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Centennial Stories
"They Have Remained Friends Throughout the Years"

In 1925, as a young twelve-year-old girl, I lived in the 700 block of East Washington Street. My younger sister and I went to Margaret Merker School (now Lincoln School) on East Market Street. We had lots of friends there, and they told us about Wesley House. One day after school, we went there and found there was a lot going on.

Miss Ellen Gainey, a deaconess, was the administrator and was very nice to all of us. They had cooking classes, Girl Scouts, weaving, and lots of other things to do. I decided to try out a few things. Miss Bessie Keeling was the teacher. We were very happy with all these activities. All of these things were on the second floor of the building. At that time I didn't care very much for the classes in weaving but decided to try it anyway. I made a very nice tote bag, which came in handy later on.

We went to a lot of suppers and parties. We met a lot of people who became friends. They have remained friends throughout the years.

There was an Adult Mothers Club. Since we were too young to join it we decided to organize a club for younger women. We met once a week and really enjoyed it. As time went on, we all got married, had babies, some moved away, but we still met regularly. A nursery was organized at Wesley House, which made it nice for the little ones.

In the meantime, our children started at Margaret Merker School. Our time was now being spent on other things: husbands, homes, and caring for our families. A few of us continued going, but we joined the Adult Mothers Club, which met every Tuesday.

Our big events were the annual picnic and the Fresh Air Camp at Peewee Valley. Every year the Mothers Club would have a picnic at Shawnee Park. We had no cars or buses to take us, so we all met at Wesley House and with picnic baskets, toys, and kids in hand, we would all walk to Shelby and Market streets, where we would get on the trolley car (there were no buses). We could ride for a dime, and the children were free. We would ride to the end of the line at Fountain Ferry Park, then walk across to locate our tables. About 5 o'clock, we would pack up our things and with everyone laughing and talking and the children running and playing, we would walk back to the trolley and homeward go. You can bet we had a great night's sleep!!!

Once every summer we would go to the Fresh Air Camp at Peewee Valley. Once again we met at Wesley House and walked together to the trolley. This time we would go to Shelby and Fehr to catch the Interurban car. We would have a nice long ride to Peewee Valley. There were no houses or anything along the way, just trees and roads. We would get there and get settled in our room. My sister and I would share a room. She had two little girls, and I had one little boy. The women would sit under the shade trees and talk and laugh while the children ran and played and had a good time. We enjoyed each other so much. When we heard the bell ring, we knew it was time for dinner or supper. We would have a great meal. It was not gourmet, but it tasted good. We would stay for a week and pack up and go back home, which looked very good to all of us.

Every year we would have a Christmas dinner with Santa. There would be carols and candy canes for all.

Every year the Methodist Women would have a style show. I was going to Market Street Methodist Church at the time. My girlfriend and I were asked to be models. It was a great experience for me. I really had fun modeling the clothes that had been donated to Wesley House. Some that we wore were beautiful. The gym was crowded with friends and relatives. At the end we received a great ovation.

We played basketball and had square dancing in the gym under the supervision of Miss Russell.

June Fisher was the last administrator during my active time at Wesley House.

My mother and dad joined the Senior Citizens Group in their later years. Since my boys were both married with their own children, I had time to take them over. They really had a good time.

We had so many dear friends, and some are still around but not many when you think that was 70 years ago. I do remember all the good times we had there. At one time, my family and I lived on Franklin Street. The house has been torn down, and the Wesley House playground is in its space.

I hope this story will bring back memories to all who read it and have lived it as I have. I will never forget the good times of years past. I have gone on the Wesley Walk for Others two times. They were nice.

I am in my 88th year and still remember how it was in 1925 and up to 1935 when I got married. I am an active member of Preston Highway United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women.

Christina Frank Proctor (ne Christina Moore)
Louisville, KY

 

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