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Local History 

Charivari

 Stock photoAs you can imagine many wedding rituals have changed over the years but some, like the Charivari or Shivaree haven't changed much in hundreds of years.  In Lincoln, Mo. a description of a charivari was reported in the newspaper in 1897.

Sedalia Evening Democrat, Lincoln Mo. section; 24 June 1897, page 3.
Joe Hunt, who recently married, was given a good old-fashioned charivari by the boys last Monday nigh. The Lincoln "Hornet" band was called out, the pieces consisting of tin horns, cow-bells, angles and triangles, rosin cans, etc., which made a hideous noise. Joe promised to treat next Saturday night, so the boys dispersed quietly and said Joe must keep his word or the dose would be repeated.

The "treat" may have been candy and cigars as mentioned in a Bittersweet magazine article "Getting hitched".  In this article shot guns are used as noise makers and sometimes men were rode on a rail.  In a White River Valley Historical quarterly the "treat" was "coffee, cookies, candy, and other good things."

Apparently, Springfield law makers thought the "chivarees" were getting out of hand and passed a city ordinance fining the noisemakers.

Springfield Ordinances 1887
Chapter 29 –On Misdemeanors
Section 9. ...and whoever shall, in this city, charivari any person or persons, by blowing horns, beating drums, kettles or pans, jingling bells, or by any such means as are used at what is commonly called a "chivaree," shall be fined not less than three nor more than ten dollars.

 

 


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