February 14, 1879: Surprise Birthday Party for Mary Ann Boyer Ends Earlier for Elders


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

February 14, 1879: Friends and family have gathered to help Mary Ann Boyer celebrate her birthday at a surprise party this evening at her beautiful home at 11 East Philadelphia Avenue (now the Atherton Inn, formerly the Twin Turrets Bed and Breakfast).

It was reported in the newspaper that the “old lady” was so surprised she “hardly knew what to say”—it was her 64th birthday! The partiers arrived at 8:00 with gaskets willed with the “most dainty provisions” and loaded the dining room table with “a most delicious repast.”

The feasting was interspersed with lively conversation and lasted until midnight, when the assembly began to disperse. This was unusual for parties in Boyertown at that time—they seldom broke up before dawn, but the “old people” apparently had more “lively conversations” than the dancing and frolicking that their youngsters engaged in.

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