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Jersey City And Its Historic Sites

By Harriet Phillips Eaton
Published 1899

This Web version, edited by GET NJ

New Years

The great holiday of the year, looked forward to alike by the old people, young men and maidens and the children, was New Year's Day. Christmas was observed by a service at the church, and not by gifts and friendly reunions; all the jollity was reserved for New Year's day. Then the mother or the grandmother brought out the bag of Spanish silver dollars, and each child was allowed to take out one as a New Year's gift. In every house was a store of "oley koecks" and New Year's cakes, a sort of "jumble" or cookey, in shape either oblong or round, stamped with a design of a vine, or bird, or flower, from a wooden stamp ; these were kept ready to give to the bands of visiting children who went from house to house wishing the residents a "Happy New Year." The young people went for long sleighrides to neighboring towns, or friendly calls; the older people made visits in the evening, dropping in upon their friends without an invitation and staying to supper. After the New Year's festivities, the "quilting parties" were the favorite social entertainment, when the young women spent the afternoon in quilting the elaborate patch work or other quilts; some were made of homespun woolen cloth and instead of cotton, wool was used as a filling, and the quilting was in most elaborate designs of vines and flowers. The young men came to supper and the evening was spent in games and dancing. Then came the "Husking bees" in the fall, varied by occasional "Apple-paring bees," but the latter were more unusual. The women made occasional afternoon visits, guests coming soon after the mid-day dinner and staying to tea.

Table of Contents

Jersey City History
Your Ancestors' Story
Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Shore Rock Haven!

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

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