Our Great Natal Day
In 1870, Henry Bowen revived the early-nineteenth century tradition of celebrating Independence Day with patriotic orations and fireworks. For twenty-five years, yearly commemorations focused the country’s attention on Bowen’s beloved Woodstock. Roseland Cottage, across from the Woodstock town common. It was a fitting site for the grand affairs. Thousands filled Roseland’s grounds and Woodstock Common across the road. Four presidents, a long list of senators, congressmen, governors, foreign dignitaries, and other political, literary and social luminaries participated in the days’ events. Newspapers from around the country covered the events, and Bowen’s reputation stretched from coast to coast. The Los Angeles Times in 1886 suggested that the country should look to Henry C. Bowen in Woodstock, Connecticut, to learn how to celebrate Independence Day.