Thanksgiving, a national holiday since 1863, had special significance in Massachusetts, its state of origin. But the tradition of a school vacation is relatively recent. In the 19th century Williston Seminary celebrated the day, but that was all. Still, Seminary students welcomed any holiday.
George Benjamin Wardman, class of 1889, kept a scrapbook of his first two years at Williston, which he entered in the fall of 1885. It is a fascinating collection. Wardman saved printed memorabilia of debates, theatrical events (to which he happily journeyed significant distances), ballgames, dances, musical entertainments, the occasional restaurant meal – all in all, evidence of a student deeply committed to every aspect of school life except, perhaps, the academic program.