San Francisco and New York, USA
In San Francisco, the Paris of the West, there was an election rally for a new justice of the peace happening as Fogg and company arrived. Consider holding your own election for a made up office of camp. Have the candidates give speeches, create a voting booth and hold the election. No brawls, please.
San Francisco Decorations
If you plan on holding a political rally or election, then your decorations should show that with red, white and blue streamers, campaign posters, etc.
Other than that, large cutouts of SF cable cars would be good. Although they have changed a bit from the late 19th century, a modern cutout will suffice.
New York Decorations
When decorating for 1890s New York, create or purchase cutouts of skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty. The other thing you can do is create a department store window scene. Even during the late 19th century the large New York department stores had impressive window displays, especially during the Christmas season.
Ragtime and Saloon piano music fit in nicely here. Grab a Scott Joplin CD and you’ll be all set.
Here’s a small list of the foods and recipes that began or were published in the late 19th century. Want to learn more? Click here.
- American Meatloaf
- Chicken Cacciatora
- Jelly Beans
- Funnel Cake
- Cotton Candy
- Ice Cream Sundaes
- Cracker Jacks
The clothing of those days in San Francisco and New York was quite dapper. At the time women looked to Paris for fashion while men looked to London. That should give you a pretty good idea of what high society dressed like. Not everyone could afford a tailor, though, so for everyone else, clothes were made at home.
If you look at the streetcar photo above you can get a good idea of the clothing in San Francisco at the time.
Surrounding San Francisco were ranchers and cowboys. So, dressing as a rancher or cowboy would be acceptable as well.
One of my favorite movies is Tombstone, said to be one of the most authentic Western movies ever made when it came to props and clothing (storyline, not so much).
Here’s a couple of crafts that fit right into the timeline.
A thaumatrope is a toy that was popular in the 19th century. A disk with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string (or rubber band). When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to blend into one due to the persistence of vision. Wikipedia
Children have been making yarn dolls for a very long time – probably as long as yarn has been around. They were popular in the 19th century as well. Though yarn dolls can be quite elaborate, click on the image below for a great tutorial on how to make basic ones like you see below.
Celebrations and Events
4th of July
BBQ, fireworks and American pride. Is there anything left to say?
A lot of camps already do small carnivals. It’s said that the first traveling carnival was inspired by the Chicago World’s Fair area called the Midway Plaisance where there were games of chance, sideshows, wild west shows and more. They even had the first Ferris Wheel.