LeRoy Historical Society - page 5

Page 5
Jan. 1, 20 ___ - Dec. 31, 20 ___
Family ................................30.00
Individual or Sen. Cit.........20.00
Sustaining ..........................50.00
Life (Individual)...............350.00
Enclosed is an additional
contribution of:
(continued frompage 4)
tured. The LeRoy boys would have
been able to buy “Dutch marbles”
made from clay which were not very
popular; or “blood allies” made of
variegated stone.
Marble games described in the
Boys Own Book include “ring taw”,
“spans and snops”, “bost about”,
“holes”, “knock out” and “ring-taw.”
The author did not encourage a pop-
ular marble game called the “Con-
queror” where the object was to
break the marbles of your opponent.
Sometimes the game was played
with sea shells. “Arch board” could
be played with marbles or round
lead bullets. They are rolled toward
a wooden board that resembled
a bridge with nine arches. Points
are earned by rolling the marbles
through the arches. In England the
game was called“Nine Holes.”
were very popular and there
were several types of tops available
at the store: humming tops, hum-
ming tops, and peg tops. The LeRoy
boys probably had a variety of tops
to play with.
Rainy day games and toys were
somewhat limited by the fact that
commercially made toys were ex-
pensive and not very common. But
if there were toys for sale in the
stores, the LeRoys could certainly
afford them.
Most of the toys in the exhibit in
the 1837 bedroom are reproductions
from the education collection that
are used with the school programs.
The Boy’s Own Book is filled with
magic tricks, chemistry experi-
ments, word games, arithmetic puz-
zles, card tricks, conundrums, optical
amusements, riddles, charades and
legermains (slight of hand tricks).
There are instructions on how to
make a camera obscura and de-
tailed rules for playing
. The Girl’s Own Book is
filled with a wide variety of crafts,
sewing and art projects. Baskets
made from allspice, beads, rice, pa-
per, straw, feathers, lavender, shells
and cloves were listed. She includes
directions for engraved egg shells
by drawing a scene with tallow and
then soaking the shell in vinegar.
She also includes directions for em-
broidery, knitting, and patchwork.
And of course, little girls played
with dolls.
“The dressing of dolls is a useful as
well as a pleasant employment for
dolls. If they are careful about small
gowns, caps, and spencers (jackets),
it will tend to make them ingenious
about their own dresses,when they are
older. I once knew a little girl who had
twelve dolls; some of them were given
her; but the greater part she herself
made from rags, and her elder sister
painted their lips and eyes. She took
it into her head that she would dress
the dolls in the costumes of different
nations. No one assisted; but by look-
ing in a book called Manners and Cus-
toms, she dressed them all with great
taste and propriety. There was the
Laplander,wrapped up in furs; the Afri-
can, with jewels in her nose and on her
arm; the Indians, tattooed, with their
hair tied tight on top of her head; the
French lady,all bows and flounces; and
theTurk in spangled robes,with turban
and feather. I assure you they were an
extremely pretty sight. The best thing
of all was that the sewing was done
with the most perfect neatness. When
little girls are alone, dolls may serve
for company, they can be scolded and
advised and kissed and taught to read
and sung to sleep - -and anything else
the fancy of the owner may devise.“
would have been
popular with the LeRoy children. It is
played much like pick up sticks. The
different shapes had different values,
but the object was still to extract one
of the “straws” from the pile without
moving the others. Early, expensive
jackstraws were made of ivory, while
more common sets were made of
wood, and could have been home-
made. And there were many other
toys that could be home-made such
as the
which is made
on a cardboard disk, with an image
on each side. As the disk spins on a
string, the images appear as one.
It’s important to remember that
the LeRoy children were growing
up in an affluent family, with con-
nections to New York City. They
were not expected to contribute to
the family’s income, or to work in
the fields. Education was very im-
portant, although there could have
been differences in gender expecta-
tions. But it’s safe to assume that a
lot of their time was spent studying
and learning.
It is interesting to note, that in
1837, Marietta and Emily Ingham
were invited to come to LeRoy to es-
tablish their school for young wom-
en, however it is almost certain, that
the LeRoy family had moved back to
New York City by the time the LeRoy
Female Seminary began enrollment.
Charlotte LeRoy, as a young woman,
had grown up in France. It is record-
ed that she was an accomplished
pianist, so it is very possible that the
LeRoy children were taught music.
Their father had spent three years
at Yale University, and as a youngman,
had gone to India to conduct busi-
ness for their grandfather. Certainly
it could be said that the LeRoy family
had the means to enjoy their leisure
time, that was not common with the
rural families in the community.
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