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Children on Parade


“Uncle Sam” Eddy—Samuel A. Eddy (1860-1941)—a preeminent citizen of Canaan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, leads a parade of school children around a field in this circa 1910 photograph.

The field may have been Lawrence Field, once owned by Eddy’s illustrious forebear, Isaac Lawrence, one of Canaan’s earliest settlers. The field has long served Canaan as its recreation and athletic field.

The parade probably took place on July 4th, based on the figure of Uncle Sam, the flag at the head of the procession and the red-white-and-blue armbands worn by several of the children.

About a third of the way back in the parade, a number of girls are wearing Dutch-style mob caps, perhaps recalling the first white settlers in the Canaan area. Near the end of the parade, a little girl, partially obscured, is wearing a Pilgrim outfit.

Nearly all the other participants are wearing white—a color traditionally adopted on Memorial Day and packed away for the year September 1st. Children were often dressed in white because, in that day of impermanent dyes, white clothes could be washed in boiling water and bleached to get out dirt.