Colorado Homestead Shivaree: A Real Party!

Folks on Colorado homestead celebrated weddings with something called a shivaree.

| Good Old Days

I remember that George and Grace Taft were married in the judge's chambers in Lamar, Colorado. There were no church weddings then for there was no church; there were no honeymoons for there was no money, but there would be a shivaree.

About two weeks after the wedding, men of the neighborhood passed the word: A shivaree at the Taft place, after the dance on Friday night.

George and Grace would be attending the dance, so the others would stay on after the Tafts had gone home and had time to be in bed asleep.

The crowd went to the bride and groom's farm with tin cans strung on wire, old tubs to beat on, cowbells-anything that would make noise. We approached the house yelling like Indians.

The Tafts asked us in. A chivaree for a newly married couple was not unexpected so the Tafts were prepared. They treated with candy, gum and cigars, and Grace put a two-gallon pot of water on the stove to boil so she could make coffee. The women had brought cakes and all would enjoy coffee and cake as the party went on. They played cards or dominoes and visited, a big party for both adults and children that lasted until one or two in the morning. 

Great fun! 

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