Frederick Street School Valentine Dance, 1926
This photograph was taken in 1926 and along with the accompanying write-up appeared in the 1926 Frederick Street (later Carver) School Yearbook. These five girls were all competing in a popularity contest for the school's Valentine's Day Dance to be held on February 12, 1926.
Depicted here in the front row, left to right are Hazel (Stephens) Gates, Sadie D. Washington (the winner of the contest), and Kathleen (Francis) Washington. In the back row, left to right are Nellie (Franklin) Diggins and Gussie (Rawlings) Bradley.
Kathleen (Francis) Washington died in June of 1997 at the age of 87. Kathleen, Nellie (Franklin) Diggins, and Hazel (Stephens) Gates are also in the reunion photograph appearing elsewhere on this website. Nellie Franklin Diggins was the sister of Ruth Franklin who was a prominent teacher. Nellie is also the mother of Spurgeon Washington who, along with Ruth Franklin, appears elsewhere on this website.
The Frederick Street School provided a classical education at that time with instruction in French, Latin, Greek Mythology, and higher math. Students studied Shakespeare and read from Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello. Debate teams traveled all over Maryland and students won oratorical contests with such speeches as, "The Power of Free Ideas."
Form the 1926 Cumberlenior
THIS Senior Class has the honor to be the first class to bring about a social event of just this type. The class is proud of this distinction for the Valentine Dance may well be considered as having been a grand affair.
The hall was artistically decorated in red and white. Cupids and hearts and other ornaments suitable to the occasion were placed here and there. Even the costumes of the guests seemed to have been planned ahead to fit the occasion. The Broadway Serenaders orchestra entertained the 100 guests present. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening to the fullest extent.
The climax of the evening was the culmination of a popularity contest which had been on foot for three weeks. The Senior Class being made up of four boys and only one girl, each boy chose a girl to act in his place. The results were beyond expectation, for the girls sold many more votes than the committee anticipated. Each girl received a handsome party bag from the committee. Miss Sadie D. Washington was pronounced the most popular girl, having sold 826 votes. She received a novelty fountain pen as the grand prize. Miss Hazel Stephens gave her a close second, selling 635 votes. Miss Kathleen Francis held third place, selling 525 votes. Other participants were Miss Gussie Bawlings and Miss Nellie Franklin.
All in all, the evening was one of real enjoyment. We shall not soon forget February 12, 1926.
The photograph was provided by Herman Washington. The text was provided by Herman Washington, Stephanie Gates, and Dolores Gates-Thomas.
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008