Looking Back: Sleepy serenade

Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 30, 2019


BIRMINGHAM — During Alta Ford’s teen and young adult years in the late 1800s, it was a tradition in the village of Birmingham for young men to serenade young women. Afterward, the young women would invite them inside for refreshments.

As an older woman in the 1950s, Ford recalled a particular evening when her future husband, J. Bert Peabody, and his guitar-playing friend serenaded her outside her window. Ford knew nothing about this until the next day, though, because she was sound asleep through it all.

Peabody must not have minded being snubbed for a few extra Zs, though: He and Ford married in 1893 and settled happily in Birmingham. Later they would became the proud parents of Ford, Cora and Clyde Peabody. In this photo from 1905, Alta Ford is the third from the left, and her three children are next to her.

To learn more about Ford, her world and her family, check out the newest exhibit at the Birmingham Museum, “Birmingham Before and After.”

— Caitlin Donnelly, museum assistant at the Birmingham Museum