(Recycled post – busy traveling).
The above image has nothing to do with this entry. I just like it. Besides, I put the names to the figures – purely fictitious.
June 19, 1911 was the opening of Fall River’s Cotton Centennial – just one month before Lizzie’s 51st birthday. We can assume she did not partake in any of the festivities, but if in residence at “Maplecroft” she surely read about them in the papers.
The town was ready to celebrate it’s 100 years of growing prosperity and was in a gay and festive mood. It would seem as if all of its nearly 20,000 population turned out. People gathered on Main Street which was dressed up with giant banners, a huge archway, and raised platforms for speeches.
On the third day of the week long celebration they awaited the grand arrival of President Howard Taft. And no doubt the bands played Irving Berlin’s new, toe-tapping “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”. Perhaps that upbeat tempo helped soften memories of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company’s horrific fire in New York that caused so many young girls to leap to their death just three months previous. But now was a time for having fun, picnics, parades, and the exchange of coy smiles among the younger set.
The dawning of the 20th Century and the bright early years that followed after this celebration would dim and be marred by the First World War – but still, the people of Fall River had their happy times. There was a growing middle class during the first two decades after 1900 that was hardly identifiable from just two generations ago, and they were coming into their own.