Month: November 2013

What a spread!


The Palmer House Hotel stood at the corner of 5th and Broadway from the early 1890’s to the late 1950’s. Beyond its reputation as Paducah’s premier hotel, the Palmer House was also renowned for its dining room. Just check out the menu for Thanksgiving Dinner reprinted exactly from an 1899 edition of the Paducah Sun:
Oysters Cocktail, Celery en Branch, Salted Almonds, Cream of Terrapin, Consommi Xavier, Canape of Potted Quail, Sliced Tomatoes, Olives, Green Onions, Boiled Pompano Maitre de Hotel, Potatoes Gastronome, Rib Roast of Choice Beef, Larded Mushrooms, Brown Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus Tips on Toast, Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffed with Oysters, Cranberry Sauce, Small Peas, Cauliflower Butter Sauce, Little Pig, Spiced Apple Sauce, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Fillet de Boeuf a la Napolitaine, Cassoletton of Fruit, Meringue, Stuffed Grouse, Birds, Water Cress, Saddle of Venison, Currant Jelly, Fried Hominy Cakes, Dressed Lettuce, Fresh Shrimp en Mayonais, English Plum Pudding, Hard and Brandy Sauce, Homemade Mince Pie, New England Pumpkin Pie, Charlotte Au Cherries, Fruit Cake, Petit Fours, Mixed Nuts, California Figs, Cheese (Edam, Roquefort, Cream), Bent’s Biscuits.

• Cream of Terrapin is a bisque-style soup made from tortoise.
• Consommi Xavier is a beef broth flavored with herbs.
• Canape of Potted Quail is cooked, minced quail preserved in butter and herbs and served on bread rounds.
• Boiled Pompano Matre de Hotel is a whitefish in a sauce of butter, black pepper, and lemon juice.
• Charlotte Au Cherries is a sponge cake stuffed with either cherry puree or cherry custard.

For more about hotel menus and holiday dining experiences, please visit the Local and Family History Department at the McCracken County Public Library.

A love poem from the Tilghman Bell


In the midst of digitizing copies of “The Bell,” Tilghman High’s school newspaper, we came across this gem of a lyric dating from 1959. The author is unknown, and perhaps that was the intent. Nevertheless, we hope you find it as stirring as we did.

The moon was white
The road was dark
A perfect place
To stop and park…
I gave a sigh
I gave a moan
I cursed my fate
I was all alone…

To discover more poetry about unrequited, cloistered, forsaken love, visit the Local and Family History Department at the McCracken County Public Library.

On this day in Paducah History…


November 13, 1902 – On this day in Paducah history, President Theodore Roosevelt stopped in our fair city!!! However, he was only here for five minutes…and it was the middle of the night…and he was fast asleep. President Roosevelt, for whom the teddy bear was named, was en route to Mississippi to do some black bear hunting. His train arrived at Paducah’s depot at exactly 4:23 a.m. Despite the early hour, 25 local residents were there to meet the train, though they must have been sorely disappointed when not one soul, including the President, made an appearance. All aboard were in the midst of slumber. After changing engines, the President’s train was on its way again…at exactly 4:28 a.m.

To learn more about his and other brief celebrity encounters, visit the Local and Family History Department at the McCracken County Public Library!

Thanksgiving 1899


Mention Thanksgiving and turkey instantly pops in your head. But we in the Local and Family History Department agree that the best part of the meal is not the turkey, but the stuffing. Ahhhhh! the stuffing! Gravy comes in a close second, but really it’s the stuffing that we all crave. As such, here’s a stuffing recipe from an 1899 issue of the Paducah Sun:

For the stuffing soak a small, stale loaf of bread in cold water and when soft squeeze all the water out, place in a bowl, add salt, pepper, thyme or sage, or both; fry one onion chopped fine in four ounces of butter and add a little ham, bacon or salt pork, cut fine; add a whole egg and mix well. Stuff the crop or wishbone part thoroughly and fasten the skin over it on the back of the turkey with a skiver, or sew it. The rest put inside.

Historic Bargains


Black Friday (i.e. the day after Thanksgiving, now the busiest shopping day of the year) may be a relatively new term, but the practice of holding a post-thanksgiving sale is nothing new. Check out this ad from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 25, 1908.

To find even more archived bargains, visit the Local and Family History Department at the McCracken County Public Library.