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Christmas in Adair County, 1930

By JIM

Despite the Depression settling in deeper each day, the Christmas spirit seemed to abound in Adair County in 1930.

As the 25th approached, the Girls Reserve, a group of high school students under the sponsorship of Miss Mary Lucy Lowe, gladdened many a heart by going from house to house singing Christmas carols.

The Columbia Woman's Club voted to contribute twenty-five dollars "toward charity work among the poor and needy during the Christmas season." The News commented that "through their efforts the hearts of many poor little children...will be gladdened." And too, a committee of members from within this club joyously put up and decorated two trees on the courthouse lawn, one on the Burkesville Street side, the other facing Campbellsville Street. The News commented about the beauty of the trees and decorations, saying, "At night they glisten with many colored electric lights and add a festive appearance to the down-town section of Columbia."

Mr. N.P. Bray bought and delivered to his wife of seven weeks a stunning gift, "a beautiful new Marmon-Roosevelt coupe." (These snazzy little darlin's, produced in Indianapolis, sported a rumble seat and V-8 engine.)

The News, ever in support of all things Adair Countian, quipped that "One of the best methods of holiday decoration, is to decorate your home and yourself with the very fine goods to be bought in the home stores of Columbia." Among the merchants offering seasonal wares were:


  • Royse & Royse (Variety Store)
  • Barger Bros. "Everything for the Holiday Table"
  • Royal Cafe
  • J.M. Barnes Bakery
  • I.G.A., the Columbia Cash Store "Plain and Fancy Groceries for the Xmas Table"
  • Broaddus Grocery
  • Miss Lula Jones (clothing and housewares)
Several other businesses offered seasons greetings, among them Crawford-Gatlin Department Store, Bennett Motor Co., and Lerman Bros.

Shortly after Christmas, several community correspondents reported that "Christmas passed off quietly" in their respective corners of the county. In the fashion of the times, the chief goings on included social and family gatherings, Christmas trees at various school houses, weddings, and of course, church services. Of the latter, the Burton Ridge reporter stated thus:

"The prayer service on the Saturday night before Christmas [December 21] partook of the nature of a Christmas Candlelight Service. The matchless Christmas story from Luke 2:8-20 was the thought around which the service centered. Miss Custer had a touching Christmas story to tell us. At least fifty were present, in spite of the unfavorable weather."

(Two years earlier, the Burton Ridge correspondent had referred to Miss Margaret Custer, a native of Minnesota, as "the splendid, capable, and consecrated community worker, who has come to live at and to help in this community center.")

Merry Christmas, everyone!


This story was posted on 2020-12-25 09:50:00
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A Cheerful Christmas is Assured



2020-12-25 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy JIM.
This ad appeared in the December 23, 1930 edition of The News. Royce & Royce first drew mention in the paper in July 1928. Their ad from mid-December 1932 described their Christmas wares as "the most wonderful selection of gifts and toys that we have ever shown before."

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