Saturday, October 25, 2014
I've heard the term "basket social" all my life, but never paid much attention to what it meant. I knew it was a "Music Man" era kind of thing--a popular early 1900's fund raisers. According to write ups in the Pierz Journal and Little Falls Herald, basket or box socials were a great way to meet, flirt, and socialize with the opposite sex, and only incidentally to make some cash for a worthy cause. So how did it work?
Evidently, the girls made up 'anonymous' picnic baskets with dinner for two, trying to make them as irresistible as possible. The baskets would be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and he would not only win the basket, but the right to eat with the girl who donated it. No doubt much giggling ensued. Hey, it actually sounds like fun!
So, here's just one report of a successful event at St Michaels church in Buckman, in 1911. (Looks like everyone knew that Pauline Beka and John Schmolke were already 'an item' ☺).