The Season of Renewal, A Century Ago

Accounts of Easter in San Diego papers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries sound similar to our celebrations today. One can find some variations perhaps owing to the more rural nature and sensibilities of the populace then, such as this account from the April 15, 1895 San Diego Union:

“The old custom of Easter egg-rolling was observed at La Jolla yesterday, a large number of persons participating in the pastime. The search for rabbits’ nests was also a feature of the days observance of Easter, both being thoroughly enjoyed.”

An item in the April 6, 1896 Union described the streets of Coronado on Easter Sunday morning as “alive with church goers” with “exquisite flowers” decorating the churches. “Many out-of-town visitors were on the beach during the day, enjoying the sea, the hotel grounds and court and listening to the orchestra concert.”

A 1915 event for members of a children’s music class, appearing in the Union, described “Easter songs and Easter singing games. Numerous surprises greeted the little folks throughout the afternoon. Dainty marshmallow chickens and highly colored real Easter eggs delighted the children. Mesdames S. J. Wines, S. S. Hage, Ed. Gamle, C. M. Richardson, W. Clarence Randal and Ruth Brattan were among the patron guests.”

Side by side with notices about Easter worship and cultural celebrations were notices about Passover.

“Tifereth Israel will hold services in their synagogue at the corner of Eighth and I streets, H. Meyer officiating,” concluded an April 3, 1909 Union article on the significance of the feast. “The Reforned congregation will hold services at the Temple Beth Israel, corner Beach and Second streets, Rev. Ellinger officiating. An elaborate program of music has been planned.”

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