The Sheet and Pillow-Case Party was an early tradition at Dana that took place until around 1900 when the New Girls’ Dance took its place. It was a way to have the incoming class, the sophomores, feel welcome at their new school and get to know their older classmates. Most students were boarders at this time. Today, the tradition of Senior-Sophomore continues in the spirit of the Sheet and Pillow-Case party.
Mr. Goodson’s Making History class was recently given an assignment to examine the digitized scrapbook of Helen Julia Wheeler 1896. Helen started her scrapbook in Sept. 1894, the year she arrived at Dana. The first item in her scrapbook is a dance card for the Sheet and Pillow-Case Party.
We are fortunate that, in addition to the Wheeler scrapbook, the Archives has a copy of the Oct. 1892 Bonbonnière, an early Dana newspaper, with a short article explaining what occurred at this party, a letter from Florence Hubbard 1893 describing the party to her mother, and an article by Margaret French 1899 in Our Town clearing stating the reasons for the party.
Check out the new Danapedia entry on Sheet and Pillow-Case Party to find out more details and to discover what Florence wrote to her mother. Look at Helen Wheeler’s digital scrapbook, which was created last year as part of the Making History class. You will find everything from dance cards, letters and room regulations to pressed flowers and a wishbone. Have fun!