Ways Young People Had Fun in the Early 1800s

Ways Young People Had Fun in the Early 1800s

Did you know …


It wasn’t all hard work for the early pioneers. Those living in the country found ways to have fun, sometimes in the midst of hard work.

Corn Huskings

Corn Huskings were popular fall events. A farmer harvested corn from the stalks and gathered these in the barn. He then invited young people to help husk the corn. They divided into teams and selected captains to see which team finished first. When one of the guys found a red ear, he was free to kiss the girl beside him. Sometimes rascals brought a red ear to the event to ensure a free kiss!

Log rolling and wood chipping

Young men attended log rollings and wood chippings during the day while females gathered to sew. Everyone got back together for supper. This time ended in a party, sometimes with dancing.

A fiddler played for dances

A fiddler played lively tunes such as French Four, Virginia Reel, the Jig, and the Hoe Down for dancers.

Some neighborhoods didn’t host dances. These young people put on plays.

Singing Schools

Singing schools, held every winter and attended by everyone, employed a teacher for a specific number of lessons. Young people filled sleighs with straw for fun sleighing parties and sang as they rode along.

Debating Societies

Debating Societies met on winter evenings. Young and old debated topics of the day such as, “Who deserves greater credit, Christopher Columbus or George Washington?”

-Sandra Merville Hart



Welker, Martin. 1830’s Farm Life in Central Ohio, Clapper’s Print, 2005.



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