An Invitation to a Soiree

Featured is an invitation to attend a Soiree Musicale hosted by Higganum resident Earl T. Child on July 25, 1890. In the late 19th century Soiree Musicales were a popular form of entertainment and socializing. They primarily featured Victorian parlor songs and operatic pieces performed in middle-class homes by amateur singers and musicians. The events at Mr. Child’s home featured both piano and vocals.

Mr. Earl Child was only 21 when he hosted the event. He was the only child of James H. and Carrie Child and a member of the well-known shipbuilding Child family of Higganum Landing. It appears he held other musical events in the home he shared with his parents at the corner of Saybrook Road and Landing Road. Earl, a piano and music teacher in Middletown between 1893 and 1896, suddenly died at the age of 26 years and 11 months in 1896. His obituary noted that “Professor” Child died in Pueblo, Colorado and left behind many loving friends to mourn his loss. An active member of the Knights of Pythias Red Men and O.U.A.M of Middletown, Child’s service was conducted by the group which brought “magnificent floral offerings as their last token of love and respect.”