November 1988

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Pilgrims' Thanksgiving Dinner

at Garrison's farm


Bill Treichler

The trees blazed with brilliant colors on October 8, when the Prattsburgh Community Historical Society and the Crooked Lake Historical Society met for a joint Pilgrims' Thanksgiving Dinner at Ellen and William Garrison's "Morning Glory Farm" on Bean Station Road.

The meal was eaten outdoors on tables placed among the sugar maple trees close to the Garrison's sugar house. Pumpkins, grapes and Indian corn were arranged as table centerpieces. A large iron kettle hung from a tripod of green poles over an open fire. Bill Garrison used hot coals from this fire to surround and cover a large Dutch oven filled with venison stew and biscuits. Over another fire Richard Sherer roasted sweet corn. Everyone was served stew and corn as well as roast venison, turkey, scalloped oysters, and an array of Thanksgiving fare including cooked squash, carrots, beets, cranberry salads and pickles. These and plentiful pumpkin and mince pies were brought by members. The hot dishes were kept warm on top of the maple syrup evaporator in the sugar house, and served by Ellen Garrison and Gloriette Kingsley.

After the meal, the 60 people present sat in a clearing in the sugar bush where they could look out onto part of the Prattsburgh muck lands. Leon "Red" Parker told his story of the draining of the great Black Ash swamp in the 1930s. Mr. Parker took part in the conversion from swamp to fertile farm land. He has had wide experience with vegetable cropping and he described how methods have changed from hand work to mostly mechanical operations today.

After the program officers were chosen for the Crooked Lake Historical Society. Jill Flynn was elected president of the Society and Joan Tillman was elected vice president. Martha Treichler was elected secretary and Martha Rouin was elected the new corresponding secretary.

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