How did our Victorian-American ancestors select a turkey? How did they roast it (without a Reynold’s Oven Bag)? Were their Thanksgiving Dinner side dishes as complicated as restaurant menus made them appear?
Harvest Celebrations from the mid- to latter-half of the 19th century, as reported in newspapers in the United States, show the different types of “Harvest Customs” celebrated. Some customs and words were borrowed from various German immigrants, others were simple gatherings after the work of the harvest with time for thanksgiving and gratitude for adequate (or abundant) food to last until next harvest season.