The Old Colony Club started as a group of seven young gentlemen from Plymouth. They formed their club in January 1769, and on 22 December of that year had a dinner to commemorate the landing of the first British settlers in what was then the Plymouth Colony but was subsumed into Massachusetts.
The dinner took place at the inn of Thomas Southworth Howland, another descendant of the first settlers, starting at 2:30 P.M. According to club records, the food consisted of:
1. A large baked Indian whortleberry pudding.At 4:00 the club walked solemnly back to “Old Colony Hall,” the procession “headed by the steward carrying a folio volume of the laws of the Old Colony” of Plymouth. Other descendants gathered as a military company and “discharged a volley of small arms, succeeded by three cheers.”
2. A dish of sauquetash.
3. A dish of clams.
4. A dish of oysters and a dish of codfish.
5. A haunch of venison roasted by the first jack brought to the Colony.
6. A dish of sea-fowl.
7. A ditto of frost-fish and eels.
8. An apple pie.
9. A course of cranberry tarts, and cheese made in the Old Colony; dressed in the plainest manner (all appearances of luxury and extravagance being avoided, in imitation of our worthy ancestors whose memory we shall ever respect).
Peleg Wadsworth brought out the boys from his “Private Grammar School opposite the Hall,” who sang “a song very applicable to the day.” Young Elkanah Watson might have been among those boys; his namesake father, his teacher Wadsworth, and the school’s other teacher, Alexander Scammell, were among the men who joined the club members for toasts that afternoon.
The public part of the ceremony ended at sunset with a cannon being fired and the club taking down their “elegant silk flag” inscribed “Old Colony 1620.”