We’ve all heard how hard pioneer life was-and I’m sure it was. What were some of the things they did for fun?
1) Visiting neighbors. An evening of visiting neighbors and friends was one form of relaxing. The children played while the “grown-ups” talked.
2) Square dancing- either in a barn or outdoors. The fiddler would play the popular tunes of the day while the dancers would do the polka or waltz. Apparently, Lincoln wasn’t too skilled at dancing if the story of his first dance with Mary Todd is true.
3) Attending special events: Weddings and Fourth of July celebrations. At the Independence Day observances there were
often horse races, wrestling contests, and shooting matches.
4) The game of horseshoes. I bet Lincoln played horseshoes (I just think he must have!).
5) “Hide and Go Seek.” Perhaps the pioneer children’s most popular game. Many of us played this game ourselves as children. It seems to have vanished now. Children are too enthralled with electronic games.
6) Marbles. Lincoln played marbles. This is another popular children’s activity that seems to have gone away forever.
7) Fishing. Older boys and adult men engaged in this one. Lincoln once gave a fish he caught to a returning soldier from the War of 1812. Fishing today is more popular than ever!
8) Hunting. Yes, it was fun as well as work. The males hunted pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, ducks, geese, deer, and quail. Lincoln hunted small game but had a “personal crisis” when hunting the bigger game after killing a turkey.
9) Trapping. Racoon, mink, beaver, and muskrat. And don’t forget about fox and opossum. They were killed and skinned. Their pelts were stretched and dried to get ready to trade.
10) Dolls. Yes, girls played with dolls-but they were handmade. Dolls are still with us. Anyone ever hear of Barbie?!
11) Baseball. Yes, there was a form of baseball then. It was invented by Doubleday. Lincoln no doubt played baseball with fellow boys.Mail this post