March 1889

Friday, March 1, 1889

Pleasant. Mother made mince pies and I did the ironing. Grandpa went to Northampton.

Saturday, March 2, 1889

Warmer and pleasant. Prescott has been helping Grandpa saw logs with a cross cut saw – it was his first experience.

General cleaning up day – mother made cake and bread. Called on Mr. Wheeler.

Frank came home from the hills tonight. Bought a twenty lb. cheese home he bought it of a Mr. Streeter. Gave all the little folks a bath – all but Prescott.

Sunday, March 3, 1889

Clouds and sunshine and rain. Frank went to meeting this eve. I tried to go but the baby woke up, so I gave it up.

Monday, March 4, 1889

Cloudy with a little rain. We did not do any washing. Frank went to the village to meet Mr. O. Frommel and look over the apples.

Grandpa went down to buy a new harness.

Town meeting day. Eight women went in to vote on the school question. Mary, wife of Shubael Bradford died in Conway last Wed. She was in her 77th year.

F. sent team home and went on to N. Haven with Mr. F. to see about bls.

Tuesday, March 5, 1889  

Clouds and rain from the N.E. Rec’d a letter from Mrs. Clapp yesterday saying that her husband is dangerously ill with dropsy and she is to start on her way home today.

Frank returned this P.M.

Finished my turkey red wrapper.

Wednesday, March 6, 1889

Cloudy and rainy. Frank went to the village this A.M. to see to apple men, came home at noon then went down to meet Mr. Will Frommel and man. They were to come in on the P.M. train. Then he went on to the hills to buy more apples. Mother made bread. Mrs. Cooper called this P.M. She expects to go home tomorrow.

Thursday, March 7, 1889    

Windy but the sun has shone a little.

Mother did part of the washing. I am cutting out calicos for her to piece a quilt for Emma.

Friday, March 8, 1889

Windy with snow squalls most of the day. Mother made cake, balled ten lb. bls of butter etc. I ironed colored clothes and fine shirt and dozen collars. Did mending etc. this P.M. Wrote a letter to Mrs. Clapp and a card to Mrs. Geckler.

Mattie has not been very well today.

Johnnie Graves came to see the children.


According to Blakelee’s Industrial Cyclopedia, published in 1889:

“After the butter is worked free of the buttermilk, it should be salted to taste – it is generally oversalted – and balled or packed at once, according to the use to be made of it . . . Never put balled butter in a close place where other eatables are kept, especially if they are warm. Equally deleterious as to results is the practice of putting a plate that has been used for culinary purposes – until it has absorbed stale odors – over a crock or tub containing butter. The best and safest covers are clean muslin cloths. Place the packages containing butter where the air comes fresh from all outdoors through raised windows.”

Saturday, March 9, 1889

Clouds, sunshine, snow squalls with wind.

Mother made bread and pies (mince and apple). Howard Pease walked home started this morn. Frank came home last eve – but stayed in the village so as to load cars today. Came up home tonight – he went to Petersham. Mr. W. Frommel went out with him taking another route. I called on Mr. Wheeler this P.M. Rec’d a card from mother tonight.

Sunday, March 10, 1889

Quite pleasant but a little windy. We all went to ch. Mr. Snyder preached his text was taken from Ezekiel – Subject “Every man a watchman.” Mr. W. Frommel and man called this P.M. Frank carried them down to the village when he went to evening meeting.

Kate Crosby is at home from Northfield school. She is troubled with palpitation of the heart.

Monday, March 11, 1889  

Pleasant but windy. Frank went to the depot, then starts for the hills. Pease came back on the stage. Mother had two weeks wash of white clothes. Henry had been sick at his stomach by spells today. Went to sleep before 3 o’c this P.M. and slept until 8 o’c. Feels all right tonight.

Pease and Prescott drew stove wood out of the west lot. I commenced silk patchwork block for Florence.

Tuesday, March 12, 1889

Warm and pleasant. One year ago today was the commencement of The Blizzard. Frank was shut in over on Chester Hill.

I have not done much but the usual work and sewed on patchwork.

Sow lost a litter of pigs today.

Wednesday, March 13, 1889

Very warm and pleasant.

Grandpa and Prescott drove over to Amherst Agricultural College and returned today. They brought home a beautiful house plant; something entirely new to me.

Pease set the maple tree we have a qt. of syrup boiled down since noon.

We did a large ironing. I finished patchwork block. Pease walked to the village this eve.

Took Chesterfield cow off.


Amherst Agricultural College is most likely referring to what is now University of Massachusetts – Amherst, known at this time as Massachusetts Agricultural College. It was founded in 1863 as part of the Land Grant Act.

Thursday, March 14, 1889

Warm and pleasant. I blacked the stove that Grandpa bought at the auction of Miss L. Russ’s household goods – and Pease helped me set it up.

Mattie came in sick while we were doing it. She is violently sick at her stomach.

Friday, March 15, 1889  

Mattie very sick – can’t keep anything on her stomach. I wish Frank was here – I would have the Dr.

Saturday, March 16, 1889  

Pleasant. Mattie seems a little better, but yet do not think I know what ails her – sent for Dr. at noon but he did not get here until after dark – he says Mattie has the pneumonia. Frank came from Huntington this P.M.

Sunday, March 17, 1889

Mattie very sick.

Monday, March 18, 1889  

Mattie very sick I can do nothing but stay by her – and watch her every symptom. F. loaded apples from this depot today.

Tuesday, March 19, 1889

Mattie is not any better nor any worse.

Mother has done the washing today. Fr. went to Hadley to load apples. Could not get home sent telephone dispatch to know how Mattie was.


At this time, the American Bell Telephone Company still held the monopoly on the phone business, an invention that largely sprang out of Boston, Massachusetts. Bell’s patent would expire in 1893. (Info taken from The American Experience: The Telephone.)


Wednesday, March 20, 1889

M. is about the same. F. did not come until late

Thursday, March 21, 1889

Very pleasant and should think it was a little warmer than 11 yrs. ago today. F. celebrated the day over in the Hadley depot. Had to walk from N. to H. and return. Came up home on the last train. Mattie’s sickness turned between 3 & 4 this P.M. The sweat just came right out of her. Mother ironed.

Friday, March 22, 1889

Very pleasant. F. at work down to this depot. Rec’d card from mother saying that Aunt S. starts for Minnesota next Tues. I feel terribly abused to think that she has not made me a visit. Eliza expects to go to M. to teach.

Mother W. made mince pies and did the rest of the ironing.

Mattie about the same as yesterday P.M.

Pease went home.

Death of Stanley Matthews of the U.S. Supreme Court. Born at Cincinnati, Ohio July 21st, 1824.


From the Ohio Supreme Court’s webpage on Matthews: “Matthews was one of the more progressive jurists on a court that was beginning to formulate doctrines, such as substantive due process, that were hostile to state regulatory power. His realistic approach in Yick Wo was far in advance of its time and marked one of the few occasions before 1950 when the equal protection clause was enforced to protect racial minorities.”


Saturday, March 23, 1889

Very pleasant. Mother made bread and cake. She has nearly all of the work to do now.

Rec’d card from mother and letter from Miss Prouty.

Mattie has suffered with pain in her stomach and bowels all day, but was finally relieved tonight. I could not get her comfortable all day long. My spare moments are given to fixing things and taking care of Susie.

Sunday, March 24, 1889

Very muddy but pleasant. None of us out to ch. Mrs. O. Nash and Ellen called and brought Mattie a tumbler of cranberry sauce. Russian John drove out from Northampton to see the folks.

Mr. W. Tilden here to dinner. Mattie is more comfortable.

We have been looking for father and Aunt Susan.

Monday, March 25, 1889

Mother has done a large washing. Fine day to dry clothes.

Tuesday, March 26, 1889   

Pleasant. We did our ironing, made yeast, etc. Frank at work on apples down to the village.

Pease came home brought maple sugar. Grandpa helped at a raising over to J. O’Neils.

Wednesday, March 27, 1889  

Pleasant. Ironed starch clothes.

Dr. found Mattie so much better he is not coming again until Sat.

Thursday, March 28, 1889  

Rain, hail and snow cleared off before night. Mother, Minnie Camp and Arthur drove over. They came through Poland. Mother was there helping care for Fred Codding who is very sick. Mother expected father up here today from Springfield – but he did not come. Mattie put on clothes & sat up most all day.

Friday, March 29, 1889

Pleasant but windy. Father came last eve. and spent the night in the village, so as to meet Mr. Chandler to see about selling him a strip of land. They went home this P.M. and Minnie took the 5.45 train for Northampton.

Mattie came into the sitting-room – took supper at the table with us.

Saturday, March 30, 1889    

Very rough and windy. Frank went to Florence with butter then on to Holyoke.

Pease fixing new road to cider mill.

Mother made bread and apple pies.

The Dr. made his last call today.

Sunday, March 31, 1889  

Commenced snowing about nine o’clock and has kept it up very rapidly all day. This evening we are having a “Nor’easter” rain and hail-storm. Frank gone to call on Mr. Wheeler. Mattie has gone upstairs to sleep with Prescott.

We all stayed at home from church today.