warm Thanksgivings, and dry Thanksgiving, and cold Thanksgivings and wet Thanksgivings, but seldom have they known of white Thanksgivings, and this is what they had yesterday.  A layer of snow covered the ground, and many were inclined to confuse the holiday with the Christmas season.  The air was chilly and the snow did not melt to any considerable extent during the entire day.  The wind was from the south, but frost-laden and somewhat disagreeable.  Sleigh riding and fun with sleds and skates were possible to those who were not too particular about the surfaces and general conditions.

School Exercises

            Observance of the holiday by the schools was Wednesday afternoon, when nearly every room had something on for the entertainment of the pupils and patrons of the schools.  Literary exercises, music, spelling down contests, or the serving of treats of pop corn or other seasonable delicacies formed entertainment in may of the rooms, but the real significance of the holiday was the announcement a the close of the day’s work that there would be no more school until Monday and the pupils and teachers would be left to enjoy the vacation as they desired.

Source:  The Norfolk Daily News, Friday, November 27, 1903, page 5.