Most of the world will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on Sunday. This is also the weekend PHW marks its first officially organized meeting in 1964, during the grassroots movement to preserve Winchester’s architectural heritage. We will be marking PHW’s 57th year in 2021!
To get you in the Valentine spirit this weekend, we have gathered a few newspaper stories from around Virginia of Valentine celebrations of yesteryear.
Jolly Comic Valentine Party (Clarke Courier, 17 February 1904) “A most delightful Comic Valentine Party was held at the residence of Mr. A. Moore, Jr. . . . Cards and dancing were indulged in until a late hour, when refreshments were served. Everyone present had a merry time.”
Valentines for the Lady Fair (Morning News Item, 12 February 1907) “For St. Valentine’s Day comes Thursday, which is a good two days before pay day. If each young man’s particular affinity expects some material expression of her admirer’s adoration and it’s ‘up to him’ to cut down temporarily, at least, personal expenses.”
Valentine Parties (Morning News Item, 14 February 1907) “Although this is the Lenten season, it is understood that a number of valentine socials and a few select dances will be held this evening. It is said, however, that those who rigidly observe Lent will not be in attendance.”
A Valentine party (Peninsula Enterprise, 19 February 1910) “The interesting features were the shooting at a heart by each guest with a bow and arrow, and the fishing from a lover’s pond for the name of his or her intended. After punch, fruit, jelly and cake were served the favours were drawn from a Valentine pie.”
West End Hotel Valentine party (Times-Dispatch, 25 February 1912) “The parlor and halls were decorated in ferns, potted plants and red hearts, the color scheme being red. Many games were played, but the fortune telling by Mrs. A. P. Goldsmith and Cupid’s post-office, where Miss Brownie Delp presided, were the main features of the evening.”
Valentine parties delayed (Culpeper Exponent, 12 February 1920) “On account of so much sickness it was decided it would be best to postpone the entertainment until it is safer to bring the children together.”
Valentine Bridge (Crawford’s Weekly, 21 February 1931) “A very realistic castle lighted within and flying cupid’s flag, stood in the hallway where the guests were greeted, and pretty hand made tallies bearing cut-out Cupids paired off the partners for bridge”
Surprise birthday and Valentine party (Farmville Herald, 22 February 1935) “Due to the weather and condition of roads there was only a small number present. . . Miss Mollie was presented with some nice and useful gifts including an autography album in which many of her Sharon friends had written wishes of love and scripture verses and a large white birthday cake and home made candy in a large heart shaped box in red.”
Valentine costume party (Sun, 12 February 1937) “Guests came in costume and games suitable for the occasion were enjoyed. A prize for the most original and the most beautiful costume was given.”
Enjoyable Valentine Party for Service Men (Farmville Herald, 19 February 1943) “No paper decorations were used because of fire hazards and because of war shortage, but gay big red and white balloons bobbed from each light in the game room and lent a festive air.”
If all this talk of parties has you in the mood to celebrate, you may want to visit Click Americana’s website to pick up a vintage sweet heart-shaped cake recipe (1949), ideas for setting themed tables (c. 1950), and some Valentine games (c. 1900). Celebrate safely and responsibly this weekend!