Happy Birthday, Augustus

Now that our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations have slipped into the past, we want to pause to honor our founder, Augustus Van Wickle, who was born on January 4, 1856.


In January of 1883 Augustus and Bessie were newly married and living in Cleveland, Ohio, where Augustus was managing a new mining company for his father. Bessie was pregnant with Marjorie, although the young couple didn’t know it yet. They had spent Christmas in Hazleton with the Pardees, and while Augustus returned to Cleveland to attend to business, Bessie stayed on with her family for a time to enjoy more parties and visits and the traditional New Year Celebration.

On the eve of his twenty-seventh birthday Augustus wrote to Bessie telling her that his friends were planning to throw him a party.  He wrote:

I am twenty seven tomorrow. Congratulate me please. I am to have a birthday party – it is hardly fair that you should have all the festivities. The following will be the menu.

Raw Oyster half shell (Bluepoints)

Pea Soup with olives, celery, etc.

Partridge with vegetables

Lobster salad

Coffee (strong) Ice Cream

Nuts and Fruit


Cigars and Toothpicks.

He added that the table was to be adorned with 27 candles.