Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 8 thru 11, 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.

Some more interesting information... Omar and Bart to to Evergreen Farm for a load of ice, while Mills and Henry shovel sawdust out of the ice house to get ready... sawdust was used to insulate the ice to make it last as long as possible into the summer..... possibly even into the following winter according to some.

Evergreen Farm is the home of Henry's sister Ellen, who is married to William Eber Weld. If I've got it worked out right, William E. Weld is also Sarah's 1st cousin? (They previously checked the ice on William Johnson's pond?) Evergreen Farm is located on the hill on the road between Ingleside (Riker's Hollow), and Prattsburg. Location noted on the map. (link to the right) The row of evergreens is still there according to notes from my Dad. Sarah's parents (Eber Hill and Lydia Matilda Weld) live on a farm near Evergreen Farm.... also noted on the map.

Omar and Jen go to Wayland to visit their sister Hattie and husband Harmon (Harm) and their neice Florence. Bart and Mills go to visit Salem I. Cloun (sp?)

Note: Wonderful story of how Sarah's grandparents - David and Hannah Weld - happened to end up in this area here.

Tuesday Henry fixes a whiffletree to the Democrat wagon. I knew what a whiffletree is, but a Democrat wagon??? --- " a light flat bed farm wagon or ranch wagon that has two or more seats and is usually drawn by one or sometimes two horses". One source says you have seen one if you ever saw a western movie. I'm not sure how fancy their Democrat wagon was? The one below is a restored pretty fancy one. The term Democrat was often capitalized as Henry does.
A whiffletree is a system of cross bars hooked together to harness two horses to a single wagon, sleigh, plow, etc. The wagon above is set up for one horse. The Olney's Democrat wagon must have been fitted for two horses. With such a large family, maybe their's had more than two seats? Again, you've seen a whiffletree if you've ever watched the hero climb over the runaway horses pulling the stagecoach to sure destruction in one of those western movies. My dad and mom both remember Democrat wagons still in use when they were kids. According to Dad, the seats were probably removable .... sort of like the modern day family mini-van? Seats in to haul the kids, or out to haul lumber? I did find a reference on the internet to some kids falling out of a Democrat Wagon because the seat was not fastened.

Omar and Jen return from Wayland -- I guess they stayed overnight. Omar and Sarah head to Naples to pick up 2 bags of feed from the grist taken to the mill last week. Grist is grain that has been separated from its chaff in preparation for grinding. I'm not sure why so many trips to Red Mill and Lyon's Mill. Seems like bigger batches would have been better? Maybe grain kept better whole than when ground into flour or cattle/horse feed?

Wednesday is a bit hard to read... for some reason Henry writes over the original entry at a right angle. Henry goes to Tenney's to get Sarah, and he and Omar draw wood. Henry and Jane Tenney are there to visit. Jane and Sarah are quilting. Omar and Bart haul wood. Henry sorts Potatoes. (note - sorting potatoes was a constant task to get rid of the ones that might be going bad so the rest would last longer - bad ones probably went to the animals - remind me to tell you Dad's "Decisions" story one day) Mills finishes husking corn and puts it in the cornhouse. ( Note: We now have two more structures on the farm in addition to the house and barn -- an Icehouse, and a Cornhouse.) Sarah and Bart go to Peter Johnson's funeral.

On Thursday, Jen bakes. Henry sorts potatoes again. Omar goes to Naples takes more grist to Lyon's mill and picks up previous grist. (Note: does this indicate that Lyon's Mill is in Naples rather than at the Blodgett place as previously thought???) Sarah and Jane continue quilting. Henry Tenney and Jane stay overnight. A midwinter thaw --- it has been 50-60 degrees for a few days.

I think we've located the blacksmith shop mentioned earlier - Avery's - probably located in Ingleside - near the church and the Grange Hall -- location on the map --- click link to the right.


amarkel58 said...

Do you remember the draft horse "farm" across the road from our Kensington house? They had a Democrat wagon that they used to hitch the team up to and drive down to Town Meeting every March...kind of odd, but kind of cool (by "odd" I mean a lot of production for a quarter-mile trip). Also they drove it in the town's annual 4th of July parade....the kids will remember that because if you lived in town, you could be in the parade! Maeve walked with her friend Ashley one year and passed out candy, and Wyatt drove his motorized car the year he was five, Dave walking along beside him. There were lots of those old wagons around that area, though most were decorative, and no longer functional.

Also, it's true, unground grain has a much longer shelf life, assuming you can keep mice and moths away, which I believe has to do with the volatility of the oils and the way they break down once exposed to air. I think I remember reading once about old mills & how cross-contamination could be a problem, infrequent, but of course devestating when it occurred. (It's still a problem now, but for much different reasons.) So I guess it would make sense to not expose an entire year's crop at once, just in case?

amarkel58 said...

also--notice how we're having a thaw again now, on the exact same dates? Woo-wah! I wonder how often THAT happens??

Sequana said...

AH......quilting! *S* I don't spose any of those old quilts are still in your family?

Speaking of ice - I live in an apt bldg in Chicago that was built in the 40's.

In the kitchen wall that leads outside, there is a square door. When I asked what that was for, I was told it was for the ice delivery.

They would have had to carry up the blocks to the 3rd floor; must have still had "ice boxes" in the 40's kitchens.

I know this is generations behind your diary there, but it reminds me of so many things.

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

Thanks for the stories! I do have a couple of quilts from the Drake side of the family, but not all the way back to 1886! My Grandma Drake quilted a lot.. she made quilts to send to overseas Christian mission work, and she did quilting for others to make money. I remember that people from Rochester would take her quilts that had been pieced by somebody in their family, but never quilted. Grandma charged $2.00 per spool for the quilting. They were 100 yard spools, so I'm guessing about 28,000 stitches for $2. I should talk to a current quilter to see if I can figure out how long 28,000 stitches takes, and how many spools per "standard" quilt?

I've known about ice and milk doors in houses. Our house had two until we put on the siding! I had never heard of them in apartment buildings, but it makes perfect sense!

Sequana said...

I've sent an email to Bob at Superior Threads to see if he has any answers for us. Seems to me I saw something in one of his newsletters about spools needed for a quilt top. I'll let you know what I hear.

I have a friend out in OR who does quilting as a home business. For regular quilting, she charges .30 per square inch. For a single bed, that would be $220.50, PLUS cost of thread.

That would be for a quilt that was all set to load on her quilting frame - the top, the batting and the backing fabric. The customer would then need to do the finishing themselves.