The Cadmans were host to many celebrations and social events throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. According to the Cadman Scrapbook, the family organized and presented many events throughout the year, including horse races, tennis tournaments, fund raisers and even hosted the Episcopal Bishop’s luncheon on his first visit to Narcoossee. While each event was extensively covered by the region’s newspapers, it is the Christmas celebration of 1889 that has captured our imaginations here at the Osceola County Historical Society.
Christmas celebrations in Narcoossee began at the school house with musical entertainment and possibly dancing. Afterwards, invited guests would wind their way down the darkened town paths to the cheerily lit grounds of Cadman complex for Christmas Eve dinner. “The dining room, with its rows of burdened tables, swinging Chinese lanterns, tufts of gaily colored bunting, lavish sprinkling of the time-honored Holly and other seasonable evergreens (not to omit the seductive mistletoe), presented a peculiarly fascinating scene…As is usual the proverbial effects of good cheer soon gave themselves vent in words, and Mr. Grinstead opened the verbal ball with a brief request that the healths of (Lt) Col. and Mrs. Cadman, be drank with musical honors, a request which, needless to say, was most enthusiastically and vociferously acceded to in brimming bumpers of excellent champagne” (Osceola News: Dec 1889 as quoted in Tom Woods Report).
As the holiday season is upon us, OCHS is busy decking the halls of the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek in traditional 19th century Christmas décor.
Sources: Tom Woods report (99-100).