Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Coasting in Paperville (1918)

Coasting in Paperville (1918)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 10, 2010

Get out your crayons and scissors, boys and girls (whatever your age). In honor of the winter storms some of you are, uh, enjoying this week, here’s a story and an activity you can do in your cubicles and classrooms and courtrooms everywhere. Well, maybe not your courtrooms. But everywhere else.

From the Children’s Friend of 1918 —

Coasting in Paperville.

By M.E. Benjamin.

“Hurrah! Hurrah!” shouted Peter Paperboy as he hopped out of bed and pressed his chubby face close to the little paper window in his little paper house. “It has been snowing for fair! I see where somebody is going to have lots of fun today.” And in a jiffy he appeared outside, dressed all in his winter toggery.

He had a pretty red toboggan cap on his head, a nice warm sweater to match, and even leggings and mittens of the same color.

He hurried into the woodshed to get his sled, and was soon on his way to the hill down by the circus grounds, where all the other little chaps were.

“Hello, Pete! What do you think of my new sled? isn’t it a dream?” exclaimed Jimmy Write, as he proudly exhibited a pretty yellow flexible flyer. “The fellow that built that sled knew just what he was about. See those two little slits across the front end? Well, they are there so a boy won’t fall off. Why, you can go down the steepest kind of a hill without parting company with your sled.” And he demonstrated the fact by slipping himself through the two little slits, taking a rope in each hand, and coasting down the hill at break-neck speed.

“That’s great!” shouted Peter. “Who built your sled for you?”

“Why, Bobby Jones, of course. He builds everything that we folks in Paperville have. Why don’t you take your sled over and let him fix it up for you?” suggested Jimmy.

“Guess I will,” said Peter, as he hurried away.

“Wait up!” shouted the other boys in a chorus. “We fellows are going along, too!”

A few minutes later the boys had returned, and the hill was ringing with the merry shouts of the coasters.

Some of the sleds carried as many as three, and even four, passengers. Bobbie Jones had made a little hole in each mittened hand with a needle, through which he could pass the thread that was fastened to the sled.

The hill which he had made for the little chaps was nothing more nor less than a large sheet of white pad paper, with a board fence drawn along each side which he had bent up to resemble a real fence. This paper hill was propped up on one end with a dictionary so that it was quite steep.

The fence served the purpose of keeping the coasters from meeting with any accidents, by going over the sides into the ravine below.



  1. That’s cute.

    I look outside today and can see bits of houses, and the dark grays of the trees, and some greens peeking through the snow from the white pines and yews, but otherwise all is white.

    Time to pull out the sleds! And I’ll print this out for the kids, since they can’t spend the entire day outside.

    Comment by Researcher — February 10, 2010 @ 7:48 am

  2. No snow here, but I can see it up on the Cascades. Maybe a paper sled run will be just as fun. Or not. :(

    Comment by Eric Boysen — February 10, 2010 @ 8:30 am

  3. I have to confess that the first thought that came to mind when I saw your title was “Wasting away in Margaritaville.”

    A different “frozen concoction” than the Children’s Friend had in mind.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 10, 2010 @ 8:41 am

  4. I agree with Researcher: cute.

    (So, do we get a get-out-of-Sunday-School pass if we actually make this and send in photos??)

    Comment by Hunter — February 10, 2010 @ 9:44 am

  5. Alas, no pictures for the courtroom set here. But I can imagine it. Cute!

    Comment by Coffinberry — February 10, 2010 @ 9:48 am

  6. Coffinberry, check your email.

    Does anybody else need private delivery because Keepa’s pictures are blocked at work? Leave a comment (be sure the email address you leave behind the scenes is the one I should use).

    Yes! A get-out-of-Sunday-School-free card to anybody who sends in photos!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 10, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  7. Perfect. A gigantic blizzard here. Going out to photo in a minute. Building sled boy upon return.

    Comment by Mina — February 10, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  8. I’m concerned about the risk of frostbite to silly Bobbie Jones’ hands. Making holes in his mittens, indeed.

    Comment by Anne (U.K) — February 10, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  9. We have beautiful blue skies and clear air and warm temps here today — but if I were going to have to be snowed in, it would be a hoot to be locked up with all of you!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 10, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  10. Might have to use paperboy to start a fire. Tragic.

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — February 10, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

  11. Oh, the humanity!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 10, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

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