(Editor's note: This is the latest installment from the Tyler County Planning Commission in conjunction with the Tyler County Bicentennial.)
There is a tendency to think of our ancestors as reserved, with a subdued sense of humor. But it only takes a little research to learn that our predecessors could laugh and party with the best of us.
An example: The retirement party held for Mr. G.T. Braden. Mr. Braden's historical significance is his role in the construction of Eureka's "Braden's Station," which was the company's main natural gas pipeline compression station. A very large installation for its day, the station, competed in 1890, was located on Indian Creek, near present day Lima, at the foot of Braden Hill.
Construction of oil and gas pipelines during the 1890’s was labor intensive, with much of the work being performed hand tools and human muscle. These men worked hard, and as the tales of their era tell, played hard.
The following article from the The Wheeling Register, dated July 11, 1895, supports the fact that organizers and attendees of the retirement party in honor of Mr. G.T. Braden, were not only fun loving, but very clever. Pay close attention to the menu items and their reference to pipeline terms and locations. (All spelling and grammar unaltered from the original publishing.)
An Enjoyable Function Last Evening.
The Reception in Honor of G. T. Braden the Biggest Event in The History of the Town
Special Correspondence of the Register.
Sistersville, W.Va., July 10.
The reception and dance given last night by the employees of the Eureka and Buckeye pipeline companies, in honor of the retiring general superintendent, Mr. G. T. Braden, was the swellest society event in the history of the place. The boys spared no expense whatever in the preparations for the event, and as a consequence everything was done in first class order.
The reception and dance was held in the large and commodious hall above the Boyer's store, and the banquet was held at the Hotel Whittlesey. The large hall presented a very pretty appearance with the beautiful decorations. All around the hall were flowers and plants, and overhead, suspended from the chandeliers, were evergreen and amilax.
The reception commenced at 8 o'clock and continued until 9, at which time the dancing commenced. The Bellaire orchestra furnished the music for the occasion. Dancing was continued until midnight, at which time the guests all repaired to the Hotel Whittlesey, where they discussed a most sumptuous repast.
The menu follows:
En Bullon a la Marietta Division
Fillet of River Clamps
Loin of six-inch line with Corning gravey
Boiled Bungs with swedged nipples
Spring Pumps with Flanged Unions
Middle Island Punch
Shrimp a la Russe Sistersvilled Field
Sio Semper Tyrannis with Cross Tree
Lettuce Flange the Line
Coquettes of Thistle Station
Buckworth Checks with Mushrooms
Potatoes a la Pit Hole
Olives with New Castle Oil
German Slaw with long handled shovels
Saratoga Chips with tooth picks
Clarkes' Extra Dry
Bella of Sweeneyville
Piper Heidsick with three bars of Old Kentucky Home
Catawba-Port and Mosles Delight
Ice Cream with assorted Cakes, Fruits, etc
Mr. Braden, in whose honor the reception was given, has been in charge of the pipe lines since 1876, and in that time has been deservedly popular with every employee under him. A short time ago he was transferred from the transportation department to the producing department, and his fellow employees have taken this opportunity of showing their esteem for him. There were about fifty couple present, and one of the most pleasant times imaginable was spent. Among those from out of the city who attended were: H. L. Scrafford, E. G. Wright, J. G. Splain, all district superintendents of Pittsburg; N. Moore, Marietta, C. S. Colt, Marietta, R. Shannon, Burning Springs, George Galmich, Braden's Station. Besides the above parties, who are all pipe line officials, there were a large number of people present from other places, a special train having been run over the Ohio River road to bring the guests from Parkersburg and Marietta. The affair was all that could be desired, and those who had it in charge may well feel proud.