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From the Archives Blog: Thanksgiving Isn't What It Used to Be


Written by Christine Ameduri

Life for the students during the early days at McDonogh School was filled not only with academic pursuits but long hours of manual labor as well. Harvesting and husking corn, pressing apples for cider, picking walnuts and bee-keeping, as well as hours spent in the carpentry shop and printing office, filled the boys’ days before and after their time in the classroom. Apparently, according to numerous accounts in The Week, Thanksgiving Day was no different. So, read on, be thankful things have changed, and have a very Happy (and relaxing) Thanksgiving!

Carpentry Shop c. 1890

Excerpt from THE WEEK - December 1, 1883
"Thompson and Thanksgiving"

DeV. F. Thompson* paid us a visit on Thanksgiving Day. Though he had a holiday we were as busy as usual, without even a turkey to cheer us. While we husked corn in the afternoon, he went out shooting. I am uncertain whether his game would have made a Thanksgiving dinner or not. He seemed quite well and wore a large mustache which had not before attracted our notice. R. D. Stover. 

*Note: Francis deV Thomson was an 1881 McDonogh grad.

The Week - December 3, 1892
The Week - December 8, 1894
Printing Office c. 1889