Big Celebration at Maryville

Maryville, June 18th. White Way Dedication. 2 aeroplane flights by Ralph E. McMillen in a Curtis Biplane. Moving Picture Show in the Court House Yard. Plenty Band Music by the Maryville Band. Come and help us celebrate the opening of the finest street lighting system in any city of this size in the country. Reduced railroad rates for the big day.
This advertisement for the Maryville festivities ran in the June 12, 1913 Skidmore New Era.

Things were worth celebrating in Nodaway County in 1913.  New technology had brought electricity, moving pictures, automobiles, and even aeroplanes to the area.  Maryville planned a grand celebration of it all to mark the official lighting of its brand-new electric street lights.  For Skidmore, it was a moment to envy, for although the town had enjoyed its own aeroplane exhibition – the first in the county – a full three years before Maryville did, the town still lacked the beauty of electric street lamps.

From the June 12, 1913 Skidmore New Era:

Will Come From Just As Far As Rates Reach

Wide Territory Interested in Big Celebration at Opening of White Way, June 18

Aeroplane Flights Will Be One of Big Drawing Cards, But There’s Free Movies, Concerts, Etc.

Maryville will draw visitors June 18 from just as far as rates reach on the railroads, and just as far as a horse or auto can travel comfortably – and maybe some of the horses will be urged just a bit to make the journey.

From all over the territory adjacent, comes word that the people want to see Ralph E. McMillen in his aeroplane flights, and his sensational flying down at Kansas City the past ten days has increased the desire to see him.

He will make two flights, and the field will be open so that the visitors can see everything, from start to finish, and there will be no entrance fee.

Besides the flights there will be a number of other interesting features, a free picture show in the park – something worth the seeing, an out door movie – and there will be band concerts and trips to the factories, and a number of other attractions.

At night the formal turning on the lights will take place, when seventy-two clusters, extending over ten blocks of the down town streets, will flash out for the first time.

These lights which are the result of a campaign on the part of the Commercial club, were installed at the cost of $4,500.  Over 7,000 feet of steel-armored cable, laid in cement under paving, supplies current to the lamps.  These lamps are arranged in clusters of five on ornamental iron posts.  Large opalescent globes cover the lamps and soften the light, and the lower four will burn until 11 o’clock at night and the middle and larger lamps will burn until morning.

In connection with the White Way the whole lighting system of the town has been changed, to get better distribution and where forty-five arc sixty two incandescents formerly lighted the town, there now will be 124 tungsten lamps scattered over the city.

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