The mining town of Eureka has had six newspapers during its illustrious and colorful life, including the present Eureka Sentinel.
All of them, excepting the Sentinel, were only in the 1870s and 80s.
From 1871-1887, it was the Eureka Daily Sentinel, which in 1888 dropped back to a weekly paper.
One newspaper of that early time was called the Silver Plume. But one of those issues was from July 4, 1877, the United States was now 101 years old. The paper printed the following article and by the nature of the article it appears the Silver Plume was an afternoon paper.
The Fourth at Home
“The incessant firing of anvils (shooting an anvil into the air with gunpowder) told the yet drowsy inhabitants of our community that the morning of the Fourth had arrived. Old Sol, not yet high in the heavens, shed his rays upon a busy marshal and his restless aids, who were riding to and fro taking active steps toward forming the procession. The parade was the finest that has ever been marched through Eureka’s streets. Talk about Montgomery Queen’s oriental street pageant. Why it was no comparison to this morning’s pompous parade!
The firemen presented a fine appearance in their new uniforms. The secret societies turned out in large numbers and added materially to the beauty of the procession. The Eureka National Guard under the efficient command of Capt. C.G. Hubbard and the Centennial Guards of Ruby Hill were much talked about and admired by the ladies. But the feature of the procession was the Car of State: it was handsomely adorned with the national colors and young misses were beautifully attired each carrying a flag with the name of the state she represented. The Goddess of Liberty, Miss Annie Reece, looked charming.
The exercises took place in Bigelow’s Hall, immediately after the close of the procession. The introductory was delivered by the Hon. Thomas Wren in his usual inimitable style. Rev. S. M. Crothers officiated as Chaplain. The oration was a fine one, full of patriotic sentiments and replete with historical allusions and the reading of the Declaration of Independence, which could not have been better. T. L. Ham, poet of the day, read an original poem. It was one of his finest poetical productions.
The ball to be given this evening by the Rescue Hose Company promises to be a brilliant affair.”
What sort of a day was it in Eureka, July 4, 1877? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our time.