Mrs. C.H. Chamberlain gave a very delightful reception on Saturday of last week at her elegant new house, 1402 Franklin Street, in honor of the National Treasurer of the W.CT.U., Miss Esther Pugh of Ohio, and the President of Alameda County, Mrs. B. S. Peet.
The bloom and fragrance of flowers and other beautiful and tasteful preparations were everywhere noticeable, and it is seldom that above 100 guests find themselves so completely in harmony with their surroundings and with each other, and have so earnest a conviction that “it was good to be there.”
Many ladies were in attendance from Hayward, San Lorenzo, East Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco. In consequence of so brilliant an assemblage, the occasion resolved itself into an impromptu feast of reason and flow of soul, the way being paved by some appropriate words of welcome from one of the ladies. The Eastern guests, Miss Pugh and Mrs. Peet, spoke in enthusiastic terms of the realities, as well as the possibilities, of this golden shore and its people.
Then followed interesting remarks from Mrs. L. P. Williams of San Francisco, Mrs. A. A. Smith of Berkeley, Mrs. H. H. Havens, State Secretary, Mrs. P. D. Browne, editor of the California Bulletin, and many others whose names we did not get. Instrumental and vocal solos and a recitation by the “Y’s” added greatly to the pleasure of a most enjoyable afternoon. Miss Pugh upon leaving was presented with a lovely basket of flowers and Mrs. Peet with a bouquet, to which were attached large bows of white satin ribbon, on each of which was painted the capital “Y” in monogram.
Although times have changed, in moral values and cultural diversifications, the art of the Reception described here can let one feel they were actually present. With not many articles written on social events in today’s newspapers, the yester-years offer dreamy imaginative words to give life to an occasion. After all, reading about one or being present *which was always better* was the only way of social media at the time. In fact, social media is fairly new. At this social soiree, it is The Reception given by my GGG Grandmother Chamberlain that the words were written to read from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Although I am definitely a woman of the present I would love to don a dress of then and be magically put on a time machine to smell the fragrances and hear the ladies talk among themselves. With the “work” they were involved in, this was their girls day out so I can only imagine the voices and what they had going on in their lives that day of gathering. It must have been something to be written about.
In reading the Reception article I googled a bit on Esther Pugh. She was a leader in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and worked with Frances Willard a leader and women’s suffragist. The WCTU was in the league of the YWCA and gained popularity internationally. They were not only a religious group, but served to advance young women of all backgrounds, in particular, teaching education and hygienic issues, and of course the “evils” of the drink. The “compressed waist” was another matter of concern spoken about by Dr. Van Kirk at an educational seminar and as we all know, that look was eventually out of fashion. Esther Pugh served as National Treasurer for 15 years with the WCTU, and my Great Great Great Grandmother Chamberlain ended up serving in the same position as well.
Getting my ancestry gig organized and ready to scan has been a task these years, however reading my letters and such have been more favorable and relaxing. I can now understand who I am and what made me. In a retrospective mind, I find I am not anything my mother taught me, but in fact, it was my grandparents and my Great Aunt Carrie. Not knowing about my GG and GGG Grandmothers too much, I know now, who I am and why I am the way I am. It has been a great walk of life to find this out. So there… it is written.
There’s more to come…
Til next time.