Julia A. Moore

The Sweet Singer of Michigan



CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

In the year eighteen seventy-six,
      A Fourth of July celebration
Was held in Grand Rapids city
      In honor to our nation.
The largest city in the county of Kent,
      Is this city, and it is respected,
For thousands of people was here to see
      The beautiful arch erected.

The Centennial arch on Campau Place
      Was the most principal feature;
It was a grand beautiful sight
      To all human sensitive creatures;
To all the people that loved to read
      The mottoes on it painted,
The engravings, too, and tell
      What each one represented.

The paintings and mottoes on the arch
      Was viewed by many people;
It was Colonel Joseph Penney's design,
      And his work could not be equalled.
Mr. C. H. Gifford was architect,
      He formed the noble structure,
A memento to the Centennial year,
      A pride of our nation's culture.

A cabin was built, too, I believe,
      That nicely represented
One that the traders built years ago,
      This was the only one invented.
Ten thousand people respected it,
      This token of early years, with pay;
The honor of this little hut
      Was due to Mr. Godfroy.

The stars and stripes was honored, too,
      For from a thousand windows waving,
That dear old flag, red, white and blue,
      That's loved throughout our nation:
That same flag for one hundred years
      Has waved over our nation;
May God let it forever wave
      Over our Union celebration.

The people in the city, friends,
      Was an honor to our nation,
For they all joined heart and hand
      In our Union celebration.
Some gave money, other labor,
      To maintain what was intended.
It was a success, some people said,
      Who here that day attended.

That day will never be forgot
      By the people of Kent county,
God bless the people who joined that day
      In the honor of our country.
The people in the city, friends,
      Dearly loved this nation,
For they saved no time or expense
      In our Centennial celebration.


Reprinted from The Sweet Singer of Michigan: Poems by Mrs. Julia A. Moore, ed. Walter Blair (Chicago: Pascal Covici, 1928).
Note: In stanza 4 Blair has a blank line space after line 2. I have removed it.
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