Telling an Unending Story

  • Friday, November 22, 2013


Social activities were much different 100 years ago. People didn’t have any means of digital entertainment. Radios were around, and so were silent movies. There were bands and orchestras and live plays and public entertainments, but no television, smart phones or DVD players.

One of the groups that was significant 100 years ago was The Cotillion Club.

Trudy Bazemore, associate director of the Georgetown County Library, found this article in the Progressive Democrat. The story printed here came from that newspaper’s second issue.


The Cotillion Club article appeared in the November 20, 1913 issue of the Progressive Democrat, which began publication on November 13, 1913 … so this was in the second paper they published!

Because The View From the Past covers “events of past years as chronicled through the county’s newspapers” … maybe it could be featured in that column. (My grandfather was Harold C. Bruns … the last person listed).

My grandfather’s last name really was Bruns. Sometimes, people think it’s supposed to be “Burns,” but it really is Bruns, so the article has it spelled correctly … it’s not a typo.


For over a century, the Georgetown Cotillion Club has maintained an esteemed tradition of camaraderie and fellowship. Several generations have shared in the organization’s history that is still enjoyed today.

One hundred years ago, an article appeared in one of Georgetown’s local newspapers, The Progressive Democrat, on November 20, 1913, that told about the group’s preparations for an upcoming holiday event. “The Georgetown Cotillion Club, one of the most popular social clubs in the city, was recently reorganized with a membership of forty.

The officers are H.L. Wright, President; W.D. Morgan, Vice-President; L.C. Brock, Secretary and Treasurer; Executive Committee, Thomas D. Forbes, O.P. Bourke, and J. Stewart Groves.

It has been the purpose of this club to give a series of four balls during the winter season, closing at Easter-tide, and interest has centered recently about the Thanksgiving Ball, which will be given on Friday evening.

Any dance given by the Cotillion Club is always looked forward to with pleasure, and the plans of the committee promise that the coming ball will be quite as enjoyable as those already given. The committee is as follows: L. Brinkley, Richard Meyers, W. E. Hutson, Thomas D. Forbes, and Harold C. Bruns.”

The next issue of the newspaper described the festive occasion ... “The Thanksgiving Ball, danced in the ballroom at the Armory on Friday evening, rivalled its predecessors in enjoyment and brilliantly opened the winter season.

Dr. Horace L. Wright, president of the Cotillion Club, led the grand march at nine o’clock, with Mrs. Wright. An intermission occurred at twelve o’clock for supper after which dancing was continued for an hour or more.

The ballroom was resplendent with red, orange and yellow bunting. Thanksgiving harvest scenes decorated the windows and punch bowl, and yellow chrysanthemums were effectively used. Mrs. L. Brinkley and Mrs. Herman D. Beckman poured punch.

The Georgetown City Orchestra played exceptionally well, their music always being excellent. The supper room was very attractive, yellow chrysanthemums in brass holders decorated the table – compoteirs with embossed turkeys held bon-bons, and salted nuts and miniature turkeys were used for favors. Turkey salad, rolls and coffee were served.”


News in the Georgetown Times the week after the Cotillion Club met centered around local elections and state and national politics.

Dredging of the harbor at Georgetown was an issue, along with tobacco and cotton planting, harvest and shipping. There was news of a possible new industry, steel was coming into town for the Atlantic Coast Lumber Company, and a man and a blanket were arrested by a deputy.

“Harry was locked up and the blanket detained as evidence.”

Be aware that this is a historical issue from 100 years ago and some of the language used may be offensive to some.

The Georgetown County Digital Library has more than 30 collections of old newspapers, other documents and photographs. You may view them on the library’s Web site:


… And thanks for reading.

-- Tommy Howard, Editor

Georgetown Times

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