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The first Christmas party for
“Ecusta Children” was held at the Clemson theatre on December 23, 1943.
  To accommodate all of the children there were
actually five separate parties.
foremen distributed tickets assigning “future Ecusta employees” to start times
for each one hour session.

Santa distributes Christmas stocking to children of employees at one of the

1949 Christmas parties.

The party featured several short
films with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Popeye and other favorites of the time.  Santa Claus and his helpers greeted the
children as they left the theatre presenting each with a goodie bag and present.  The presents included tin horns and the
children were instructed, “Make all the noise you want to on the outside.

A follow-up article in the January
1944 issue of “The Echo” states that approximately 1000 Ecusta children
attended.  Photos show long lines of
folks waiting for their turn to enter the theatre and happy families leaving.   

In future years similar parties
with movies, a large tree, visits with Santa and his elves where held in the
Ecusta cafeteria with every child receiving treats and presents.  In 1946 the party was cancelled due to concern
over a few cases of polio in the county. 
Santa ensured that each child received their gifts by sending them home
with their parents though.

Transportation was provided by the
Ecusta shift buses for the children and their accompanying family members.  Many years there were over 2000 children,
from infants to 13 years of age, attending the annual event.  Due to segregation, during that time period a
separate Christmas party was held for the children of African-American

Teen Christmas Dance at the Ecusta cafeteria, undated.

Beginning in 1950 a Christmas Dance
for teens, ages 14 to 19, was held each year. 
The dance was for children of employees but each teen was allowed to
bring one guest so it extended to the larger community.  A photograph in “The Echo”, December 1953 shows
everyone dressed in their best—young men in suits and ties and young ladies in evening

Issues of Ecusta’s monthly
newsletter, “The Echo” are available online at

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the
Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC
Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our
history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments, or
suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected]
or 828-884-1820.

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