Monday, February 15, 2016


Dr. McDonald, an Irishman and one of the leading physicians in Lawrence County in the 1840’s, married Mary Small, in opposition to her father, John Small, early mill owner in the county. She was quite young, and it was the Doctor’s third marriage.  This brought out the worst charivari (chivaree)  ever in the County. According to Sumner Press, “The bell was taken off school house and rang. Pigs were captured and after squealing outside for a time, the windows of the house were raised and pigs dropped inside; in fact everything which could be thought of to make a noise and annoy was used, many present being under the influence of liquor.”

Did you know that not everyone knew what a chivaree was when the editors of the Wedding Book started researching the topic.  It seems to be fairly common around this part of the country, perhaps not in these times, but in past times. You didn't necessarily have to be drunk but apparently that helped, both for those giving and those being chivareed.  (If you want to know who else was 'chivareed' you should check out the newest Society publication. Wedding through the Ages.  You can purchase it for $60 at the Museum or on-line.)