HARVEST HOME MEMORIES



THE HARVEST HOME BUILDING - ERECTED IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY FOR THE PREPARATION OF SUPPERS SERVED ON AN AUGUST EVENING EACH YEAR

The Old Tennent Harvest Home brings a flood of memories as it was a big yearly event when I was a  little girl. At that time I believe it was the only special activity of the whole year ... People came from far and near to attend and partake of a wonderful Harvest Home supper. I think for a few years they served around 1500 or 1600 suppers. Can you imagine?

But when I think of the preparations made previous to the event, I can now see it was largely a matter of pre-planning. I remember well how Dad used to load up the old G. M. C. truck and take some of the things Mother thought she must have to get along at her table. She even had a cupboard made to stand near one end of her table, and she made curtains for the cupboard so that flies did not get on her cakes. They took chairs and other needed articles along with many milk cans filled with water. I assume this was for coffee making as we had excellent water on the farm where I was raised.

This all took place in the morning. Then in the afternoon the food would be taken down. The weather was a most important concern for the day, as July can be very hot with threatening thunderstorms always to be considered. However, I do recall a couple of evenings when there was a deluge of rain, which played havoc with most everything. The rain would cause the tent to sag and the men would force the water off the top by long poles. The water would go splashing to the ground.  

With the arrival of the band, the pace of the event quickened and lasted until late in the evening. For many years Goodwin's Band from Cranbury supplied the music.  During the band concert, ice cream was served ... In my teen years I always worked in the ice cream section along with several other girls of my age. There was also a stand that sold many kinds of candies. The box chocolates were usually donated by several candy companies. There was also a lemonade stand at which lemonade was made in a large wooden barrel.

The Harvest Home was usually a very successful affair due to the large crowds attending. However, with all of the hard work by the men and women of the congregation I am sure it was also one of the happiest of occasions.

Mrs. Eleanor Craig Hutchinson
October 23, 1983

 

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