Baseball and the 4th of July

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"The establishment of baseball as a staple of Independence Day was a most significant development. It helped solidify the game's status as the national pasttime and enabled it to survive after initial enthusiasm had subsided. In many succeeding seasons interest in baseball would be on the wane in a community until a traditional game on July 4 helped spark a revival."
-- Baseball Fever: Early Baseball in Michigan by Peter Morris



Ad for 4th of July Festivities
This full-page ad appeared in the Arcadia Booster around 1912 or 1913. 

Getting to the Game

In the early 1900's steamships regularly carried passengers from Watervale, Pierport, and beyond. At its peak the Arcadia and Betsey River Railway made regular trips twice a day between Arcadia and Copemish with several stops in between. To handle special events involving neighboring towns, passenger ships and the railway made extra trips.



Arriving by Ship
This photo shows Pere Marquette #8 docking in Arcadia on July 4, 1914.


Arriving by Train
This photo was taken in 1900 at the crossing in Henry. It shows an excursion train from the Arcadia and Betsey River Railway used for this occasion to take fans to and from a baseball game in Copemish between Arcadia and Copemish. The score: Arcadia 24, Copemish 22.

The Big Game

Among the July 4 festivities was a basball game, maybe a double header, with picnic lunches, a band, and other local events.


4th of July Baseball Game
This field shows the Arcadia ball field on July 4 probably 1911. The bleachers faced west. In the late afternoon and evening, batters would look into the sun.



Johnson Band in Summer Uniforms
Front Row (Sitting): William Larson, Ernest House
Second Row: August Zielinski, Charles Peek, Joseph Matteson (standing), William Ebert, Carl Manke
Third Row: Ira Lyons, unknown, unknown, George Weldt

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