“Enter Into Country Joys” – Baraboo, Wisconsin (1911)

Mrs. Cynthia Holmes lived in Baraboo, a city on the Baraboo River in south-central Wisconsin.

Proximity to the Baraboo and Wisconsin Rivers, and the Chicago & North Western Railroad, made Baraboo a center of saw mill industries.

(Ringling Brothers Circus was established in Baraboo in 1884.)


In April of 1911 (?), Cynthia received a postcard from her mother, Urania Cook.

The postmark is not visible, so we know only that mother was “up here” – presumably, north of Baraboo.

The face of the postcard bears an illustration of couples arriving for a barn dance.

The entrance to the barn is adorned with lights and streamers.

A verse invites to the dance:

“Come gather now ye girls and boys,

And enter into country joys”

On the reverse Mother wonders why Cynthia has not received her letter confirming the receipt of the dollar.

Mother adds that she is “sorry to hear you were sick a bed” and hopes Cynthia “is better now.”

The news from Mother is not cheery, “we all have got bad colds up here.”

Although the “weather is nice now”, “Mary has got the Rheumatism and Charley has got the grip.”

Charley is not able to work much now.

(The postcard art depicts a pleasant scene, but students of “Hamlet” may remember that “enter into country joys” once had a risqué meaning.)

One hopes the mystery of the missing letter was solved, that Cynthia recovered from her illness, and that Urania, Mary, and Charley all returned to health in the Spring of 1911.


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