The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


    This is the way they do timid virgins and modest young men in Jacksonville. (Jacksonville, however, is in Oregon.*):--

    A young (but very simple) woman, anxious for a husband, was married to an individual of undoubted character (laziness being the most prominent), by a fictitious ceremony. After the happy couple had retired, their ears were greeted by a splendid serenade of cow bells, tin pans, bones, etc. The door was then opened, the loving couple "en deshabille" compelled to kiss each other, the connubial bedstead was fractured, and finally, in the morning, the husband left with a pack train.
Shasta Courier, Shasta, California, April 28, 1855, page 3    *To distinguish it from Jacksonville, California.

A Waldo Serenade.
    But this excitement was nothing to the excitement [occasioned] on the night of the 31st, about eleven o'clock, by the report that one of the proprietors of the Logan House, G. Logan, was about to be married to Mrs. Gilman, formerly of your city. The ceremony had not been commenced when might be seen creeping from almost every house in town the inmates, with such musical instruments in the shape of cans, fry pans, tin kettles, bells, gongs &c., as a mining town only affords, to accompany him from the squire's to his own house, keeping up the noise until morning, but the best joke of all was on the squire who married them. He stood with downcast eyes to perform the ceremony, the personification of disappointed hopes, his conduct saying that the bride, the woman he loved, was now to be parted from him forever. But manfully he performed his duty, and in the twinkling of an eye the table in the room represented a battlefield, with all varieties of wine drawn up on one side, strong liquor on the other, and cigars for the temperate in the middle, although I am sorry to say there are no Dashaways here.
"Letter from Southern Oregon," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 13, 1859, page 1

    MUSIC.--The Jacksonville tin pan band gave the newly married couples a rousing benefit this week.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 14, 1873, page 3

    A crowd of the boys went up the valley from Ashland Wednesday evening to favor Danl. Walker and bride with a French serenade.

"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, February 5, 1886, page 3

    We had a wedding on the sly Sunday evening, the 25th ult. The contracting parties were Joseph Rader and Miss Rachel Stanley. Everything was kept so still that it was not known until last Sunday, a week, that they were married, and then an attempt was made to raise a charivari party but the boys were so incredulous that, after working for several hours and riding several miles, they succeeded in raising a company of five, and the bride said they did not make noise enough to wake the children that were in the house, but they bled Joe to the tune of one dollar apiece.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point News," Valley Record, Ashland, February 5, 1891, page 3

    One of the lamented relics of barbarism that still offends modern civilization is the charivari. When the consummation of a marriage approaches, this modern organized society of bandits send a representative to the prospective bridegroom to inform him that he must supply them with whiskey, money or spend a night of hideous torture, to the discordant din and howl of the charivari. This ends in a drunken brawl at a free joint or brewery where oftentimes very small boys are led into it by the supposed harmlessness of the fun. How long will peaceable law-abiding citizens suffer these things? How long will official dignity transcend the sacred obligations of a public trust, by becoming silent witnesses to such things? Hasten the time when cometh the bridegroom who will hand the charivari over to offended justice, and the officer who will protect the morals of the youth by commanding the public peace.

"Jacksonville Items," Medford Mail, January 14, 1892, page 2

    Mr. and Mrs. Theising were the recipients of a lively serenade on Monday evening at the hands of the Jacksonville tin-can brigade. The boys were royally treated by the happy couple and drank to their health many times before retiring.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 29, 1892, page 3

    Boys, give up that chivaree business. Remember, it isn't dignified, and also remember that there are ripe eggs quite aplenty nowadays. We hope that every boy that attends one of these meetings will get a goodly number to himself.
"Griffin Creek Gatherings," Medford Mail, March 3, 1893, page 3

    Jacksonville was awakened last night by an old-fashioned charivari party, the first one which has made its appearance here in a long time.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 1, 1893, page 3

    'Squire Dunlap was decked out in his best "bib and tucker" last Wednesday and looked gorgeous when he tied the matrimonial knot which binds together Thos. Carr and Mrs. M. A. Laist, at the latter's residence. He officiated so nicely that the bride and groom felt even happier because his services had been secured. In the evening Mr. and Mrs. Carr were treated to an old-fashioned charivari, and they responded in pioneer fashion. They have the congratulations and best wishes of numerous friends.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 8, 1893, page 3

    Last Monday night the good people of Gold Hill concluded to serenade Dr. and Mrs. Pryce on the event of their wedding. Accordingly, the band boys, headed by I. Deboy, leader; assisted by T. E. Hammersley, alto; Orris Crawford, baritone; Geo. Bryant, snare drum; Walter Bryant, first cornet; F. Bleven, second cornet; Bert Thomas, cornet; R. Fitzgerald, 2d tenor; Alec Carter, bass; Frank Parker, first alto; Henry Ray, bass drum; Geo. Carter, tenor, headed the procession. After the band came Mr. Ray, wife and daughter Lora, Mr. A. J. Barlow, wife and daughter Nellie, Mrs. Crawford, the Misses Katie Parker, Inez Fitzgerald, Maggie Hammersley and Ollie Marksberry, Messrs. Bart, Signorotti, H. Mansfield and last, but not least, W. P. Jacoby, who acted as master of ceremonies. On arriving at the premises the band struck up the wedding march and discoursed some excellent music. In fact, it may be said the boys fairly outstepped themselves. The doors were opened, and all invited into the spacious parlors. The doctor and his amiable wife were taken completely by surprise. The doctor, whose powers as a physician are acknowledged, was not a success as a parlor orator. He undertook to make a speech, but frankly confessed that he was not a speech maker. Mrs. Pryce, however, went to his rescue and said some very pleasant things. Mrs. Pryce was born and raised near Gold Hill, and on account of her womanly ways and genuine, true goodness has endeared herself to all who know her. The doctor presented the band boys with ten dollars for refreshment expenses, and after hearty congratulations and a pleasant good night, the crowd wended their way to their respective homes.
"Gold Hill Items," Ashland Tidings, September 15, 1893, page 2

    The Jacksonville tin can brigade was fooled once. They thought to treat Tom Clemmens to a first-class charivari last week, but he could not be found.
    The tin can brigade was in its glory last night. Another newly married couple and the entire neighborhood were inflicted with a charivari, which custom should be abolished instanter.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 22, 1893, page 3

    The tin pan brigade of Griffin Creek ran against a snag the other evening while serenading a newly married couple in that section. After they had made the night hideous for awhile, without eliciting any response, one of the number climbed up to look into a window. When he had reached the window and looked in, he found himself gazing into the muzzle of a revolver that looked as big as one of the turret guns on the Monterey. The company promptly broke ranks and departed.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 27, 1893, page 3

    Out on Griffin Creek last week the boys gave a newly married couple a tin pan serenade. Meeting with no response from the inside, one of the bold ones of the crowd ventured to raise a window which, unfortunately for him, was located immediately over the sleeping couch of the house's occupants. A white-robed form rose before him, and he was looking down the gleaming barrel of a large-sized revolver--he fell to the ground and was quickly hustled away by his comrades. The rattle-te-bang of tin pans didn't rattle-te-bang any more that night, and the young men of the neighborhood are now endeavoring to cultivate a little better sense of propriety.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, October 27, 1893, page 3

    The tin-pan brigade, having snuffed that two marriages are on the tapis, was out in force last night, getting in trim for the next charivari. The music was serenely excruciating.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 24, 1893, page 3

    The residence of Hon. W. S. Crowell, at whose place are stopping his son and bride, was the scene of a merry serenade party last Friday evening. The house doors were thrown open and the serenaders invited to enter, which invitation was accepted, and the young couple together with the clever captain entertained their company in a most hospitable manner, and all were glad of the opportunity to be there.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, December 15, 1893, page 3

Charivari Run Riot.
    The tin-pan brigade was on the rampage last Monday night and "made Rome howl." Anvil shooting was a new feature introduced, and pandemonium reigned supreme for some time. Even the marshal could not quell the disturbance. The boys forgot the sick and dying, or probably they would not have been so noisy. They should have been satisfied with a plain charivari under those circumstances. Such conduct will not bear repetition, for the strong arm of the law will be invoked.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 29, 1893, page 3

He Gave Them a Reception.
    Last week we mentioned the marriage of G. W. Williams. There was a little incident connected with it that we neglected to mention because of space. It seems that some of the boys about town had concluded that a charivari would be the one thing most proper to celebrate the occasion. They accordingly drew nigh unto Mr. W.'s place of residence, and at the first rattle-te-bang from their tin pans the gentleman opened his house door, and himself and son appeared on the scene with a basket of eggs which they hurled with unerring aim at the heads of the intruders. This quited their frolicsome notions, and they departed with great fleetness of foot, but unfortunately some of them collided with the embrace of Marshal Churchman, who had sauntered over that way to quiet any disturbance that might arise, but Mr. Williams, in the dusk of evening, knew not the difference between friend or foe, and the marshal felt a full-grown egg go ker-slam alongside of his hatband--and the marks are there yet. The serenade was brought to a very abrupt and sudden close, and to the credit of Mr. Williams, be it said he did himself proud. The only thing to be regretted is that the eggs were not back numbers. When the boys get funny and engage in sports of this nature a harmless, yet forcible, chastisement of this sort is the medicine they most need.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, April 20, 1894, page 3

    Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Schermerhorn came to Medford last Thursday, and from that day they dated their permanent residence in the city. Their residence, on North D Street, was not furnished entire, and the first night here they secured rooms at a neighbor's house, but the boys who met in that locality for a charivari didn't know this. Mr. S. had left a lamp burning in the house, which was the misleading evidence that led the boys to make not less than 700 gyrations about the house. By actual count there were eleven hundred and two instruments in the band that played to the amusement of an empty house. After several selections had been rendered there was a lull--to watch developments--but there didn't anything develop. Someone suggested that perhaps the newly married couple were not there. "Yes, they are," says another--"see that light." And there came another salute from the eleven hundred and two tin pans--but it didn't pan, and each of the serenaders went home by a back way.
Medford Mail, September 20, 1895, page 4

    It was a decidedly happy little party that was congregated in Medford on Wednesday of this week to witness the marriage ceremony which linked the hearts and hands of E. R. Peck, of Lake Creek, and Miss Susie Demmer, of this city. The ceremony took place in the Presbyterian Church and was performed by Rev. M. A. Williams. About fifty relatives and friends were present, and after the ceremony they all adjourned to the residence of the bride's father, Mr. M. Demmer, where the afternoon and evening were pleasantly spent in banqueting and making merry the occasion being celebrated. A dance was part of the evening program. A charivari party of about sixty young men, with Dan Waldroop as captain, organized about nine o'clock the same evening and very orderly marched to Mr. Demmer's residence, where two violins, a clarinet and other musical instruments were brought to good use in giving these people a lively serenade. After music and songs the party were invited in the house and given refreshments. A little more music, a few songs and three cheers for the newly married couple, and the serenaders came townward again. They were a happy, gentlemanly and entirely orderly crowd of boys. The young people who have occasioned this item are "just splendid" folks, and the celebration in their honor is but a fitting remembrance of their many virtues. The groom is a son of Henry Peck, of Lake Creek.
Medford Mail, September 27, 1895, page 8

    Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Pearce returned to Eagle Point last Saturday night, and the ladies of the community gathered together and called upon them. Mr. and Mrs, Pearce expected something of that kind so they went to Mrs. Thomas', but little Ida Grigsby met the crowd and told them where they were. The first thing they knew they were surrounded by a charivari party composed almost entirely of ladies. They had Constable Pool and one or two others gentlemen along in case they were needed, but Floyd capitulated on demand. As he was expecting a party of boys instead of ladies, he was not prepared for them, so under guard of one man he was marched off to the store after the necessary candy and nuts. When the men returned the company repaired to Mr. Fryer's, where the remainder of the evening was pleasantly spent. The next morning my little daughter, Agnes, presented me with a large package of candy and nuts, with compliments of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Pearce. Floyd also ordered the Mail so that Mrs. Pearce can keep posted as to what is going on around her old home.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, July 29, 1898, page 5

    Medford people witnessed, or rather listened to, a good, old-fashioned charivari Thursday night, when a number of the boys who love fun, and who were under the guardianship of Sam Murray, gathered around the home of Ernest Elliott and his bride. Giant firecrackers, drums, tin cans and anything that would make a racket played an important part in the serenade. Anxious citizens were thrusting their heads out their bedroom windows in all parts of the city, but when the yell of triumph came which indicated that they had been invited inside to partake of delicious refreshments, the nervous people took a look under the bed and went back to pleasant dreams.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 23, 1899, page 5

    Photographer H. C. Mackey and Miss Mary L. Walker were married in Medford at 10 o'clock, on Sunday, Aug. 20th, Rev. O. J. Gist officiating. The ceremony took place at the living rooms of the groom, in the Hamlin block, in the presence of a few invited guests. Mr. Mackey is a prime favorite with all people of the town, he having become well acquainted with everybody during his several years' career here as a photographer. The bride is the handsome young daughter of Mrs. Mary Walker, of this city. The happy couple have experienced a continual flow of congratulations since the event of Sunday, and Mr. Mackey's male friends have been more than profuse in their demonstrations of good cheer. Those present at the wedding were Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Butler and Misses Cook and McCauley. Monday evening between the hours of ten and eleven a charivari party was organized and for a good half hour they made things decidedly interesting for the newly wedded couple. About twenty boys of the K. of P. lodge, of which Mr. Mackey is a member, left their lodge hall for the domicile of the bride and groom, and by the time they reached the scene of contemplated action about eighty townspeople had joined them and stealthily they filled the stairs and hallway leading to the couple's apartments. When all had assembled, Ed. Bodge gave a signal on Bob Dow's Filipino horn, and the ball opened. There were twenty-four cow bells, a large circular saw, several, or more, horns, and divers articles of a noisy tendency--all opened fire at the same time--and then the house roof raised about six inches. Mr. Mackey and his bride came out and shook hands with about seven hundred of the crowd, Mr. Mackey produced two boxes of cigars and provided for the purchase of other refreshments--of liquid form--and a serenade a couple of more times followed and the party adjourned--for refreshments.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 25, 1899, page 7

    QUITE A DIFFERENCE.--Last Saturday night the Black Serenaders gave a performance in this city, and Wednesday night the "White Serenaders," armed with tin pans, horns and just any old thing to make a noise were out to serenade A. S. Rosenbaum and wife who were married in this city several months ago and slipped away, fooling the boys so nicely. The boys kept hammering away for some time and finally gave it up as a bad job, not being able to raise their man.
Gold Hill News, September 9, 1899, page 5

The Barbarous Charivari a Thing of the Past.
Order-Loving Communities Are Doing Away with This
Idiotic Survival of Semicivilized Times.

    The ancient custom of charivari or shivaree, which still survives in rural sections of the United States, is not only a brutal one, but it led to a frightful tragedy near Watonga, O.T., a few days ago. A charivari party was serenading a bride and groom, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Higgins, and making deafening noises by beating on pans, etc, The couple appeared upon the porch and the groom ordered the serenaders to leave. One of the party pointed his gun at the young couple and fired. The bride's face and breast were filled with buckshot, and she died an hour later. The bridegroom was shot in the face, but not fatally, and a little brother of the bride was also wounded. The charivari party fled, and so far none has been arrested. This outrage should go far to put an end forever to a custom that long ago should have become obsolete.
    The word charivari, which in local American usage is frequently corrupted into chivaree or shivaree, comes from a French word of uncertain origin, signifying a mock serenade. In France, particularly in the southern districts, serenades produced by kettles, frying pans and horns, and accompanied by shouts and cries, given under the windows of newly married couples, or inflicted upon persons who had made themselves socially or politically unpopular, were a popular custom, but popular rather among the givers than the receivers of such dubious compliments. Such concerts were styled charivari, and by expansion the term is now applied to any tumultuous discord. The custom is traceable to a very high antiquity, and still survives in spots throughout the French provinces. The same sort of concert in Germany is called katzenmusik (cat's music), and in England rough music.
    The charivari in France was originally extended to all bridal couples, but more recently was limited to widows or widowers who remarried too hastily, to couples among whom an unusual disparity of age existed, or to such other unions as were either ridiculous or unpopular. Cases of notorious domestic infelicity or infidelity called forth similar expressions of neighborly disapproval.
    In medieval times in many European countries a wife who beat her husband was placed upon a donkey, with her back to its head; its tail was grasped by the henpecked spouse, and thus they paraded through the streets greeted with shouts and cries and beating of tin pans. Here possibly was the germ idea of the charivari.
    At the beginning of the seventeenth century charivaris were forbidden by the council of Tours under pain of excommunication. The French parliament was against the custom, but neither church nor state was able to put an end to the custom.
    The French inhabitants of Louisiana and Canada, and also the Dutch settlers in New York and Pennsylvania, brought the custom to America, and through them it was pretty generally distributed over the United States where it still retains its hold on various rural communities under the name of shivaree.
    The hideous aggregation of sounds that go to make up a charivari is kept up until the bridegroom appears and treats his crowd of torturers. Should he delay his appearance too long, or attempt to wear out the crowd by a refusal to appear, the outside company is apt to become riotous, and often stones are hurled through windows, and after them perhaps dead cats and rotten eggs.
    The firing of blank cartridges is also considered a fitting accompaniment to the music of tin pans, horse fiddles and horns, and the fatal ending of the recent case in Oklahoma was probably due to this idea, for murder could hardly have been intended. But the fool with a gun that he does not believe to be loaded is a very common and dangerous kind of fool. Asylums should be set apart for such fools.
    It is high time, indeed, that the communities in which the charivari still exists should take stringent measures to stamp out this idiotic survival of semi-barbarous times. That it still does survive in certain communities only points to a lack of civilization and progress in such sections, though, indeed, the custom breaks out in unexpected spots at times.--N.Y. Herald.
Medford Mail, October 27, 1899, page 8

    There was a quiet wedding at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. O. P. McGee, on Wednesday night of last week, when Mr. James Hall, of Josephine County, and Mrs. Mollie Bays were joined in wedlock by Rev. J. P. Moomaw. There were none present except Mr. McGee's family, Wm. Ulrich, your correspondent and family and the officiating clergyman. After the ceremony was pronounced, all sat down to a fine supper which had been prepared for the occasion, and later we had some good vocal and instrumental music. It was arranged that on Thursday night Mr. McGee and family and the newly married couple were to be at our house, but only Mr. and Mrs. McGee came, the bride and groom remaining at home. About 7:30 in marched some ten or twelve ladies to tender their congratulations. A few minutes later an unearthly noise greeted our ears, and Mr. McGee and all the ladies rushed off to the scene of the action, where they found about twenty young men and boys who had with them everything that could be used to make a noise. Mr. and Mrs. Hall came outside and the crowd was treated to candy and nuts, after which they were invited into the parlor, where the evening was very pleasantly spent.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, December 14, 1900, page 5

    P. B. O'Neil was given a charivari party this week by about twenty of his friends, in this city, who are at present undecided who the joke is on. It all came about by some suspicious conduct on the part of P.B. He acted for several days as if he were contemplating some sort of change in his mode of living, and at past the time when his friends had decided that Cupid had at last brought him to terms, he was seen driving to the county seat in company with the party to whom his troth was supposed to have been plighted. This was taken as proof positive by the knowing ones that they had struck the right lead, and in order to convince him that they approved of his matrimonial venture, the friends above mentioned produced a supply of tin horns, cow bells, tin cans and other modern instruments of torture, and marching with stately tread to the East Side home of W. B. Roberts, where the supposed bride and groom were stopping, proceeded to make the welkin ring with music not at all like that produced by the soul-stirring and sainted Wagner. But Mr. O'Neil is still numbered among the "eligibles," and smiles blandly at the discomfiture of his serenaders.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 21, 1901, page 7

    A charivari party of young boys about town, who were gathering with their tin pans and other instruments for an invasion of the west side, had their plans rudely broken into by Officer Long, who made a raid upon a party and landed three of the youngsters in the city bastille. They were afterward released after a short incarceration. Several others pleaded so hard that they were let off with a lecture.--[Tidings.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 27, 1901, page 7

GORST-JOHNSON--At No. 16 Eldorado, Yukon Ter., August 6, 1901, Mr. Vergne C. Gorst and Miss Julia Johnson.
    Mr. Gorst is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. John Gorst, formerly of Morrison County, and who have many relatives still living here.
    On the night of the marriage thieves stole $600 from a sluice box on the claim Mr. Gorst had been working, the famous No. 16 Eldorado.
    The Dawson City Daily News says of the marriage:
    Wednesday night 16 Eldorado was stormed and captured by the biggest band ever recorded in the history of the territory. There were violins from 17, violins from the Forks, guitars and mandolins from Gold Hill and a larger number of trumpets varying from fish horn to the bassoon and from every claim within a mile. It was odd music, if music it can be called, which leaves such curious debris after the ball.
    The following morning every oyster can and dish pan and used-up gold pan heretofore lying loose between the Forks and 17 was found lying piled up on 16. Our reporter tried to write in his report the word "charivari" and after spelling it 16 different ways gave up the attempt, so it has to be surmised that the marriage Wednesday at the Forks of Mr. Vergne C. Gorst and Miss Julia Johnson was the cause of it all. What lends color to the supposition is the popularity of the same Mr. Gorst, for years panner on the same 16, which he now works on a lay; also the many charms of the bride, who, as a friend of the Berrys, from California, has become so favorably known in that neighborhood.
    The handsomely arranged cabin on 16 was all alight with the festivities when the invasion occurred. After playing what they declared was "Yankee Doodle," but which sounded like the last trump, the invaders were rendered harmless and jolly by an invitation to partake of good things in sight, which was done and without stint. Pity 'tis the band left so many of their instruments to litter the claim. However, an immense monument can be made of the pans and pots to remind friend Gorst in his married happiness that 'twas not ever thus.
Little Falls Herald, Little Falls, Minnesota, September 13, 1901, page 1

    Married--July 22, 1906, by A. L. Haselton, J.P., Mr. Tracy Boothby and Miss Manning, laughter of Frank Manning, of Leeds. The happy couple spent the night at the Sunnyside Hotel and about ten o'clock p.m., about a dozen of the young folks of our town gave them a short chivaree. Mr. B. was prepared with candy and cigars, and after a few moments' pleasant chat the boys dispersed and peace and quiet reigned again.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, July 27, 1906, page 3

    Mr. and Mrs. John O'Connor, who were married in Jacksonville by Judge Neil on the 11th inst., came out on the P.&E. on the 12th and spent the night at the Sunnyside and about 10 o'clock p.m. there was a company of youngsters--I suppose boys--congregated under the window of their bedroom and gave a genuine old-fashioned charivari. The groom got up, dressed himself, went out and gave the boys some money and started them off. The next morning they started for the railroad camp, where Mr. O'Connor is at work putting in culverts.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, January 18, 1910, page 2

    Last Saturday Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien, formerly Mrs. Cora Officer, came out from Medford to visit her father, brothers and sisters. They were recently married in Portland, and I could not get the particulars, so did not mention the matter in the Eaglets, but will here say that her many friends here are wishing her and her husband a large share of the pleasures of life in their new relations. Well, the young folks had a dance Saturday night and kept it going until about 1 a.m Sunday, and then a company of her friends, and some who went through curiosity, collected at her brother-in-law's, H. B. Holmes, to give them an old-fashioned charivari--whooping, yelling and making all the hideous noises they could, and finally Mr. Holmes came out and ordered them away, greatly to the disappointment of the crowd.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, April 13, 1910, page 2

    Jacksonville has a habit of giving an old-fashioned "charivari" whenever a resident of the town becomes a benedict. A particularly elaborate celebration occurred Monday night in observance of the wedding of Richard Gaskins and Maud E. Tucker. The groom was taken possession of by a number of the village cut-ups, placed astride a diminutive burro and induced to visit every refreshment parlor in town.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, April 14, 1910, page 1

    Although Charles Nunan, son of the pioneer Jacksonville merchant, had been married for nearly a year, upon his first appearance at hs home after his wedding, the charivari club got busy.
    One of the traditions of the old town is that no native son, whatever his age or whatever the number of years have elapsed since his departure, can return with a bride without being given one of those receptions.
    The usual ceremonies were observed and Charlie, realizing that the charivari was more in the nature of a welcome to his old home than anything else, entered into the spirit of the crowd and was finally returned safe and sound.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, May 26, 1910, page 3

On Long-Eared Steed Given Roy Ulrich--
Bridegroom Put Through Usual Process
    Tuesday evening Roy Ulrich and bride were serenaded by the band, and at the conclusion of the serenade the usual fantastic procession was formed: the bridegroom was furnished with a mount (a donkey) and, escorted by the fun-loving crowd, was steered up town, where he squared the account by "setting up" to old and young the goods usually in demand upon such occasions, after which he was escorted home with due ceremony.
    These "joy rides" have become an essential part of the festivities attending weddings celebrated in this city and are looked forward to with pleasure (?) and sometimes a little anxiety by the prospective bridegroom.
Jacksonville Post, July 2, 1910, page 1

    The residents of Court Street were awakened from their slumbers Tuesday night by a charivari party. There was commotion of all kinds, the firing of guns, beating of tin pans, discord of voices and a general hurrah, but investigation fails to find a newly wedded couple or a wake.

"Personal and Local," Medford Mail Tribune, December 21, 1910, page 7

Medford Fire Department Meets Jack Dent and His Bride,
Who Was Formerly Miss Margaret Ewbank, on Their Return from Eugene.
    Wednesday afternoon a telegram was received by the fire boys that Jack Dent [Wells Fargo agent John E. Dent] and bride would be on the 11:20 express from Eugene. The boys forthwith proceeded to get busy. The boys were all notified to be "on deck" in uniform to receive their brother fireman and bride. But for fear that Jack would give the boys the slip at Gold Hill or Central Point, an auto was hired and Harry Ling, Henry Haswell and Frank Lindley rode to Gold Hill to meet them and ensure a safe delivery at Medford. In the meantime the boys at home took a two-wheeled hand hose cart and fixed up a comfortable seat thereon with plenty of cushions and robes, decorated the wheels with the national colors, also bells, and waited for the train. It came, and with it Jack and his bride and their escorts from Gold Hill. As Jack came in sight of the hose cart he was heard to exclaim, "Gee! This is where Frank Lindley gets even with me." Jack was assisted into the cart, and when Mrs. Dent was invited to take a seat beside him she threw up her hands and said, "Oh My, No," but Jack said, "Come on," and like a good sensible little wife she "came."
    The lead rope was run out, and the boys grabbed hold and the procession started. Harry Ling and Alix Wright were the leaders, and the way they bowed their necks and pranced would have made an old stage driver weep for joy. "Sody Pop" Bigham and Baz Gorgary were the heavyweight wheelers, and Chief Amann, Henry Haswell, Harry Wilson, Claude Metz, Doc Damilson and others worked in the swing. They went carefully down North Front Street until they swung into East Main, and then the leaders became unmanageable and away they went for East Medford.
    Chief Amann used to be a square-gaited trotter when the boys had to haul a hose cart to the fires, but since our city dads furnished him that fine auto runabout he has got out of practice somewhat, and when the leaders struck their stride it would have been difficult for a racehorse man to decide whether Gene was a "side wheeler" or a "diagonal trotter." He trotted and he paced, and when the wheelers stepped on his heels he went up in the air and run like everything. It is about one mile from the depot to Mr. Dent's residence [at 317 Howard], and when the boys had delivered them safely at their home, the chief said in a faint whisper, "Boys, here is where I ride," and proceeded to get into the cart, and the boys hauled him back to the fire hall.
    "Whew," said Sody Pop. "That was the poppinest run that I ever made." Lawton took them all back into the horse parlor to the wash rack and gave them a cold shower bath, and they all went home happy.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 20, 1911, page 8

Blushing Medford Couple Tied to Truck and Driven on Street.
    MEDFORD, Or., Oct. 28.--(Special.)--A blushing bride and bridegroom were tied with ropes to a hosecart from the Medford fire department and paraded through the streets of the city yesterday afternoon while their friends made snapshots of them at street corners and cheered and applauded them as they drove along the streets.
    Claud H. Metz, a member of the volunteer brigade, was married Sunday afternoon to Miss Hewilta Normide, and as the happy couple left Rev. W. T. Goulder's parsonage they were kidnapped by the "fire boys" and roped side by side on the truck.
    Flowers were strewn over the hosecart and the bell was sounded at regular intervals until the Palace of Sweets was reached, when the newly married couple were given a shower of coca cola.
    Mr. Metz and his bride, who are both well known in Medford, received the unusual performance good-naturedly and after they were released the bridegroom bought cigars for the crowd.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 29, 1912, page 1

Give Newlyweds Ample Evidence of Their Popularity Friday Night
    So many of the young people of the city have been getting married lately and the events have been happening with such rapidity that the element of the place which by all good rights is supposed to get out and give the newly wedded ones a fitting demonstration of the popularity they are entitled to have been unable to quite keep up with the procession. However, the several couples who have settled down to home life in Central Point during the past few months were not allowed to go on their way without some evidence that people realized they had just been married, and Friday evening after band practice the members of that organization proceeded to make the rounds and give each couple a good sendoff.
    After visiting each of the newlyweds the brigade of music dispensers happened to think of Ike Williams and that so far as anyone present was able to remember Ike had never been charivaried and no one there but thought he was entitled to it by all means. So they called on Ike and gave him a few selections. Ike, however, was wise to the game and refused to fall for the customary treat and the boys were forced to desist their demonstration and go home realizing that in this one instance, at least, "Love's labor was lost."
Central Point Herald, October 31, 1912, page 1

Newlyweds Spend Most of Night in Auto Dodging Friends
in Various Towns of Valley.

    Ralph Hubbard of Ashland and Miss Audrey High of Talent slipped away from their friends Thursday and hied themselves to Jacksonville, where they were united in the holy bonds of matrimony. They returned to Ashland, but learning that their friends had "caught on" and were intending to "shivaree" them in the good old-fashioned way, they chartered an automobile and went to the home of the bride's parents in Talent. The boys there were put next the fact and the fugitive couple were again compelled to flee, spending most of the night in the auto and visiting Phoenix, Jacksonville and other valley towns in search of seclusion. They succeeded, however, in eluding their tormentors.
    The bride is a daughter of Nathan High of Talent, and well known both there and in Ashland. The groom is a son of B. C. Hubbard of Ashland, and has a good position as passenger brakeman on the Shasta division of the Southern Pacific. They will make their future home in Ashland and are living temporarily with the groom's father on Laurel street. The best wishes of many friends go with the happy young couple.
"The Talent Tidings," Ashland Tidings, June 2, 1913, page 3

    Friends and acquaintances of Miss Maude Bratney and Scott Beghtol of Omaha, Neb. gave them an old-fashioned charivari when they were married at the home of the bride's mother on West Fourteenth Street on Wednesday night. Guns were shot off, horns tooted, cowbells rung and tin pans beaten, until residents of that section thought a premature celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal was being held. The noise subsided when the groom appeared and paid the customary tribute to the noisy delegation.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 10, 1913, page 3

    A genius with paint and brush one time drew a picture called "The Hold Up." It pictured Dan Cupid standing in the road, masked, demanding that an auto containing a loving pair halt. What the famous artist put on canvas was enacted on the Jacksonville road Monday night, when James Schlinsog and bride, Miss Effie Oliver, of Griffin Creek, were "held up" by two "highwaymen" on serenading bent. The bride fainted. The auto they were in with a party of friends rushed to Medford for the police--but never arrived.
    The bride and groom and party of friends were driving down the road when two figures loomed ahead. They demanded a halt, which was complied with. Then in the middle of the road they parleyed. The groom implored a search, but no harm, while his mate fainted in his arms. After bickering the "desperadoes" fled, and the auto sped to this city, presumably for aid.
    All of the party except the married pair knew a holdup was coming. It was the Griffin Creek idea of a charivari.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 2, 1914, page 6

Charivari Party.
    Some of the many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Enders, Jr. gave the newlyweds a charivari at their new home on Hargadine Street Monday evening. The crowd of young folks met at the home of Miss Hortense Winter and from there proceeded to a point where they could torture the newlyweds with dishpan music and yelling. However, the tables were sadly turned on the visitors, for Mr. Enders and wife were found calmly waiting for them and politely asked them to "come in and make themselves at home," which they promptly did. Here they remained for about an hour, enjoying the evening immensely. They were all treated to ice cream, while cigars were given to the men. Three cheers for the newlyweds! Those present were the Messrs. Lynn Mowat, Roy McDaniels, John Enders, Eugene Moody, Neil Shinn, and Misses Cherry Starkey, Margaret Siemantel, Vivian Greer, Irene Barrett, Hortense Winter, Helen Moore and Lucile Barber.
Ashland Tidings, July 2, 1914, page 2

    Last Monday night, just about the time that the most of the people in our quiet little town were going to sleep for the night, we heard a most unearthly noise, the reports of guns, the war whoop of the savage Indians, the clashing of arms, and we began to think of the prediction of that great and wise Senator in the United States Senate, who predicted that the Jap would make a raid on our coast, but in a few minutes quiet was restored and we resumed our dreams, and Tuesday in looking around for the dead and dying and to ascertain the fearful result of the engagement, I learned that it was all over the marriage of Fred Dutton and Miss Dottie Harnish by Rev. L. L. Simmons. They had slipped down to Mr. Simmons' home after dark, in company of Roy Ashpole and his wife, and were quietly married and returned to Mr. Ashpole's to spend the night, thinking that they were unobserved, but someone found out what was up, so a few of their many friends, and they are counted by the score, in spite of the rain and wind, turned out to give them an old-fashioned charivari, and after they had had what fun they could out of doors Mr. and Mrs. Dutton invited them in and they were invited to partake of some nuts, candies, cigars, etc., that Mr. D. had already provided, and this (Tuesday) morning everything is in its normal stage.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, February 4, 1915, page 5

Band Serenades Newlyweds
    Medford Mail Tribune: Headed by Medford's newly organized band and Seely Hall, Ike Frideger and Frank Coleman as speechmakers, fifty young men of this city last night serenaded Albert Hermanson and his bride. Following the serenade the newlyweds were given an auto ride.
Ashland Tidings, March 25, 1915, page 1

    Mrs. Lewis E. Smith, nee Lorine Grigsby, succeeded in luring Mr. Smith to Medford last Thursday to the home of the pastor of our Baptist church, Rev. L. L. Simmons, and had him tie them together so tight that nothing but "death doth them part," and he managed to reach home at the Sunnyside between 9 and 10 o'clock p.m., thinking that they had avoided the charivari party, but about the time they had got tucked into bed they heard the most unearthly noise--the inmates of the Sunnyside, that is, the boarders who were in at that time had all gone to bed as the unsuspecting couple imagined, but all at once new life seemed to enter and they all appeared on the scene prepared for the work of keeping everybody awake for the rest of the night, armed with guns, tin cans, cow bells, a heavy steel triangle and in fact almost anything they could use to make noise, and with this noise, such as it was, they marched right up to the bedroom door and the result was that the newlyweds capitulated and took the crowd to Lewis' confectionery for candy, nuts, cigars, etc. The newlyweds are planning to move next week into the Wright house, in the lower end of town.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, January 25, 1916, page 5

Charivari Goes Astray.
    Frank Metscham, proprietor of the Josephine Hotel at Grants Pass, and Mrs. Maud Miller of Medford were married in Medford Sunday and left that evening for Grants Pass. In that city some two hundred friends awaited them with the intention of staging an old-fashioned charivari but were thwarted by the couple, who spent the night in the hotel garage while their friends searched the hotels and many of the homes of Grants Pass in a vain effort to locate them.
"In the Social Realm," Ashland Tidings, January 25, 1917, page 4

    Last Tuesday evening George H. Wamsley and Mrs. Louisa Whitney were joined in wedlock by F. M. Stewart, J.P, and Friday a lot of the young boys--there were some of the ladies started to join the party, but their hearts failed them--made an assault upon the home of the couple with everything they could raise that would inake a noise, and gave them an old-fashioned charivari. Their many friends are extending congratulations.

A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, February 13, 1917, page 5

    A dust-covered auto in which were a nice-looking young couple arrived in the city from Grants Pass about 2 o'clock this afternoon, stopped at the side entrance of a well-known hotel, and the man went inside and boldly wrote on the register, "Frank L. Coleman and wife. It's the Climate."--just like that--and then went outside and helped the lady carry in their luggage.
    "Yes, we were married at 10 o'clock this forenoon at the Pass by Rev. Hansom of the Presbyterian Church, and departed some time afterwards for Medford, where we will be a few days at least," said the well-known former Medford and Jacksonville and American Legion man. "That's all there is to say, old man, except please don't say at which hotel we are stopping, as I fear the gang would become somewhat rude. My bride's name? Oh, yes, she was Miss Valeska Truax of Grants Pass. Goodbye."
    In accordance with "Cole's" request the name of the hotel at which they are stopping is not named, but it is not the Medford nor the Nash, and Elks and former servicemen, especially the boys of the 65th Artillery, are requested not to try to figure out the hostelry by the process of elimination. As Mr. Coleman says, "It's the Climate."
Medford Mail Tribune, July 2, 1920, page 7

    TOLO, Nov. 8.--A crowd of merry people met at the Tolo school about eight o'clock Monday evening, with their old pans, cans and various rackets.
    When all had arrived, Mr. Anderson led the crowd.
    The cars were parked at Chishlam's and all walked the remaining distance down the highway to the bride and groom's home over Blackwell Hill.
    Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hudson were taken unawares. They soon came out and invited the noisy group in.
    Songs, jokes and stories furnished entertainment during the evening. Delicious pie, cake and coffee were served.
    Those who enjoyed the fun were: Misses Velma and Mae Avery, Evelyn Buckles, Mary and Ida Myers, Mildred Richardson, Josephine Chishlam [Chisholm?], Thelma Beeson, Florence Lawson, Mesdames J. Higginbotham, R. Avery, J. Chishlam, A. Buckles, R. Richardson, Messrs. John, Bertie and Lester Higginbotham, J. A. Anderson, Andy and Ralph Buckles, Roy and Lloyd Richardson, Ernest Avery, John Myers, Chishlam and the host and hostess, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hudson.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 9, 1923, page 7

    Mr. and Mrs. Oscar M. Knox, whose marriage was reported in Monday's Tribune, were treated to a charivari by a group of local friends Monday evening. The groom showed his appreciation of their serenade by escorting the entire party--about twenty, it is said--to Dorothy's confectionery store, where each selected his own treat. Other friends about town have been smoking good-looking cigars at the expense of the groom. It seems that everybody gets something out of a wedding but the reporter.
"J'ville Newlywed Serenaded and Groom Treats," Medford Mail Tribune, March 11, 1927, page B1

    Well-laid plans of giving Lieutenant and Mrs. O. O. Nichols, who were married yesterday at Dorris, Cal., a perfect charivari went awry last night with the escape of the bridegroom from fellow officers who had taken the couple into "custody" at their home on West Twelfth Street.
    Mr. and Mrs. Nichols were brought quietly to the county jail, with the exception of noise made by bouncing tin cans tied to the rear of the escorting automobiles, the whining of sirens, the discharge of blank cartridges, the shrill blasts of auto horns and the occasional shout of some overenthusiastic member of the charivari party, which led the blushing bride and stammering bridegroom into the jail lobby to be fingerprinted and photographed for the "rogue's gallery."
    Officers held on tightly to the nervous, shaking bride and trusted faithfully that her obliging husband would stand at her side. However, as if he had disappeared into thin air, he could not be found when his turn for a picture arrived.
    In their anxiety to find him, Mrs. Nichols was ushered into the refinement of the women's ward of the jail and left there for safekeeping in the thought that if the entire party of officers, which included over a dozen, would institute a systematic search, the missing husband would be speedily found. Although they combed the city, looking into nooks and crannies, the officers could not locate the well-known traffic lieutenant.
    A delegation of officers went to his home on Twelfth Street, where only a short time before he had been taken with his wife, but the house was dark and the doors were locked. The officers were assured that he was not there. The county court house was completely searched, the officers not thinking that he had walked out the front door, which can be done from the inside but not on the outside.
    After the fever of the search had died down, Mrs. Nichols was released from the women's ward and taken to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Scott in the hope that her husband would call there, he having formerly lived there. When all the officers had gone home, the missing husband appeared on the scene and through the aid of a ladder rescued his bride through a window.
    When the search was at its height Mr. Nichols was peacefully whiling away the time at his home while officers were searching for him only a few feet away.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 30, 1928, page 8

    WAGNER CREEK, May 17.--A number of Wagner Creek young people took part in the big charivari at Talent last Sunday night. Mr. and Mrs. Alton Hart were charivaried at the home of Mr. Hart's brother, Fred Hart. They were taken to Medford in a buggy pulled by a Ford couple driven by Llewellyn Bates, and paraded up and down Main Street, then conveyed back to Talent, where candy and cigars were served.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 18, 1928, page 6

    COLEMAN CREEK, May 29.--(Special.)--A good old-fashioned charivari here last night had Mr. and Mrs. James Charles Cotton, married at Medford yesterday afternoon, as the principals. Neighbors and friends greeted the couple on the completion of a wedding supper with the delightful noise from a varied assortment of dishpans, cowbells, plow discs and tin cans and continued pounding out tunes that would have put the anvil chorus to shame until the newlyweds acknowledged the presence of their uninvited but willing visitors.
    After a short visit with the couple, the well-wishing friends departed, but not without writing choice thoughts on the matrimonial sedan in which Mr. and Mrs. Cotton left early this morning for Crescent City, Calif., and points south to spend their honeymoon.
    The couple were married yesterday afternoon by the Rev. Carmen E. Mell and will make their home in Medford. The bride and bridegroom are well known in the Medford, Phoenix and Coleman Creek sections and have been residents there for some time. Mr. Cotton has been an employee at the Belmont orchards near Phoenix for the past two years.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 29, 1930, page 3

    The reason five or six young Medford men are wearing black eyes or scratches today, or both, is because a tormented newly married couple was exasperated to the point of putting up a fight when a party of young folks went too far in charivariing them.
    Shortly after the wedding last night the merrymakers kidnapped the bride and groom, rode them around town with much noise and conspicuousness, and performed other time-honored charivari stunts. All went well until about 3 a.m. when the kidnappers tried to duck the newlyweds in the water of the McAndrews ford in the Berrydale vicinity.
    The latter then turned on their tormentors fiercely and, lining up side by side, fought them off.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 30, 1931, page 7

    A delegation of young men and women from the crowd of fifty persons which charivaried the young couple who was married last Thursday night at a dairy out Central Point way visited the Mail Tribune office late yesterday to state that the account in this paper next day, of how the kidnapped bride and groom turned on the charivari crowd and fought so hard that a number of scratched faces and black eyes resulted, was all "wet." Then the delegation handed over the following correction which they had written out, and was signed "The Gang."
    "The charivari of last Thursday night was made very exciting by the actions of the newly wedded couple. They were started down Main Street, the illustrious groom wheeling his 'baby doll' in a wheelbarrow which had almost seen its best days. Then the groom, feeling quite like a young Samson, brought down too much weight on the handles, breaking the wheelbarrow down and dumping 'daddy's baby' on the hard pavement.
    "She at once shot off a line that afforded a crowd of onlookers quite a thrill. They then made a break and tried to ditch the crowd, but were caught and shoved into a car; all the while both were scratching, kicking, biting and whatnot. The bride at least keeps her fingernails sharp, even if she doesn't know how to cook and sew.
    "By this time they were so overheated that the gang decided to cool them off in Bear Creek. The groom was promptly put in, but with little effect. While this procedure as going on his 'baby doll' was trying her fingernails on everyone she came in range of.
    "The poor groom, who is a bellhop at the Hotel Jackson, was afraid he would scare the hotel clerks in the morning with a pair of black eyes, but fortunately the gang were not that cruel and he escaped being annihilated in that way.
    "All we ask of the groom is to teach his 'baby doll' to try her fingers on something else besides people's necks and faces. We also recommend to the groom a course in muscle building from Earle Liederman before he tries to whip another gang, because Mr. Liederman makes weak men strong. And if they ever get married again we wish that they would show better sportsmanship."
Medford Mail Tribune, February 1, 1931, page 6

"The Truth Is Out!"
    The gang war of last Thursday evening, declared upon the newlyweds, said by [the] gang "to have been married in a barn Thursday night," is not truth. Being married on the 23rd [sic] day of January, 1931 in the beautiful home of the bride, which is a pride of the community, was a war of broken hearts over the successful courtship of the groom.
    After several futile attempts to capture the couple for brutal purpose of revenge and charivariing, they showing their sportsmanship surrendered to the crowd. To show his sportsmanship he hauled his bride the length of Main Street in a wheelbarrow. While still in an exhausted state, he sat down to rest and the mob fell upon him, beating him severely and tearing his clothes off. And thinking he was warm, they put him in a car, with the river as their destination.
    His bride, coming to her mate's assistance, was halted by the able gang leader. After passing of kicks and hair pulls, the gang leader fled to the middle of the street, flooding it with tears.
    After the bath of the groom, to show his appreciation he furnished them with a swell feed, which was enjoyed by all present.
    The gang leader's able lieutenant, after a strenuous gang battle, by his superb strength was able to reach his doorstep before fainting!
    This is the straight truth, from
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, February 3, 1931, page 8

    I wonder if small towns still have (I don't know how to spell it and I can't find it in the dictionary)
anyway the word is (phonetically) SHIV-AH-REE. (French)
    In our town Heaven help the poor newlyweds. First the little kids (who had to be home before the 9 p.m. hoodlum bell rang) would charge upon their premises and yell and beat tin pans until the groom appeared and pitched their leader a 5-dollar gold piece. Then the 2nd group (ages 14 to 18) would show up about 9:30. Same deal, only louder, and that cost the groom a 10-dollar gold piece. Then around midnight (time for all anxious newlyweds to be in bed) the groom's friends would show up, half drunk, and they'd really lay it on. Would usually kidnap the groom – straddle him on a jackass – lead him to town and into Bum Neuber's saloon where he was required to take over and
'tend bar (while regular bartender kept tab on number of drinks served). At sunup Hubby (usually too drunk for romancing) is delivered back home to his tear-stained bride.
    Many couples, thinking that they had escaped such ordeals by leaving town soon after the ceremony and settling down in another city, often were surprised, maybe years later, upon their first visit back to their old home town. With wash boilers, pots and pans the gangs would show up and raise hell until they had collected the long overdue pieces of gold.
Pinto Colvig, Clowns Is People, 1935, Southern Oregon Historical Society MS9

    Medford is in the same boat with San Francisco, Portland and the rest of Pacific coast cities, as regards getting a siren loud enough to be heard as an air raid warning.
    The Medford News suggests that the air raid wardens organize a warning corps out of the next batch of young fry to put on a charivari. When the young folks charivari some pal, it is heard in the most remote parts of the city, and all they have is a few horns and tin cans. Half the auto horns on high school jalopies make more noise than a $1000 siren anyway, and if you put two or three of them together, you've got something.
Medford News, January 9, 1942, page 2

    During the past year 984 marriage licenses were issued in this county. This was the greatest tying of marital knots in local history. All the romances were consummated without the perpetration of a single shivaree, thanks to gasoline rationing and a couple of tin-can drives.
Art Perry, "Ye Smudge Pot," Medford Mail Tribune, January 4, 1944, page 4

Last revised January 20, 2024