Reading Room: 1855 Sunday School Picnic

Picnics and outings were frequently held by the Foundry Sunday School. In June 1855 they planned to get away from the bustle and noise of Washington by having a picnic at Arlington Spring on the shores of the Potomac River not far from the Custis Lee Mansion. The shady lawn, beautiful hills, excellent spring water and the fine facilities for fishing and sailing on George W. P. Custis' property made an ideal place for a very pleasant day.

Arrangements were well planned for a good time as "our friends of Foundry . . . always have upon such occasions." One newspaper advised as many of its readers as possible to go. "If you don't enjoy yourselves, don't follow our advice next time." Tickets were available from any teacher of the Sunday School. The group was scheduled to leave the 14th Street Canal bridge at 7 o'clock "precisely."

The Foundry picnic went off to the general satisfaction and enjoyment of all until the boat was about ready to return to Washington. The two-year-old son of C. M. Keyes was playing with other children at the pavilion. He accidentally fell off, broke his collar bone and dislocated his shoulder. He was doing well the next morning.


This article, originally titled "A Sunday School Picnic" is provided and used with permission from Papers of Homer Calkin, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.