The 1912 Harvest Home Fete, part 2 – A.B. Frost, Neighborhood League

The poster drawing which was used in various ways in connection with the printing for the Harvest Home Fete, held on the Charles S. Walton estate in 1915, was the joint work of a world-famous artist, A. B. Frost, and his son, John Frost. It was their contribution to the gala affair which made more than $3,500 for the Neighborhood League, which had then been established only three years. Mr. Frost and his family had become residents of Wayne in 1914, the year before the Fete was given. Posters for the affair, which had a wide distribution along the entire Main Line, were the generous contribution of a Wayne resident, Benjamin F. James, 3d, president of the Franklin Printing Company, of Philadelphia.

The drawing made by the Frosts represented a farmer silhouetted against the setting sun, a sheaf of grain under his arm, a sickle in his hand. This drawing decorated the cover of the attractive little booklet used as an invitation to the fete, as well as the tags given each person upon payment of an admission fee. It was also used on the outside cover of the elaborate programs printed for this occasion. Beautiful pictures of the Walton estate were scattered throughout this booklet, all used through the courtesy of the architect, D. Knickerbocker Boyd, or the landscape architects, Sears and Wendell. Among the former is a picture reproduced in the May 4 issue of “The Suburban” in connection with the sale of “Walmarthon.”

That such an elaborate program paid for itself is witnessed by page after page of advertising inserted by both local and city firms. Many of the former are still in business some 36 years later. Among those that are only memories are T. T. Worall & Sons, grocers; C. W. Lynam, carpenter and builder; Edgar Jones, meats; George Fox, Jr., plumbing and ventilating; Henry B. Walton, caterer and confectioner, of Bryn Mawr; Harry L. LaDow, apothecary; John Harazim, watchmaker and jeweler; Wendell and Treat, real estate; Welsh and Park, Hardware; I. V. Hale, meats and groceries and David H. Henderson, sea food. The present Philadelphia Electric Company was then known as the Counties Gas and Electric Company.

Those responsible for the general decorating scheme for all the booths at the Fete were Mrs. Louis Jacquette Palmer, Mrs. William H. Stone, Mrs. W. H. Robers, Jr., Mrs. Clarence K. Underhill, Mrs. C. W. Lincoln and Miss Margaret Hardesty.

In addition to the booths described in last week’s column there were many others. The Berwyn booth, under the direction of Mrs. William Paul Morris, assisted by an able committee, had “New England Dainties” as its specialty. These included fishballs, doughnuts, pots of Boston baked beans with loaves of brown bread, mince and pumpkin pies and tumblers of crabapple jelly. The Strafford booth, under the chairmanship of Mrs. A. Von Bernuth, assisted by Mrs. Robert S. Brodhead and Mrs. Frederick Jiggens, specialized in canned fruit and jellies, all of the home-made variety. Women from the Central Baptist Church of Wayne, working under Mrs. Thomas E. Walton, had charge of the Infants Booth. Donations for this came in “from Maine to California,” among them “a rare piece of Canton in the form of a Chinese baby’s bath tub, a beautiful antique.” The committee from the Wayne Presbyterian Church was in charge of the candy booth, all of the products of which were of the home-made variety. Mrs. Alvin P. McCarter, assisted by a very large committee, was responsible for this booth.

In those days there were two Presbyterian churches in Wayne, the more recently founded one being the Radnor Presbyterian Church, with its small edifice on the northwest corner of Windermere and Louella avenues, on the site now occupied by the Wayne Grammar school. This church took an active part in the Fete, establishing not only the household booth, but also presenting an “Autumn Leaves Party” by its Primary Class. This was directed by Mrs. W. Austin Obdyke, assisted by Mrs. Harold Freeman, Miss Lyons and Miss Josephine Scott. A list of “smy fry” who participated in this party makes interesting reading at this date! Among them were John Howson, Mary Douglas Lyons, Bun Peterson, Richard Keator, Thomas Willey, Charles Scherr, Ivan Dufur, Marion Schofield, Evelyn and Dorothea Waples, Erica Stahlknecht and Elizabeth Howson.

Dolls and toys were features at the Saturday Club booth with Mrs. A. R. Elliot as its chairman. Among those serving on her large committee were Mrs. Henry Roever, Mrs. William B. Riley, Mrs. W. Allen Barr and Mrs. P. S. Conrad. St. Katarine’s Church chose a “General Attraction Table” with Mrs. Clarence Tolan as the chair-man. The Wayne Methodist Church served ice cream and cake on the lawn near the Log Cabin with Mrs. Charles B. Stilwell in charge. The First Baptist Church had the cake table, under the leadership of Mrs. A. W. Childs and her large committee. The Garden Club of Wayne had a “Gypsy Camp”, where fortune telling was the order of the day. Arrangements for this were mad by Mrs. Charles Quimby and a number of other garden lovers.

“Country Produce” was sold at the booth manned by a group of Friends, among them Miss Sara Thomas, Mrs. J. S. C. Harvey, Miss Mary Hibbard, Mrs. Edwin Thomas and Mrs. Charles Edgarton. Radnor residents operating under Mrs. Isaac Clothier, Jr., Mrs. John Kent Kane and Mrs. George E. Starr, wold flowers at their booth. The W. C. T. U. specialized in waffles and sausages.

(To be continued)