The American custom of having afternoon tea is often traced back to the late nineteenth century when the upper classes in New York began to routinely engage in their version of the British ritual. However, well before that date, average women were using the term “five o’clock tea” to describe some of their get-togethers, as shown by nine enigmatic menus from the mid-1880s that recently came to light—a surprising discovery since menus were seldom printed for such events in private homes. These mementos were apparently saved by a woman who belonged to a small circle of friends. Although the menus contained the names of the participants, the use of nicknames and initials made it difficult to determine where the social events had taken place. Nevertheless, through trial and error, it was eventually determined that the women lived in Flint, Michigan, then a town of about 9,000 people. In addition to providing a glimpse of everyday life in the Midwest during that period, the menus reveal the optimism of the rising middle class that would soon set the country’s wheels into motion.