The Harmonic Society of 1896

I unfortunately can’t find much history on the Harmonic Society of Brooklyn, except that they were organized sometime in the mid 1890’s and were an exceptional choir of around 180 members. They sang in churches, private gatherings, galas, and other social functions around New York, many times to support various charities. They were praised often in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Harmonic-Society-2-May-14-1896

My great-great Grandmother, Ella T. Sheaff, or as she’s named in most articles – Mrs. George B. Hawthorne, sang Soprano solos. All my life my mother mentioned a relative who was a quote “Opera Singer who sang in shows.” – That’s such a Brooklyn way of putting it!

Lately I’ve been conducting a lot of family research through Ancestry.com and news clippings from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (See my clippings) and it’s been fun to put certain pieces together.

Great_Grandmother_performance-Nov-27-1892

Here’s two beautiful songs Ella sang for the Harmonic Society. It helps me to imagine how she might’ve sounded while singing to the crowd.

Calm as the Night by Carl Bohm (1891)

“Adieu” by Gabriel Fauré

English Lyrics
How quickly all dies, the rose unfolds as the fresh mantle of the meadow.
The long sighs, the lovers: Vanished!
One sees in this rapid world change faster than the waves on the sand; our dreams, faster than the frost on the flowers;
our hearts!
I thought I was true to you, Cruel!
But, alas, the longest loves are the shortest ones!
And I say to you as I leave your charms, without tears; till the moment of my avowal:
Goodbye!

 

 

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Buffalo Bill’s traveling show in NYC!

 

 

bbww

Read about the event at the great Ephemeral New York blog:

https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/buffalo-bills-wild-west-show-thrills-1894-brooklyn/

A Buffalo Bill 5th Avenue Parade filmed by Thomas Edison in 1902.

I wanna get back to Brooklyn

A little off topic for the blog since it’s not Gilded Age Brooklyn, but nonetheless, I love finding little bits of history from different eras, especially adorable songs like this that have “Brooklyn” in the lyrics.

I’m always nostalgic for a Brooklyn that belonged to my parents, grandparents, great grandparents and great, great grandparents!

From the blog Brooklyn Butch 

You can also join in Facebook Discussions with Brooklyn Butch for Pre-1960 Brooklyn Nostalgia!