Christmas Oregon 1855
"Now, in Oregon, where people reside ten miles apart, and call a man a neighbor who lives half a days journey away, it is not so easy to make up a fashionable party, for sundry reasons, as Fifth Avenue, or any other of the "close settlements" of New York. If a hop is to take place, weeks must be givin to prepare in; the "store clothes" taken out, aired and brushed, old bonnets furbished up, horses driven in from distant pasture, and saddles made ready. Then the nearest settlement must be applied to for a proper amount of wiskey and sugar, raisins and flour. But on the occasion above alluded to (Christmas), great efforts were made to have matters go off with e'clat. Deacon L----, residing on the ocean beach, about twenty miles to the southward of Coo's Bay,and known as the most liberal, warmhearted old gentleman of Southern Oregon, had appropriated, some time in advance, the right to give the Christmas ball. It was to last two days and two nights. Oceans of whisky, hills of venison and beef, no end of pies and "sech like." The ladies of Coo's County were to be there, and a fiddler from the distant point of Port Orford itself engaged. To this feast did all hands look forward with secret longing and hope.
....And on Christmas eve the ball commenced. There were gay roystering blades from Port Orford, gallents from Coo's Bay, select men and distinguished individuals from all over the country, and belles from every where. Such a recherche' affair had not occurred since the settlement of the Territory. For two nights and days festivities continued; and after all the dancing, riding, drinking, singing, and laughing-and all this without sleeping, and with determination to "never give up"- there were buxom forms and brilliant eyes that dared us to another breakdown!
I snap my fingers at all the civilized Miss Nancys henceforth and forever. Give me, for the essence of fun and the physical ability to carry it out, a corn fed, rosey cheeked, bouncing Oregon lass, with eyes bright as the rivers that sparkle merrily on their way to the sea from the snow-clad mountains, and hearts light as the fresh breezes of that northern climate!"
William V. Wells