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Gander-Pulling Extravaganza and Grand Balls: A Nod to McKittrick's Colorful Past



The Vaudeville Suite, McKittrick Hall, McKittrick, MO
The Vaudeville Suite, McKittrick Hall, McKittrick, MO

In the quaint town of McKittrick, Missouri, history comes alive in unexpected ways. Nestled along the scenic Katy Trail, The Mercantile on the Katy Trail offers more than just a cozy stay; it provides a gateway to the town's vibrant past. One particularly intriguing chapter in McKittrick's history involves the age-old tradition of gander-pulling, a spectacle that captivated the community in the early 20th century.


Gander-Pulling: A Historical European and American Spectacle


One glance into the pages of yesteryear's newspapers from 1901, reveals a curious event that had the entire town buzzing with excitement - a gander-pulling competition. Back in the day, gander-pulling was a popular pastime in rural communities, often serving as a source of amusement and community bonding. Originating in Spain, the sport quickly spread throught Europe to America. between the 17th-19th centuries. It was very popular in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, and in the Midwest and Southern United States.


The historic newspaper describes the popular German blood-sport event as a thrilling display of skill and camaraderie, where locals gathered to test their mettle in a competition that involved attempting to pull the head off a live goose, suspended high above the ground. While the 19th century activity may seem unconventional by today's standards, it was a common form of entertainment in a time when communities sought simple pleasures and unique forms of amusement.


Following the spirited gander-pulling event, the town celebrated its revelry in a grand fashion with a ball held at McKittrick Hall, located on the second floor of what is now The Mercantile on the Katy Trail. McKittrick Hall, a historic venue that has stood the test of time, once echoed with the laughter and music of its bygone era.


A Grand Ball at McKittrick Hall:


Imagine the scene in 1901 - men and women dressed in their finest attire, the melodies of live music filling the air, and the joyous laughter of a community coming together to celebrate. McKittrick Hall was the epicenter of such festivities, and its legacy continues to resonate through the halls of The Mercantile on the Katy Trail.


Preserving History at The Mercantile:


Fast forward to the present day, and The Mercantile on the Katy Trail proudly upholds the town's rich history. The Vaudeville Suite, situated on the old music hall stage, offers guests a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the charm of McKittrick's storied past. With carefully curated decor that pays homage to the era of theatre and musical entertainment, the suite is a nod to the vibrant cultural scene that once thrived within the walls of McKittrick Hall.


Plan Your Stay in McKittrick, MO:


Embark on a journey through time by booking a stay in The Mercantile's Vaudeville Suite. Immerse yourself in the town's history, indulge in the charm of the Katy Trail, and experience the unique blend of old-world allure and modern comfort that awaits you. Join us in preserving the spirit of McKittrick and make your stay not just a getaway but a step into the fascinating tapestry of the past.


As the sun sets over the Katy Trail, let The Mercantile on the Katy Trail be your gateway to a bygone era, where gander-pulling competitions and grand balls were the talk of the town, and where the Vaudeville Suite invites you to create your own memories in a place where history lives on.

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