Friday, February 20, 2009

February 20 thru 23, 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. Other information can be checked out with the links to the right, including a great family picture of everybody circa 1886!

Dave Olney has sent along a great picture of the Olney family circa 1886. Click on the link to the right to access the picture, or click here. I think I've got all the names correct- or at least good guesses. Not sure why, but hover your mouse right about where each person's feet would be to see the names, or click on the names to the right on the Picassa page. I can't tell you how exciting it is to have a picture of what they all looked like within a year of the time of the diary. This would have been quite a production -- everyone is in their Sunday best, and the picture would have been planned well in advance, and taken by a professional photographer (the first Kodak box camera - The Eastman Cossitt - was produced in 1886, so home photography was not yet available to regular folks). It looks like it is taken in front of their house, giving us some sense of what the house was like!

More mysteries! Saturday, Sarah and Omar go to Naples to pick up grist, and they take the "road warrant" to the town clerk. I can't find anything about what a road warrant is except that it might be a legal document related to taxes for road maintenance? No money seems to be involved, so I'm stumped? Dad says that sometimes local people did work on the roads, hauled gravel, etc. in lieu of taxes -- sort of an official barter system.

They also pay $1 for The Neapolitan Record for 1 year. Some research reveals that
The Neapolitan Record was published weekly from 1884 to 1887. The Naples Library evidently has all but a couple of issues for 1886 on microfilm! How easily excited I am! This will hopefully give me lots more info on the businesses that the Olneys traded with in Naples, etc. The Naples Record - successor to The Neapolitan Record - is still being published. Naples is named for the city in Italy, so the term Neapolitan might well apply! My handy dictionary says:

Ne⋅a⋅pol⋅i⋅tan–adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Naples: a Neapolitan love song.
–noun
2. a native or inhabitant of Naples.

Sarah gets 3 pair of slippers for $1.90 and has them "chd"??? Possibly she charged them --- no mention of this $ in the ledger section, though Sarah might have spent some of her own money? I seem to recall her recording some purchases from her own money in her 1885 diary. Bart takes cider to the Marshes, and trades for vinegar. Maybe they kept apples through the winter? Cider would have long since turned to vinegar if pressed in the fall? Possibly the Marshes made especially good vinegar - maybe a secret recipe?

Sunday, Sarah and Omar take the buggy and John (one of the horses) to church, but Bart and Mills walk to Ingleside. Jen and Omar go to meeting in the evening - again John is mentioned. A very light day on diary entry. Note that it has been warm long enough to make use of the buggy feasible rather than the sleigh.

Monday lots of chores get done. Omar draws wood, Bart and Mills cut it up. Jen washes clothes, and Sarah does some baking. Omar also takes 17 dozen eggs to Cornishes in Bloods, and gets $2.56 in cash and balance in trade. Uncle Agustus and Aunt Mary visit....Agustus is Sarah's mother's younger brother.

Tuesday Henry and Sarah go visiting again -- they go to Catherine Welds, and are joined by Harmon Drake's folks and Stephen Stanton's folks (not sure if this is those families, or if it is their parents??) Also Mrs. T. Simons is there. Then there is the first mention of how visiting got arranged ... they are invited to the Drakes to visit with the Lawtons on Friday. (Friday's entry confirms that they went)

3 comments:

Sequana said...

That picture in front of the house is the most wonderful thing! I wish I had some pics that go back that far.

As far as being easily excited, I would be excited too if that treasure trove of a newspaper of the time had been opened to me. *S*

I had thot about something earlier and forgot to mention - they could be arranging the trips for the future at a visit. But that wouldn't account for visits to people who weren't in the core group.

I remember as a child going to friends of my parents for drop-ins and finding them not home. And that was when a phone was available. It seems like people did more dropping in up until about the 70's.

We had a very long lane to the house for a time, and when we'd see a car coming up the lane on a Sunday, we'd all run around cleaning and vacuuming. *L*

amarkel58 said...

And from the Annecentric World Dictionary:

Ne-a-pol-i-tan (adj.)
3. one of my favorite ice cream flavors, particularly when eaten after mashing all three stripes together with the back of a spoon.

My own favorite family photograph is from around the same time as this diary...my great-grandfather who, as a young man, apparently saved up his money, made an appointment w/ a photographer, got all dandied up, walked to town & had his picture taken with--I love this--his dog. The name of the dog, unfortunately, has not survived. But in the picture, he looks very happy to be there.

Decorina said...

The road warrant was probably a document that recorded their contribution to its clearing and/or construction and the subsequent right to use said road. My husband works for the railroad - every trip requires a "track warrant" which is written permission to be on the track and to "control" the track while their train occupies any portion (not a siding).

I just discovered your blog of the diary and find it fascinating. Found your other blog through Salena's blog "Daily Rant".