Members of the 40 Hayseeders in Bar Harbor pose for a group photo during an organizational meeting in 2005. A video of a contemporary Hayseed Ball can be found at Bill Green's Maine. This year's Hayseed Ball will be held at the Atlantic Oceanside on Friday, Feb. 24. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Historical records

Time was ‘Way Bak!’

By Deborah Dyer, director, Bar Harbor Historical Society

Hayseeders Ball Will Be Great

Ye’ll hev to kum in yer Daown East close to ther Darnse or sit and watch. Old time costumes will come out of the attics.

Invitations are out for the Hayseeders’ Ball, and as far as the details have been arranged now, it will be the best ever in the history of the organization. There is nothing quite like the Hayseeders’ Ball, and like its predecessor, the Way Bak function, it is a peculiarly Bar Harbor institution.

The various committees have been appointed and are hard at work on the details.

The costumes – well, it will be a difficult thing to say anything about them unless several pages of this paper are used, and in these days of printing town reports, the Times force is too busy. Garrets and old hair-cloth trunks will be ransacked for finery of bygone days, and it will be a varied and picturesque crowd when the long line of dancers steps upon the floor.

The refreshments will be no ice cream and cake, punch and fancy crackers, but the good old standby of molasses doughnuts, salt fish and other honest country eatables.

Invitations are as scarce and valuable and as much sought after as lumps of coal in these hard times, but by bribery, and utilizing all the craft of long experience in the newspaper game, we have been enabled to get a peek at one and have made a copy, which is reproduced herewith for the benefit of our readers. If you get one, you may consider yourself one of the most fortunate people in town.

Hayseeders Invitation 1917

Yes, we’re goin ter hev it

The Hayseeders annual jig,

Sew dont waist yer ton er tawkin


Fer the only way yer ken june us

In the cirkels, hops and reels

Is ter ware them ould tim garmints

Spinned on grandma’s wheel.


Now do yer chores rit, early

Fer them fiddlers awl say

We’el tune up at 7:30

and shake er down t’ll day


But don’t yer bring no vitils

Lik that high flown kake

Cause we’ll give yer plenty uv donuts

like Mother ust ter make.


If you kant use this invit

just send it bak ter me

yer know theres a 100 others

just krazy fer this spree.


But if ye want ter help us

mak merry awl the nite,

kum ter the Bridge Street door

along with this invite


From here we ole tim dancers

start hour jamboree,

The balcony is for them folks

who only cum ter see.


To hears a harty welcum

from the Hayseeders’ one and awl

Who on February 5th

Hev there grand ole ball.


“The 40 Hayseeders”

From the pages of the Bar Harbor Times.

To find out more about Bar Harbor history, visit


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