Monday, February 16, 2009

February 16 thru 19, 1886

As always, click on the picture to enlarge for easier reading of original. Feel free to contact me with corrections, additional information, or comments. Click on the map link to the right of this entry to see more about where places are.

Tuesday - Omar and Bart skidd up wood for sawing. I'm thinking this would refer to sliding actual logs out of the woods -probably by pulling the logs with one of the horses - possibly for sawing into lumber later rather that cut into short sections for firewood? Mills goes to school -- another indication that going to school may have been something to do when not needed for chores, etc?? Henry has a lame shoulder again..... probably a real problem when the whole family livelihood depended on hard physical work.... probably had what we call a torn rotator cuff?

Wednesday - Jane Tenney comes to help quilt again -- I guess she is not the school teacher. A neighbor - William Blodgett, comes to buy wheat at $1 per bushel. He says he will get 16 bushel in about 30 days, but will want 4 bushels sooner for grist. Cash transactions are not real common. They grow a lot of their food, and barter a lot, but not a lot of cash.

I'll try to get the money ledger entries from the back of the diary on a web page soon - I just went looking at them, and don't find any reference to William Blodgett actually getting wheat later. In looking through the ledger entries, I notice that Henry actually pays Omar for at least some of his work. Omar is 23 years old - 24th birthday next week. Bart is 17 (turns 18 in August) and does not seem to get paid. Soon, Henry will "rent" out Bart's services to a neighbor.

Sarah and Henry go to visit the Nickleses (sic) in the evening.

Thursday - Sarah and Jane are still quilting. Mart and Julia Drake come to visit. I'll have to try to figure out who Mart and Julia are. I'm related to the Drakes on my mother's side, so they are probably relatives of mine. Julia helps quilt, and they finish the quilt. They all have a social chat. Everybody goes home, and Henry and Sarah go visit the Frank Marsh family. Daughter Hattie and Harm and granddaughter Florence are there too. I wonder how these visit are planned? No phones!

Friday Hattie, Harm and Florence come to visit, but leave their horse at the Marshes? Henry doesn't "think much of that". William Blodgett sends his son to get the grist of wheat mentioned earlier. Henry gave him the 4 bushels, but mentions that he "didn't pay for it". Sarah and Henry go to visit the Blodgetts in the evening.

Note: Catherine Blodgett - descendent of William Blodgett - was a big Naples/Prattsburg area history buff till she passed away recently, and was the one who got this diary from one of Lois's descendants. ... James Robinson. I sure wish she was still around to talk about all these folks with. She lived on the Blodgett place - probably less than a mile from Henry and Sarah's place as the crow flies.

Note: Talked a bit more with friends about the frequency of getting grist ground into flour or cattle feed recently, and got two more theories. 1. A possible way of limiting those pesky little moths that infest flour --- if you've ever had them you know you don't want them in the flour! That could have been an even bigger factor than spoilage. A Cornell Entomology web page notes --- "Long term storage of flour and meal products often leads to infestation, therefore, such products should be purchased in quantities suitable for early use, unless adequate containers are employed." It just occurred to me that dry storage of a lot of flour might have been an issue too.... no plastic bags, etc in those days! Large crocks or metal bins would have been about the only option. 2. Given transportation - i.e. buggy or sleigh - it may have just been a lot easier to haul a few bags at a time when going to Naples for other things, rather than hauling a big load.

3 comments:

Sequana said...

Every entry reminds me of something more recent; I hope you don't mind.

When I was in my late teens, my dad had one of those "rented boys" from a neighbor....*S* He worked with my dad for years before he went into the Navy.

Max is still a good friend of my dad today, visiting him (and still helping) in FL. Max and his wife settled only a few miles from my dad down there.

And yes, I have had those pesky flour weevils a time or two in my life.

Louise's Son-in-law said...

I would like to add some comments to this set of pages with regard to other comments with regard to the schools and in particular the one of Don's “Bart goes to Terney's schoolhouse??” First of all I believe all of the mentions of that name should be Tenney. The name seems to be one that comes to my memory for people in that area. I find 11 people in the 1880 census, town of Naples, however no Henry or Jane. Steuben County Tennys are quite a distance away, in Hornellsville, none in Yates County. What the meaning of that entry may have been, I suggest it had nothing to do with his schooling. (the name doesn't show up in my list of family names in my genealogy program)
For instance that same day Bart and Sarah go to a funeral, so not likely to my thinking he would have been skipping school. The following Monday, Bart is sorting potatoes.
Even when I was in school, the required school age was 7 to 16. Bart is 18 that year.
My Grandpa Bart, showed me where the school was located that the Olney children attended, a very badly deteriorated remnant on what is now SR 53 between Italy Valley Road and Reservoir Road on Don's map. The school on the same side of Prattsburgh Rd as is Reservoir Road. Long gone now, on what is now the Jerome family farm.

Mel said...

I would like to add some comments to this set of pages with regard to other comments with regard to the schools and in particular the one of Don's “Bart goes to Terney's schoolhouse??” First of all I believe all of the mentions of that name should be Tenney. The name seems to be one that comes to my memory for people in that area. I find 11 people in the 1880 census, town of Naples, however no Henry or Jane. Steuben County Tennys are quite a distance away, in Hornellsville, none in Yates County. What the meaning of that entry may have been, I suggest it had nothing to do with his schooling. (the name doesn't show up in my list of family names in my genealogy program)
For instance that same day Bart and Sarah go to a funeral, so not likely to my thinking he would have been skipping school. The following Monday, Bart is sorting potatoes.
Even when I was in school, the required school age was 7 to 16. Bart is 18 that year.
My Grandpa Bart, showed me where the school was located that the Olney children attended, a very badly deteriorated remnant on what is now SR 53 between Italy Valley Road and Reservoir Road on Don's map. The school on the same side of Prattsburgh Rd as is Reservoir Road. Long gone now, on what is now the Jerome family farm.

Mel Olney