Social Activities

Years ago the people would gather mainly in the homes to enjoy an evening of singing, dancing and story-telling. Their social life was limited because the people worked until 6 o’clock at night except on Sunday. Sometimes on Saturday night they would take the family drive with the horse and buggie. Some instruments they used for their gatherings was the juice harp, fiddle and harmonica.

In the afternoon the ladies held an occasional quilting, knitting or sewing party. In this respect we can see how everyone worked with each other. Whenever a neighbor built a home or barn all the people were willing to give a hand.

The center of the village was the church. It was here that an exchange of news occurred and everything that happened during the week was discussed. Every family came wearing the best fixings. People seldom missed services and many young children attended Sunday School. The church didn’t have much to offer the teens but it was basically the school where they gathered. There were special Christmas programs, meetings and a “School Fair”.

Simon Bean opened a closed-in rink in 1910 located at the bottom of the Lockstead Hill. Bands would arrive from Newcastle on the Whooper (train) at 6 o’clock. Hockey games would be held here as well and a team from Chatham would come up. It was some real recreation for the citizens in Blackville but unfortunately it burned the day before Christmas in 1914. Before and after the time the rink was here, the villagers would shovel off the millpond for skating and playing hockey. Other winter activities included sleigh rides, tobogganing, snow-balling and sleigh rides.

In the summer there were fundraising picnics, strawberry festivals, basket socials and concerts by church groups. Touring groups gave concerts in all the small towns. The circus that came here traveled from one place to another by train.  It was usually held around the end of June.

The villagers held Easter and Christmas dances. Each year they had a fair and people bought their products. The women brought their jams and quilts and everything was judged. There would be a dance to follow that night. This was held at the rye field; the present day area known as Digby Lane. These were organized by the Agricultural Society and was held in October.

< Back to Main History