March 13, 1912: Masquerade Ball a Huge Success


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

March 13, 1912: The annual masquerade ball was a great success, attended by more than 400 revelers wearing dazzling costumes. Held tonight at the Friendship Auditorium, the Boyertown Orchestra provided the latest dance music and the Grand March started at 9 p.m.

The best dressed couple, awarded first prize of $10, came as chorus girls, one wearing pink satin with stars and spangles and the other in blue velvet trimmed with bunches of spangled grapes. The “Siamese Twins,” won $5 for the best comic couple, wearing a three-legged costume. The Girl in Black captured the $3 prize as the best dressed single in a black dress trimmed with stars and moons. A “hobo” received $2.50 as the best comic single, and the most original feature of the event was a trolley car rig, equipped with all the appliances of a regular street car.

When the “demaskation” occurred and it was revealed who was hiding behind the disguises, the peals of laughter “would have cured the worst dyspeptic.” The elegance, ostentation and frequency of the parties in Boyertown more than a hundred years ago showed that the residents were entertaining and being entertained on a lavish scale.

An interesting detail is the time of these soirees. They seldom began before 9 PM and lasted into the “wee small hours,” and many of them were held on week nights. They all featured merry fun and great conversation. These people were hard working, successful citizens who knew how to enjoy themselves.

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