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Paynesville Homecoming Keeps Spirit, Memories Of Rural Community Alive

Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm

By Ethan Colbert

Gone are the days when the audible smack of a softball colliding with a bat meant that Virginia Starks and her friends were playing a softball game in a farmer’s pasture.
Gone are the days when the young ladies of southern Pike County and northern Lincoln County would travel to Paynesville to be educated at the Pritchett Institute, which was founded in 1868 and later became Paynesville High School.
Gone are the days when the sounds of church hymns being sung would waft through the air of the tree-covered hills in and around Paynesville as the community’s five different churches conducted worship services.
Gone are the days when the area’s farmers would all converge at Patton’s Store for a late night conversation, which often lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
Gone are the days when Paynesville’s children would rush down to Stracks Store to purchase candy sticks from the store’s candy counter.
While all of these everyday moments are nothing but memories in the minds of Paynesville’s longtime residents, they were rekindled Saturday as the community of 77 people held its annual homecoming festival.
The rural Pike County community began holding its annual day-long festival in the early 1980s.

Paynesville Mayor Joanne Hammuck presides over the pie and cake auction at the 2018 Paynesville Homecoming Festival. The event, which is now in its 35th year, brings former Paynesville residents and their families back to the small Pike County community of 77 people.

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