Harold Collins at football field
where grand pageant was held

The Collins clan in parade, Harold Collins,
Gerald Collins and Oleta Lamp Hill

Collins was proud to participate in big event

(Above photos courtesy of Tony Collins)

By Bob Weaver

Over the years we have complied a number of stories about the 1956 Calhoun Centennial Celebration. It was the largest gathering of citizens since its founding, and will never see a crowd like it again, estimated between 4,000-5,000 people.

They came out of every village and holler, including the Collins family from Stumptown, who brought their horses and wagons.

Indicating how quickly the culture changed in 50 years, the 150th Calhoun Sesquicentennial barely drew a whimper, Americians cocooning themselves at home with entertainment.

The Collins family is among the largest families in the area since the county began.

ORIGINAL STORY -The 1956 Calhoun Centennial likely drew the largest crowd ever in the county seat of Grantsville.

A couple thousand Calhouners returned home for the event, having left for jobs in Ohio following the end of World War II, and the end of agricultural subsistence farming. They joined a huge local crowd.

In that post WW II era, people who died "living away" were brought back for a funeral and burial in Calhoun sod. By the late 1960s, few were returned, the transplants adapting to their new homes.

It would be difficult today to believe that Grantsville streets were once crowded.

The snapshots below, obtained by the late Billie Joe Yoak, and submitted by Kaye Yoak, reflect a slice of life in the 1950s, which for the American Middle Class was likely the best years of their lives. -Bob Weaver

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