Skip to content

Old Home Week 1903


In 1901 a movement began to encourage Old Home Weeks in towns in the state. “We believe that the town of Salisbury is in every respect an ideal place for such a gathering,” said the Lakeville Journal in its August 31st edition that year. “The sentiment is one that would appeal to every son and daughter of the old town and wherever Old Home Week has been instituted it has been found pleasant and profitable.”

The idea slowly took hold and in 1902, the newly formed Salisbury Association took upon itself the task of organizing the event. In January 1903 the Journal reported, “The matter of establishing an Old Home Week is steadily growing in favor in quarters of the state. … The Salisbury Association is endeavoring to provide one for this town and wants the cooperation of the citizens.”

The State Grange created a committee to secure the passage of a bill by the state legislature authorizing towns to make appropriations for the observances “We anticipate so delightful a season of home gatherings and welcomings that the people will favor a repetition of Old Home Week next year and perhaps annually thereafter,” the paper said.

Old Home Week in Salisbury was finally held July 23rd through July 25th, 1903. Every home was encouraged to invite guests for the week, “so we may have a really large gathering of friends of the town” and to decorate their homes with flags and bunting.

Following the festive affair, the Journal reported that, “it was touching and pleasing to see the old fellows go up to each other and after brief glance of uncertainty, extend palms and at once plunge into a happy discussion of the old days when they were boys together playing in the lap of old mother Salisbury.”

Visitors engaged in an old-fashioned game of wickets and a ballgame that pitted married against unmarried men. There was a banquet for 150 men in the Scoville Library which had been decorated with ferns and flowers. A seven-piece orchestra provided music for the banquet and the following dance.

Saturday brough a regatta on Lake Wononscopomuc and literary exercises at “Holleywood” Grove. There were fireworks during the evening. The Lakeville Grays played music during the boat races and fireworks.

The auditor’s report showed the town expended $991.78 for the affair, which was precisely offset by receipts.

Despite the fun, there is no indication in the Lakeville Journal that subsequent Old Home Weeks were held.