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1914 Mummer’s Parade with King Dodo in Dallastown

York County Keystone Marker along Route 74 at West Entrance to Dallastown (2013 Photo, S. H. Smith)

The Keystone Marker along Route 74 at the west entrance to Dallastown was not yet erected in 1914, when Dallastown held their initial Mummer’s Parade. During that New Years Day, the parade covered all the streets of the borough. In the evening, “King Dodo” and his Mummers band marched to a reception held in their honor.

The “Founded 1736” on the Keystone Marker supposedly indicates when the first people of European descent settled on land within what is now Dallastown Borough. Click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustration in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of illustration.

The streets of Dallastown were not yet paved in 1914. However the trolley tracks had already been installed, in 1901, down the middle of Main Street.

The Wednesday, December 31, 1913, issue of The York Daily included an article entitled, “MUMMER’S PARADE, Will Feature The New Year’s Celebration At Dallastown;” quoting the whole article:

“Dallastown, Dec. 30.—‘King Dodo,’ with his band of 30 musicians, will arrive here some time Thursday morning and at 1 p.m. on that day a street parade will be held by the band. The members will be in comical costume, in darktown style. The parade will cover all the streets of the borough and will be headed by ‘Uncle Sam.’ After the parade the members will retire until 8 o’clock in the evening, when they will again form and march to the auditorium where a reception will be held in honor of ‘King Dodo’ and his band. Uncle Sam will deliver the address of welcome. Mutt and Jeff will be included in the evening’s entertainment. This is a new feature for Dallastown on New Years’s day and considerable interest is being manifested.”

A follow up article about these festivities appeared in the Friday January 2, 1914, issue of The York Daily. The article was entitled, “DALLASTOWN MUMMERS, ‘King Dodo’ and His Darktown Musicians Paraded the Streets;” quoting that whole article:

“Dallastown, Jan. 1,—‘King Dodo’ and his band of darktown musicians headed by ‘Uncle Sam’ paraded the streets of the borough this afternoon as a new feature for New Year’s day here. The event proved very interesting. Jacob Workinger took the part of ‘King Dodo,’ and Chauncey Heisler appeared in the role of ‘Uncle Sam.’ The band of musicians including the director, ‘King Dodo,’ were clothed in blue coats and caps and white trousers. ‘Mutt’ and ‘Jeff’ were represented by Chauncey Heckert and Tibertus Grim. John Heisler took the part of a cannibal. Many others in spectacular costumes were included in the parade. This evening ‘King Dodo’ and his band were given a reception in the auditorium, when ‘Uncle Sam’ delivered the welcome address before a crowded house. Music and motion pictures were included in the evening’s program. It is likely that a similar observance of the day will be repeated next year.”

The auditorium noted in the articles was located on the northwest corner of South Walnut and West Howard Streets in Dallastown. Built in 1906, that building primarily served as a 300-seat theater hall, showing silent films from 1906 to 1929. Houses now sit on the site where that “silent movie theatre” in Dallastown was located.

Links to other Dallastown posts:

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