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Friday, January 7, 2011

A Day in the Life: January 7th

(Aged 14)
Wea.  stormy                                TUE. JAN. 7, 1896                          Ther.  20  

Went to school.  Frank + Frankie Kineston helped pa draw logs.  May Walters + her girls were over here in the P.M and evening.   
(Aged 16)   
Wea. Warm                                   FRI. JAN. 7, 1898                           Ther.   39

Went to school.  Elmer Warn rode home with me.  A broom peddler stayed here all night.  Chas.  Slater + I went to a surprise party up at Roy McColough’s.  Had a good time.  Got home at 12:55 oclock A.M.  The sleighing is getting thin. 

(Aged 17)
Wea.  Clear                                    SAT. JAN. 7, 1899                           Ther.  10

Got up at 7:05 and started to do my chores when pa hollered at me to come out where he was feeding the sheep.  When I got there one was all blood (sic) around the neck + couldn’t stand up + several others had the wool torn off of them in places we think the dogs have been chasing them. 
Pa + Geo Walters have been drawing both from the Webster place up the road by Will Smith all day.  I have been fussing around that sheep doing chores all day.  I think the sheep will live.    I have begun reading Thaddeus of Warsaw--it is a pretty good book.  Mrs. Mason gave it to me.  It is sleighing. (sic)

(Aged 18)

Wea.                                              SUN. JAN. 7, 1900                          Ther.

Took a bath and shaved Pa in the A.M.  In P.M. went to S.S. up in Ivory.  In eve Alice Warn + I took a sleigh ride.  I drove Bay Bill.  Got a letter from Cassie Conners + Edna Watson.
Currier and Ives--a bit before Allen's sleighing but still about what you'd imagine.

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                             MON. JAN. 7, 1901                        Ther.

Drew a load of wood to grandma and one here.  In eve. bot (sic) a pair of bobsleds off Devillo Kineston for (confusing notation) Cost me $2.50.  In evening Pa, Ma + Rollie went up to Bowers.

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                              TUE.  JAN.  7, 1902                       Ther.

In A.M. went up to Mrs Pages + Shaws.  In P.M. stayed at home.  Alex Hiller + Elmer Van Dewark were here.

(Aged 21)
Wea.                                              WED.  JAN.  7, 1903                      Ther.

Worked all day in the mill.  In eve went up to Pearl’s party.  Dave drew bolts and did chores.

(Aged 22)
Wea.                                              THUR. JAN. 7, 1904                      Ther.

Grandma came down to stay with Pa.  Worked on the mill + in woods all day.  Got some brand + a load of coal.


Editor's Note: 
What an incredible time when people would let strangers stay the night and presumably share their food.  I wonder if the family bought brooms from the peddler or just offered lodging instead.  And what a life for the peddler relying on people he’d only known for moments to be so generous.  I wonder how many farms he could have visited in a day and if he had a home base somewhere or just kept moving along.

Clearly, surprise parties were a major source of entertainment.  I just wonder how they could all remain surprises when you would see everyone’s sleighs/carts long before you got there.  Farms were far apart.  It wasn’t like you could park up on another block but maybe they did something similar.

I hope the sheep lives.  I’m actually not reading ahead either.  The only one of these diaries I’ve read entirely was 1900 and that was years ago but I will get into that further as we go along.

I love the son shaving the father.  Lovely domestic image you wouldn’t see today unless someone was infirm.  I suppose this was the era when shaving was a big deal and not a daily occurrence.  

Clarifications:  I’m quite certain Grandma is Diantha Woodward Cass--Frank’s mother; S.S. is presumably Sunday School; and Dave must be a farm hand because he is not a relation.


  1. Jenny you have Diantha's cradle. That's the one she used for all her babies. Great photo of the Lucas Chicken. I have Diantha's wedding dress somewhere. I think they married in 1850. Diantha died in 1913 I believe.

  2. It was forest green with black lace. We were shocked to think a wedding dress wasn't always white when we used to dress up in it.