May 24, 1876 was a national holiday in Canada. The local newspapers in Hamilton took the day off, but the day before The Spectator provided an extensive guide detailing how the day would be celebrated in the day and beyond :
“Greater preparations than usual are being made for the celebration of the celebration of the 24th of May in this city. The World and his wife, figuratively speaking, are preparing to go somewhere for a holiday, and in late years, so many beautiful places of resort have sprung up in the neighbourhood of Hamilton. Fortunately there are places within easy distance of Hamilton to suit the tastes of almost all classes of our citizens. There is the Beach, with its Ocean House, and its free access to water on both sides; the Brant House with its beautiful grounds, where parties disposed for a picnic can enjoy themselves ; there is Dundas, with its Elgin House, and the creek where Ireland was drowned and the mountain; there is Ancaster with its pleasant surroundings, and its theatricals in the neighbourhood of our city where parties dedicated to pleasure can enjoy themselves. All the railroads offer special inducements for excursion parties
Advertises return tickets at a single fare to any point along the line. This will probably induce a great many to visit the Falls and the picturesque town of Clifton.
HAMILTON AND NORTHWESTERN RAILWAY
The H. & L.E. division of this railway can be travelled over by return tickets at single fare, good till the next day. Doubtless many will avail themselves of this offer and take a trip up the mountainside, when they will have a view of the grandest panorama in Canada. The town of Caledonia will also be found an interesting place during the day, as rural sports are to be carried on.
THE CANADA SOUTHERN
Offers return tickets at a single fare from and to all stations between Buffalo, Niagara, Courtright and Detroit. This will be one of the most interesting trips of all, and the trains running on this line will no doubt be crowded.
During the day, the steamers Florence, Transit and Dennis Bowen, will ply between this port and the Beach, the Transit calling regularly at the Brant House. Return tickets can be purchased at small rates good for any trip, and as the boats are thoroughly refitted, the trip will be both pleasant and safe.
This resort, once such a favorite one, will be comparatively desterted, save by a few little picnic parties which long for the retirement as well as comfort, which Rock Bay is so well able to afford. Parties also driving to Wellington Square will call in as they go by, and we learn that a country picnic party will put up there.
THE MUSIC HALL
In connection with the Ocean House at the Beach, will be opened tomorrow afternoon. Dancing will commence at 3 p.m. and last until 6 p.m. After an intermission of two hours, it will be resumed again and last till eleven, at which hour the boats will return to Hamilton. A good string band will be in attendance.
The proprietor of the Elgin House is making preparations to merit his share of the public patronage, and has fixed up his ball room for those who wish to trip the light fantastic too. A well furnished billiard room will also be thrown open to the public.
THE DRILL SHEDS
This will probably be the greatest centre of attraction for parties remaining in the city. The grand Spring Exhibition of the Hamilton Horticultural Society will be held there, to be open from 3 p.m. until 10 o’clock p.m. The splendid band of the XIII Batt. Will be in attendance in the evening.
THE CRYSTAL PALACE
St. George’s Society holds their annual games at the Crystal Palace tomorrow. Two hundred dollars in prizes will be given, and some of our (illegible0 athletes will take part in the games. A base ball match will take place between the Standard and Union clubs, commencing at 10 a.m., for which a prize of $15 will be given by Mr. Bateman. An extra prize will be given for the cricket match in the shape of a silver cup, valued at $7. At three o’clock a baby show will be held at the Palace for which several handsome prizes will be given.
In the evening, Mrs. Morrison supported by the whole strength of her Grand Opera House Company, will give H.J. Byron’s brilliant comedy, “Our Boys,” in Mechanics’ Hall. Mrs. Morrison is too well known to the theatre-goers of Hamilton to require any extended notice here.
BOWLING AND BILLIARDS
Tomorrow, Sam Davis, who has leased the bowling alley and billiard rooms at the Beach, will open them to the public. They are conveniently fitted up and will be found a great attraction.