Sep 25, 2010
Saturday October 2 marks the 60th anniversary of “Lemuel Siddons Day.” It was on this date in 1950 that the town of Hickory honored its first Scoutmaster for a lifetime of guidance and character building to the local youth. As a traveling musician Mr. Siddons was passing through Hickory during the summer of 1930 when his band “Melody Murphy’s Collegians” stopped for a break in front of Hughes Mercantile. It was while watching a group of boys playing a game of baseball in the lot across from Joe’s Hardware that he realized how much the town square reminded him of the main street district of his boyhood home. In a decision he would never regret Siddons quit the group and took a job as a clerk at the mercantile store.
Mr. Siddons was always one that felt strongly about community involvement and it wasn’t long before he found himself addressing the city council about starting up a scouting program for the boys of the area. Because he was so new to the area Siddons was reluctant at first to take on the role of Scoutmaster but when no one else stepped up he jumped right in.
Hickory Troop 1 was soon up and running and the boys of the town could be seen marching to and from Seibert Lake nearly every weekend. In 1950 Seibert Lake and the 1834 acres of land surrounding it was deeded over to Lemuel Siddons by Hetty Seibert with the stipulation that the land never be sold for commercial use. Seibert Park welcomes hundreds of Boy Scouts each year to Camp Siddons. Many recreational activities including several bike and nature trails are open to the public.
Lemuel Siddons passed away on November 5, 1991. He was preceded in death by his wife Vida (Downey) Siddons. They had no children of their own but their adopted son Whitey often returns to honor their memories during this time. Following Siddons passing, Camp Siddons at Seibert Park was recognized by the state as a site of historical significance.
Lemuel Siddons Day Activities:
Friday October 1st:
6:00PM-10:00PM Town Square: Carnival rides open.
6:00PM-9:00PM Vets Club: Pork Chop Supper with all you care to eat corn. $7.00
9:00PM-12:00AM Town Square: Street Dance
Saturday October 2nd:
7:00AM Seibert Park: NEW THIS YEAR Half Marathon Run/Hike. Race will start and finish in Seibert Park. Course will take participants along paved trails and around Town Square. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the carnival as you pass through.
7:00AM-7:00PM Town Square: Carnival rides open
12:00PM Town Square: Lemuel Siddons Day Parade. Come out and shake hands with Whitey and former Governor Hoo Doo Henderson.
1:00PM Seibert Park: Knot tying and Pumpkin seed spitting contests.
2:00PM Seibert Park: Canoe races.
5:00PM Seibert Park: Campfire Foil dinners. Come out and create your own meal. Scouts of Troop 1 will cook your meal for you. Suggested donation $5.00
7:30PM Hickory Bijoux: Follow Me Boys! Come see the story of Lemuel Siddons life as told by the studios of Walt Disney.
10:00PM Seibert Park: Closing Fireworks.