Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
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@ElizaBTweetin: September 5, 1872: Back from Vacation

Posted on September 6, 2013

Eliza Wheaton's Diary, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 1872

Eliza Wheaton's Diary, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 1872

Eliza Baylies Wheaton has returned to her busy fall schedule, and so have we!  Cooler, drier weather has replaced August's heat and humidity, just as it did in 1872.  Visiting friends and relations have returned to their homes, and the students have arrived on campus for the new term. Just as we have been meeting with faculty members to plan course activities, Eliza met with Mrs. Metcalf and Misses Carter and Mellus to learn about fall plans for the Seminary.

Louise_Abbéma's "A Game of Croquet", 1872

Louise Abbéma's "A Game of Croquet", 1872

We like to keep the idea of summer alive, however, with late season visits to the beach or camping, and Mrs. Wheaton did the same, by playing the (then) brand-new game of croquet.  First adopted by New York high society, croquet soon gained popularity across the country, and was one of the first games to be played together by women and men. Mrs. Wheaton seems to have played it for the first time during her New Hampshire vacation, and she continued to enjoy the game after returning home.  By the late 1870s, lawn tennis gained in popularity, while interest in croquet waned, partly because it became associated with drinking, gambling, and worse, philandering!  Boston clergy condemned the game as "immoral", and suggested it be banned!

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