Croquet and Other Social Events in Stephen’s Life – 1869/70



Harper's Bazaar -1872


Croquet became the rage in England in the 1860s. By 1870 when Stephen purchases his croquet set, young men and women are embracing the sport. At $5.25, it is a major expense in his annual budget of $120. 

Although it may seem a child's game, it is one of the few socially acceptable ways for men and women to interact. Mr. Stephen Wilbur has the game both sexes could enjoy together on the lawns of Brockport Normal School. His leadership and intelligence in gathering groups are life-long attributes. May we add ladies' man to the list?

In addition to playing lawn games, Stephen attends lectures, concerts and society meetings. He is a member of the first fraternity at the Normal School, a lodge and the Harmonie Society. 

Questions: Was the croquet set in the rough wooden rack at Grandma's house his? Did we play with it?