Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that the past was all work and no fun. However, newspapers, diaries, and other sources show that people were just as interested in enjoying themselves with parties, theatrical productions, dinners, picnics, and other social occasions as we are today.


Historic Invitations

People have always enjoyed entertaining and being entertained. Balls, suppers, masquerades, and plays are just a few of the ways that Warrenites have entertained themselves in the past. In this exercise, students will look at historic invitations and notices of events. They will also make their own.

1. Look at the historic invitations from Warren dances and parties in the past.

2. Have students create an invitation for a historic ball, party, or play. Include the date, the type of entertainment, and location.


Calling Cards

In the nineteenth century, it was customary for people to visit or "call on one another" to introduce themselves and keep up with acquaintances. Communities had set calling hours, and a caller would be received into the house to be briefly entertained with coffee, tea, and polite conversation. If no one was at home when a visitor called, the visitor left a “calling card.” The visitor’s name was printed on the card, and the card might be simple or fancy. People could maintain relationships with one another through calling cards, just as some people leave messages and keep in touch with one another through telephone answering machines or text messages today.

1. Have students look over a number of the sample calling cards copied from a collection in the Warren County Historical Society. Then, have them create their own. Students may want to have pictures on their calling cards including animals, flowers, or activities they enjoy.


Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society