Homecoming History from the book Sheakleyville 144:
"Many fondly remember the early homecomings. The first one was August 20th, 21st, & 22nd 1937. The Location Committee, J.H. Martin, Frank May, and W.C. Thompson chose a good place. In the pleasant shade of the big maples set out years ago, in the schoolyard back along Plum Alley, you could meet your neighbors, make new friends, greet old-timers, or just enjoy the day. Rich or poor, it was free to all.
J.E. Graham planned 2 baseball games, one on Friday at 6 p.m. West Middlesex played Sheakleyville. Again on Saturday p.m. it was baseball with Sandy Lake.
If you want music, on Friday p.m. your could hear the WPA Orchestra in concert. In the evening a quartet from Meadville sang. A Motion Picture program completed the evening.
On Saturday at 10:30a.m. the Parade Committee - W.F. Martin, J.A. Gedeon, Dan Williams, J.H. Cresswell, and Edward Schell - would let you either watch or participate. More music at a band concert following the parade set you up ready for the picnic dinner.
After the picnic Burgess C.E. Deem gave a Welcome and introduced John L. Morrison. John is almost native - just a couple of steps away. His parents had lived in, perhaps built, the W.C. Thompson house just over the north borough line.
Before the ball game there were sports and contests, Ike Stright was on that committee. Was that the year they caught, or tried to catch, the greased pig? Maybe it was the year they tired to they tried to climb the greased pole. Maybe it was horseshoes.
In the evening radio stars from KDKA had a program. The Cider Hounds from Ellwood City were on the docket. There was a tall fiddler, a bass fiddler, a trick fiddler, accordians, guitars, and singing.
Of course, it you had your wallet along and it was getting too heavy to manipulate through the crowd, there ere places to relieve your burden. Would you want to put a child on teh merry-goround, or even go on yourself?
There has been a horse show with Leo Turner as photographer. Nancy Simons rode in that. Beauty pageants began way back there. Margaret Bishop was a winner once. One year a fabulous pageant was produced with a large cast.
North Salem Church had an eating tent. Beef for hamburgers was ground in Dr.Lafayette and Ruth Roberts's basement where Buster and Sally Smith now reside in Salem Twp. Ruth recalls running of meat late at night, dashing home to grind meat, then dashing back to the eating tent for business as usual. There was a variety of foods- potato salad and baked beans. Pie sold for about $.15 a slice. (Cholesterol hadn't been invented then.) Ha rry T. Smith of Perry Twp. built the cooks a screened cupboard in which to keep the pies.
To close the services on Sunday at 11 a.m. there were union services at the Methodist Church. Dr. S.M. Gordon of Greenville preached. At 8 p.m. services in the U.P. Church Rev.George A. Brown of Elyria Ohio spoke. He had been a pastor here. At both services there was a union choir.
The Advertisement Committe did a good job. They were: Lousie Caldwell, Viola Foust, Betty Bedeon, Ruth Deem, and Gerald Hazen . Local businesses who advertised were: Reed and Schell Chevrolet Sales and Service Station;W.C. Thompson - Manufacturer and Wholesaler of Hardwood Lumber and Ties; Glen Acres Bar-B-Q - homemade soup, chili, and ; F.L. May - groceries, confectionery, gas, and oil; Graham Funeral Home; Martin's Clover Farm Store - Best of Everything at Lowest Prices; J.A. Gedeon - Hardware; D.M. Caldwell - Sterling gas adn oils; Harry Minnis - summer boarding and chicken dinner; Slater Garage; Lew Schaff - General Contracting; Turner Feed Store - Flour, Feed, Salt, Cement, and Lime; J.E. Fisher - dealer in hay, Straw, and potatoes; Charm Beauty Shoppe. There were ads from Greenville, Stoneboro, Meadville, Hadley, Clarks Mills, Erie, Sandy Lake, Camp Perry, and Oil City.
This was all started by the Sheakleyville High School Alumni group. Grace Thompson agitated until it was decided to do something for the community. The Alumni Association never prospered financially from this. Rather any profits were used to equip our Fire Department.
Now over 50 years later Homecoming still goes on. The place has changed. It is now at Fireman's Park just north of the borough. The North Salem Church women retired. The firemen conduct the eating "tent". There are many concessions, more displays, and more people. There are no admission nor parking fees. Sometimes it takes a while to find a place to park."
This information was quoted from: Sheakleyville 144, a book of material compiled and edited by Ethel Hildebran on July 16, 1991.
History to be continued...... Photo above taken by Randy Keeling