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apple butter boiling, stirring parties, apple peeling, plays, amusements, Native Americans
A set of handwritten notes copying various excerpted stories, transcribed by Alfred L Shoemaker. Within, a traditional apple butter "stirring" party is detailed as well as a story involving indigenous basket weavers and a man named Yoder.
parties have a natural liking for each other, they have a capital chance to give blumpsock to such as they don’t care much for. They can get his back well beaten and have a good laugh at the poor fellow’s expense. Then again some lass, endowed with more personal beauty than some of her comrades - may make an end to her being pestered by everybody by this open avowal - though done often with apparent fun and frolic - sometimes ends in sober reality.
The play is just as innocent as Copenhagen and other plays - our mothers and aunts enjoyed it, and so did we, in our boyhood, and know ourselves none the worse for it. Nay, it makes us smile at times, though we have grown somewhat old now when memory recalls some of those scenes of innocent amusement .
“Stirrings”- are a kind of amusement of almost everybody’s house, in such seasons when cider is cheap and apples are plenty. These gatherings are managed a little differently from the former, and the aid thus afforded, was of considerable service, before the invention and general use of apple peeling machines. It was then that the aid of the many nimble fingers came most opportunely to the good housewife - when she boiled her “apple butter”.
Yet the “stirrings” have lost none of their interest to the young folks, who persist in coming together notwithstanding, on those occasions, while even the stirring operation is performed also with a machine leaving little to do. But they have taken advantage of all this and devote the more time to their own amusements in singing songs, plays and some seeing the ladies home.
p.172: The band of Indians just alluded to as living close by the Yoders were basket makers. They made a good many and exchanged them to the settlers for necessaries of life. These baskets they made of wood and for that purpose cut considerable of the choicest timber on Yoder’s land. One day they offered him some baskets for sale, when Yoder incautiously and unguardidly asked of them where they got this wood and insinuated that it was of his. “You lie”, was the instant replay, “and you shall yet feel sorry for making such a false assertion”. They told him further, that their title to all these lands, dated long before to any of his pretentions. They became very clamorous and enraged - even so much so, as even to alarm the courageous Mr. Yoder about it, though used to scenes of backwoods life. He lost no time in endeavoring to pacify them, and left no means untried that might soon reestablish an amicable state of feelings. But this he could not do, until he took their whole band to Fochts Tavern and made the whole of them well drunk; and thus, after humoring them for awhile in this their favorite revelry, he succeeded in settling the difficulty.
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Shoemaker, Alfred L., "Notes on "Stirrings" and Amusements" (1950). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 99.
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