October 1888

Monday, October 1, 1888

Very cold. Water froze thick as window glass out to the apple-house – rained hard all day. Grandpa has been drawing boards and shingles from the saw-mill. Frank has been round the town buying apples. Rec’d card from mother. Mother W. has put up 5 cans of tomatoes. I washed and fixed a dress for Henry, partly made over Prescott’s shirt for Henry.

Tuesday, October 2, 1888

Thunder shower last night. Clouds, rain and sun-shine today. Grandpa brought Aunt R. up from Mrs. Luddens this morn. Frank has started for Cummington. Two men from No. Hadley here to dinner. Mrs. Whitney Hill called at noon. Her daughter Lizzie has a baby a few weeks old.
Written a letter to mother. Susie has slept good this eve.

Wednesday, October 3, 1888

Snow squalls all day. The children had a holiday. Cattle Show in Northampton. We went out and gathered the green tomatoes. had two bu. Merc. down to 32⁰. Mr. Oliver Nash here this eve.

Thursday, October 4, 1888

Pleasant and cold. Merc. 29⁰ this morn ice formed quite thick out by the west door. Snow fell 4 in. thick in Pittsfield last Sun. Mother and Grandpa have been picking pears today. Grandpa fell from a pear tree this morn struck on his head and shoulder. He feels quite lame tonight.
Bertha Camp is six years old today.
Frank came from Middlefield today. Been round buying apples.

Friday, October 5, 1888

Frank has a hard cold. The weather was not quite as cold last night. Mother and Aunt Ruby have been fixing elder-bark for ointment to cure Susie’s face. Prescott helped papa sort pears this A.M. Went to the depot this P.M. to load car. F. came home sick – seemed quite feverish tonight. Mr. H. Cranson here to see him this eve. J. O’Neil & son here picking pears.

Saturday, October 6, 1888

Commenced raining in the night and it has rained hard all day.
Martin Wells here packing pears. At noon he and Grandpa went to No. Hatfield to examine apples. Frank has stayed indoors most of the day – went out long enough to see to the cow tonight.

Sunday, October 7, 1888

Clouds, rain and sunshine. Mr. Utley came to be ready for work in the morn.
Frank is a little better tonight. Susie has been quite worrisome this afternoon.
Night follows the day every time.

Monday, October 8, 1888

Cold and windy. Mr. Bisbee and Mr. Baker commenced shingling the “Ell” part.
Mother has washed.

Tuesday, October 9, 1888

Arthur is twelve yrs. old today.
Frank has been to the depot loading a car. Aunt Ruby rode down and spent the day with Mrs. Hannum. Snow squalls this P.M.

Thursday, October 11, 1888

Grandpa went to Amherst after a Sir – of the sheep kind. Mr. & Mrs. Tho. Nash celebrated their Golden Wedding today.

Saturday, October 13, 1888

A very rainy day. Mr. Utley went home.

Sunday, October 14, 1888

Rained hard all night and until most night today. Mr. U. returned walked from Goshen. He had a hard time getting home last night. He brought two vegetable knives in return for pears. I have written to Ed. and cousin Almera.
S.S. text today was – “When thou passeth through the waters I will be with thee and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee.”

Monday, October 15, 1888

A warm and very pleasant day. Frank has been loading down here to the depot, goes to Huntington tonight. Mother has washed.
My mother, Mary and Arthur came about 10 o’c. here to dinner then made ready to start. Aunt R. started to return with Mary. Arthur took them to the depot.
Mrs. Sam’l Bartlett called. She rode home with mother when she came from the village. Mother brought two pr. pants and pr. mittens to Prescott. I have written to Marion and Mr. Tilden.

Tuesday, October 16, 1888

Aunt Vashtie Tilton married Mr. Francis Howland twenty-five yrs. ago yesterday. Another very rainy day.
31 yrs. ago yesterday Grandpa Williams’s barn was raised. They had a fine treat of oysters in the eve. Mr. Vining master work man. Steven Warner, Judson Miller helped. Steven Warner, John Williams and son Chester laid the foundation.
These men are all dead except Chester Williams. Mr. Steven Warner killed in the army.
Mr. J. Miller killed by a gun going off accidentally. Mr. Vining died out west. Mr. John Williams died on his place Nov. 1877.
The boards of the barn were sawed with an “up and down” saw. Most the last that were sawed before the circular saws were put into use. I have finished a pair of overalls for Prescott, the first he has ever had. Made them out of his fathers.
Rec’d card from cousin Ellen and a letter from Florence and Harry.
Mr. Utley went down after Frank but he had not come.
Grandpa received letter from his nephew Freeman Williams saying that his bro. Foster was not as well as usual. Indigestion and heart trouble.

Wednesday, October 17, 1888

Frank came last night on the last train: he has a large boil coming on the back of the neck.

Friday, October 19, 1888

Rainy – pleasant this morn. Grandma has been pulling the beets in the garden. Grandpa Williams is 69 years old today.
Mr. Warner Tilden came this evening. Mr. Metcalf died last night.

Saturday, October 20, 1888

Pleasant. until between 2 & 3 o’c. Mr. Tilden went home after dinner. The children, Grandma & I put beets into the cellar. Children went up st. chestnutting this A.M. Frank has been loading apples at this depot. Mr. Utley went home. Took one of our pigs with him.

Sunday, October 21, 1888

Pleasant but very windy. Prescott, Mattie and Emma walked down to ch. P. remembered where the text was, and could tell something about the sermon. 2 Co. 1st ch. 3 v. A sermon on Comfort.
Frank has had to nurse his neck today.
Mr. Collins Gere called this A.M.
Mr. U. returned tonight he said the wind was fearful on Chesterfield hill. Pretty cold tonight.

Monday, October 22, 1888

Apples were pretty cold this morn. F. down the depot loading apples: he expects to go to Huntington tonight. Mother has washed clothes all got dry.

Tuesday, October 23, 1888

Pleasant this morn. Rainy tonight. Mr. U. went down after F. but he did not come sent word that apples were not ready and he was bothered to get cars.
We have done our ironing. I am fixing over Henry’s suit – it is the one I made for Prescott when he was two yrs. old – the children have all worn it and it is good yet. (I was sick most all night last night.) Prohibition Rally in village this eve.

Wednesday, October 24, 1888

Rained very hard when the children went to school but it cleared off before they came home.
We have made sweet pickle cucumber and tomato. Chopped green tomatoes ready to make chow-chow. Susie did not have her nap until 3 o’c then she slept until supper-time. Made button-holes on dress. I have a trouble-some thumb on my left hand – looks just as Susie’s did when her sores were troubling her: her face is nearly well. Old scabs all gone and only one new sore.
Grandpa got thrown off lumber wagon struck on his head & shoulders but he did not seem to mind it much.

Note: Chow-chow is a relish that was often made with end-of-season vegetables. There are various regional claims (Southern, Pennsylvanian, Acadian) and origin stories (Chinese, or maybe French) for the dish. I’m not sure where Emma learned the recipe, as neither she or her family is from the main regions associated with chow-chow. Maybe she got the recipe from a magazine or book. Anyway, I’ve decided to link to a canning recipe from the Canadian Maritime region: http://bitebymichelle.com/2012/08/31/chow-my-grandmothers-recipe/

I think I might even have had some at a restaurant in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Thursday, October 25, 1888

A very pleasant mild day. Grandpa & Henry went to the depot to meet F. but he did not come. He rec’d a letter from O.F. & Bro. containing check for $800.00 this makes in all $2800.00.
We have chopped cabbage and cooked chow-chow. I made cake and pudding for dinner.
Grandma finds that Mr. Tilden helped himself to “commodities” in Aunt Fannie’s house.
Mr. Leonard, Mr. U. and the boys commenced picking apples in the clover-lot. Find them quite plenty, fair and good color. Prescott did not go to school.

Friday, October 26, 1888

Frank returned this morn and spent the day loading cars here to the depot.

Saturday, October 27, 1888

A very rainy day. Rains very hard tonight.

Sunday, October 28, 1888

Rainy and windy tonight.
Frank and Prescott walked down to ch. Mr. Loomis of Chesterfield preached. F. started to go down this eve but it rained so hard he called on neighbor Billings then came home.
Mr. Utley did not return tonight.
Wrote a card to Oliver Munson and to mother. Mattie and Emma have written to Arthur.

Monday, October 29, 1888

Windy and showery. Mother did not put out only part of the clothes. Frank has been storing fruit that has been brought in – no winter fruit goes off until further orders. I have cut out two flannel undervests for Emma.
Frank rec’d a letter from Anton – he is in Wis. has bought some land there. He was sick until the last of July.

Tuesday, October 30, 1888

Very pleasant sky – but rather windy and not very cold.
Frank rec’d orders to go to Middlefield and Huntington so he went on the 11 o’c train.
Mr. O’Niel & son here again this P.M.
I have cut two pairs of pants for Henry and basted in lining also fixed over Prescott’s brown astrachan cap for H. to wear. The pants will be his first pants.


“Astrakhan (also spelled astrachan) is, properly speaking, the tightly curled fleece of the fetal or newborn karakul (also spelled caracul) lamb . . . Astrakhan has a distinctive tight, whorled, loopy surface with a slight sheen . . . The Victorians loved Astrakhan.  Its dark, heavy, glossy, ornate surface fitted perfectly with ornate aesthetic in the late 1860s and 70s, and the heavy, fashions at the end of the 19th century.” – from The Dreamstress, a fashion history blog.


Wednesday, October 31, 1888

Pleasant and quite mild. We have done our ironing. Mother washed Henry’s suit. I ironed it and sewed on buttons and edging. He feels quite pleased. Fixed Emma’s hood this eve.