Letter From the Editor 12-21-11
Several weeks ago two members of the Reichenberg family came in to our office to show us a folded postcard with a picture of the Joslin House, which stood at the corner of Mechanic and Main in downtown Webster one hundred years ago. Inside was the menu for Christmas 1911, with the words:
“Give three cheers for this Christmas old!
We’ll usher him in with a merry din’
That shall gladden his joyous heart,
And we’ll keep him up, while there’s bite or sup,
And in fellowship good we’ll part.”
I confess the nuances of the verse escaped me, but the menu didn’t. It contained a lot of items similar to those we serve for Christmas today, such as ham with champagne sauce and Vermont turkey with cranberry sauce. Less frequently served today would be native green goose stuffed with current jelly. Most of the other items on the menu we’d see today too, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and plum pudding among them.
Absent from the menu was any mention of wine or brandy.
Equally interesting is the history of the Joslin House, which was also known as the Temperance House. Nathan Joslin built it in 1844, during the height of the Temperance Movement. Just two years earlier, the town had turned down its first liquor request.
A decade later, however, the movement was declining, and in 1955 Horace M. Dresser became the first agent to sell liquor in the town of Webster, in the Dresser Block, across the street from the Joslin House.
According to Jim Manzi, who knows his Webster history, the Joslin House burned down in the 1930’s. “There were a lot of fires in those days,” he said.
The building that stands in its place today isn’t quite as classic.
Thank you, Reichenbergs, for bringing us the postcard, and good fellowship and a Merry Christmas to you.
All of us on the staff of The Patriot newspaper wish our readers and advertisers a wonderful Christmas season.
(Joslin House history source: Webster, Dudley, and Oxford During the Nineteenth Century, by Paul J. Macek and James R. Morrison.)
- Saturday, 17 December 2011
- Posted in Categories: : Letter From the Editor