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Thanksgiving in the Soo - 100 Years Ago

Craig Huckerby for local2 sault ste. marie
October 8th, 2012 at 3:06pm | Last Updated at 3:45pm


Clergue Block House on grounds of Paper Mill, three bears and lady in foreground - 1900
Would this considered a "bear sighting" back then?
Credit: Sault Ste. Marie Museum

As many of you sit down for a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings , it was quite a different story what may have been on the dinner table 100 years ago. Being that it is our centennial year of becoming a city, we took a look to see how Thanksgiving was all those years ago.

Just like today, those preparing the Thanksgiving meal had their work cut out for them - just a lot more work and likely for a lot more people than today's standards.

First of all it was more likely to be a chicken dinner than a turkey. The chickens were smaller birds and could fit in the ovens in most Sault Ste. Marie kitchens at the turn of the century.

But you may have also enjoyed some rather odd dishes on the dinner table back then.

Sheepshead with Hollandaise sauce. This was a fish dish , but it doesn't sound too appetizing anyway

Pigeon pie. A sort of meat pie in a pastry. How about Broiled quail on toast?

There was no doubt an abundance of fresh vegetables with many having their own large vegetable gardens and with many farms in the area.


Looking west along Queen St. near corner of East St. - 1880
Credit: Sault Ste. Marie Museum

But for those that didn't grow their own vegetables or for those that needed more ingredients the downtown was home to many stores with fresh produce and meat.

Just as the dinner table offerings have changed so has the meaning of Thanksgiving over the the last century.

One of the first organized national celebration of thanks dates back to Thursday, January 10 1799 In signal victory over our enemy and for the manifold and inestimable blessings which our Kingdoms and Provinces have received and daily continue to receive

Over the years though other reasons were given to celebrate the holiday and the harvest.

The holiday moved to the autumn period dating back to Thursday, 6 Nov. 1879 Blessings of an abundant harvest was the reason for the holiday.

The date of the holiday has changed from January to April to June , October and November. In 1957 Thanksgiving officially settled on mid October in Canada with the reason given, For general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings
with which the people of Canada have been favoured.

Photos of Sault Ste. Marie courtesy the Sault Ste. Marie Museum.

Likely a top at the Plummer's store to find what you're looking for , for you Thanksgiving Dinner - Plummer Store at "Plummer's Corners", NE corner of Queen & Pim streets (where Diplomat Hotel is today) - 1900
Credit: Sault Ste. Marie Museum

If you were travelling out of the city you likely needed to stop at the Trading Post for your Thanksgiving Day drive. Trading Post and Texaco Gas Station, Hwy. 17 N., Sault Ste. Marie - 1940

Credit: Sault Ste. Marie Museum


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