Great - Great Grandmother's Journal

The following is an excerpt from my great, great grandmother's journal of 1917 who lived in Maine - she wrote in a Line A Day journal. It's interesting how much family history can be culled by informed people when reading it. Letters were a very important link to the world for my grandmother, who ran a boarding house for teamsters working in the Maine woods. She liked to quilt apparently, because references to quilting show up quite a bit. The days were filled with meal-making, washing clothes, gardening. Letters were the jewels of that day. Letters and journals are treasures for those of us who follow after these ancestors and want to know what their thoughts are. We are losing a lot of history in this electronic world of ours.

March 5, Monday - Snowed all day. Blew a gale and drifted bad. Nothing moving. Very cold.

March 6, Tuesday - Bright sunny day but cold. No track in over the road, snow blowing. Made some things for dinner. No mail.

March 7, Wednesday - Circle at Cora Hatch. No track out from here, so could not go. She phoned 7 out. No mail.

March 8, Thursday - Rufus and Preston went to the camp with plainer (planer). Sent box to Mary. Snowed and rained a little all day. Quite warm. No mail.

March 9, Friday - Boys did not get home last night. Arrived about noon with mail, Letter from William , package from Mary for 7 M.D. Paper from Charlotte with many advertisements.

March 10, Saturday - Jay came up on the afternoon train. Letter from Mary E. enclosing baby’s picture. Pleasant but quite cold.

March 11, Sunday - Fine day. Would like to go to church, but no team. Jay did not go back today.

March 12, Monday - The big day of the year. The town meeting dinner has come and passed. A big crowd out, men and women. Fine time. Took $28.55. Jay went to town on the 6 o’clock train.

April 3, Tuesday - Mr. Carson left about 10. Herbert carried him down. Been sewing on patchwork. Rained most of the day but sun set clear tonight, but cloudy afterwards. Man from Cornors’ came on afternoon train.

I like to think that in some ways I am like great-great-grandmother Mary. I've kept a journal since I was 15. I enjoy handwork such as sewing and quilting. She was a gardener and I like to garden quite a bit. Wouldn't it be fun to have a day with an ancestor and be able to ask them all kinds of questions?


Sandy Mastroni said...

This was lovely Dixie
it must be wonderful to hold her journal in your hands
what a treasure

Christine Crocker said...

how wonderful to be able to read her thoughts written in her own hand, Dixie.
I have often thought the same thing, how wonderful it would be to have a day with one of my great grandmothers, cousins, aunts and uncles.
I look forward to reading more.

fiddlestixstudios said...

Dixie,I loved reading this!I could read old journals for hours,no matter if I knew the person or not.An amazing treasure indeed-things like this are absolutely priceless!I bet not many can say they have a journal,written in a loved one's hand.You should do a blog,just for her journal,and find pictures that might go along with her stories.It would be Heavenly!

Angie said...

I enjoyed very much the entries from your great grandmother's journal. Both my grandmothers kept a daily record of some kind and for my maternal grandmother (now 98) it was immensely helpful as she wrote down her life story in her later years.
We certainly should learn from these ladies and try to do this ourselves. It doesnt' have to be time-consuming, just habitual. A little line or two every day.
I enjoy your blog very much. Take care-
Angie in WA

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden