Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20 thru March 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!

Saturday Henry gets things ready to smoke hams, and Omar and Mills continue cutting and skidding wood ready to saw. Jane Terney has stayed overnight, and helps Jen (Jennie) quilt. Henry Terney comes over in the afternoon, and they all go to meeting. They take 7 and 1/3 dozen eggs to Teall's store, and barter for 5 gallons of Kerosene at $0.12/ gallon, and a 25 cent bar of soap, and 9 cents cash. Eggs were valued at $0.13/ dozen.

Sunday - Sarah has stayed overnight with the Hills, and goes to church. Omar and Jen go to church - Henry stays home. Mills goes to visit Robbie Stanton. John (the horse) is feeling better!

Monday, Mills finishes smoking the hams, and keeps the leech running -- with the repaired kettle I presume, leeching lye from wood ash is my guess ... a key element in soap making which they are also doing. Omar sorts "Home Comfort" potatoes and ends up with about 24 bushels. Omar also sorts some apples, while Sarah and Jen do the laundry, and Henry mends shoes and boots.

Tuesday, Henry goes on mending shoes. Omar and Mills go on cutting wood , including a Chestnut tree that they evidently cut down to get at a coon that was probably raiding their food stores? Cad and Henry continue running the leech - for soap making. Cad hasn't been mentioned much till now. Perhaps even though he is only about 10 years old, he has been moved up in the work order since Bart is off working for Mr. Fox?

Note - directions for leeching lye from wood ash ---

Drill a lot of holes in the bottom of a small wooden barrel, make sure it's waterproof before you drill the holes!

Stand the barrel on blocks leaving space beneath the barrel for a container. Use a waterproof wood or glass container. Lye can burn through some metals.

Put a layer of gravel in the bottom of the barrel over the holes, then put a layer of straw over the gravel. Fill the rest of the barrel with hardwood ash (NOTE: hardwood -- NOT softwood), leaving a couple of inches at the top clear. Then pour rainwater into the barrel. After a long time the water in the barrel will start to drip into the container. Leave it until it stops, then replace the container with another in case of odd drips.

Use an old iron pot, or a steel pan (One you will not be using for anything else!). Boil the liquid until it is so concentrated that a fresh egg (still in it's shell please!) will float on top. Then destroy the egg. Remember to take all precautions not the let the liquid touch your skin or clothing.

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