December 1889

Sunday, December 1, 1889

Not very cold and quite pleasant. We all went to church except Grandma T. Mattie & the baby. Mr. Hodges of Buckland preached.

We have enjoyed the day very much. Came home tonight reached here just before 6 o’c. Found folks at home considerably stirred up.

Monday, December 2, 1889   

Pleasant. Mr. & Mrs. Geckler went home on the 10. Frank went to New Haven on the 6-15.

Mother and Prescott washed.

Cloudy tonight.

Tuesday, December 3, 1889

Dark and rainy with snow squalls before morn. Clear and cold tonight. Merc. down to 15. We did ironing, fixed room for Alice. Mother made doughnuts. I have sewed on dresses and done some mending.

Rec’d a letter from Mrs. Billings. She has a boy born last Thurs. weighed 10 ½ lbs.

Wednesday, December 4, 1889  

Very cold 4 above this morn – but we have had a pleasant day.

Mr. Billings was here to dinner; we sent Geneva some pears.

Grandpa W. went to the depot after Alice Loundes. She came from New Haven but Frank did not come.

Thursday, December 5, 1889

Snow has been falling the most of the time today. Rec’d a letter from mother about the note business.

Alice has been resting today. I finished Emma’s dress.

Mother finished a shirt for Grandpa & commenced nightdress for herself. Frank did not come today.

Friday, December 6, 1889

Frank reached home this noon.

Went to the village tonight took Mr. Kingsley down with him.

We have been sewing most of the day. Alice is making trimming for mother’s nightdress.

Saturday, December 7, 1889  

Pleasant. John Wright came up to help butcher a beef creature. Men found that he was not a very good hand.

Mother made apple pies, bread and ginger-bread.

F. gone to village to get teams to draw apples next week.


“Beef creature” is a New England expression for a mature bull or cow raised for beef.

Sunday, December 8, 1889    

Warmer nothing freezes anywhere; looks hazy. Raining hard this evening. We all went to ch. (8 of us). Mr. Snyder preached an excellent sermon from Matt. 20 20-28.

No one went out this evening. I have written to Miss Prouty and Bro. Ed. and sent them our pictures.

Monday, December 9, 1889

A powerful rainstorm all night, cleared away before 10 o’c this morn.

Two 2 horse teams, 2 one horse team and one oxteam are at work drawing our apples to the depot.

We did not wash. I commenced to dry apples.

School commenced.

Our new back stairs were made today – Susie was the first one to climb up them.

Mr. Sackett, the furniture dealer in No. was killed instantly last week  by being thrown out of his wagon onto the frozen ground. He was driving into his own yard at noon-time.


Rufus William Sackett was 58 when he died.

Tuesday, December 10, 1889

Quite pleasant through the day, but rains again tonight. Mother and Alice had a large washing today.

Men finished drawing our apples and have commenced taking them from the village cellars.

Wednesday, December 11, 1889   

Rainy until after noon. We did our ironing, mother fixed mince meat. I finished Mattie’s dress.

Thursday, December 12, 1889   

A very windy night but not very cold. Quite pleasant today the ground does not freeze but the roads are terribly muddy.

Grandpa, Grandma and Alice went to Northampton and Florence today, buying provision and things for Christmas.

I made cake and did the usual work. Frank examined the stove pipe and found it perfectly safe.

Friday, December 13, 1889  

Clouds, wind, rain and sunshine. Mother has made mince pies and doughnuts. Alice did sweeping etc. I cut out two pair drawers for Alice helped her stitch them on the machine.

The children commenced making Christmas presents tonight.

Put trimming  on my drs.

Mr. Billings has offered his place to Frank for $650.00 if he will take it within thirty days. Grandpa W. went to Conway to fix up tangled affairs.

Saturday, December 14, 1889

Commenced to snow before noon so there is several inches in depth tonight. Men have been busy getting sheep in and fixing to do butchering next Mon.

Grandpa took planks to the mill to be cut into studding.

Mother fixed over Grandpa’s new suit. He bought a suit including overcoat for $13.00.

Sunday, December 15, 1889

Cloudy morn, cleared off before noon. Frank and the two boys went to church. Alice went down to Mr. Coopers this P.M. I have had an enjoyable day reading and looking over the books of the day.

Frank went down tonight.

Monday, December 16, 1889  

A very pleasant day. Mr. Levi Bradford and Ed. House helped Grandpa kill three hogs today.

We have cleaned a little, sewed some etc. Mother W. is working a table set for Aunt Libbie.

Children are working book-marks for Christmas presents.

Mrs. Cooper here this P.M.

Frank went to New Haven this morn. I sent letters to Marion and mother, rec’d a postal from Cousin Almera Burke in Westfield.

Tuesday, December 17, 1889

Cloudy – rains tonight. Grandpa carried two hogs to Guilfords market weight 978 lbs at 5 ½ cents per lb.

Prescott has been at home from school two days – does not feel very well. Alice and mother did the washing. I cleaned the windows, curtains and pictures in the sitting-room, rubbed off the wall paper. Finished an apron for Susie this eve. and did part of the mending.

Mother tried out lard and baked bread. I made biscuit for supper.

Alice is making edging to put on the tree for Mother W.

My father is 58 yrs. old today.

Mr. Kingsley has nearly finished the new chamber.

Thursday, December 19, 1889  

Rec’d package from Miss Prouty.

Saturday, December 21, 1889

Mr. Kingsley finished what he could do on the house tonight. Mrs. Oliver Nash called.

Sunday, December 22, 1889   

Raining hard most of the day cold enough to freeze it a little.

Grandpa went down to church – heard a minister speak in behalf of the French Protestant College in Springfield.


The French Protestant College was founded in Lowell in 1885, geared toward educating students of French Canadian ancestry as teachers, missionaries and pastors. Its first few years were financially precarious, but fundraising was ultimately successful. And during this time, the school also moved into the former Springfield Hospital in Springfield, MA.  (Information taken from here:

In 1892, women began to be admitted into the College. At some point, its name changed to American International College. In the early 20th century, the college’s focus was on educating people who were newcomers to the United States. (Information taken from AIC’s history page on its website).

Monday, December 23, 1889

Mother has been taking care of the beef pieces. I put dishes into the china closet & cleaned out sitting room closet.

I made three bread-holders for Christmas presents and decorated several boxes at odd jobs. Grandpa went to Northampton.

Cut apples to dry – Rec’d bundle from Springfield.

Frank came home while we were eating dinner.

Tuesday, December 24, 1889   

Mother and Alice did the washing. I fixed apples for pies. Mother made cream and apple pies and fried doughnuts.

Our house caught fire in the fire-place in mother’s room but it was found and put out before such damage was done.

Commenced to rain just before dark.

We all went to the ch. except mother to attend a Christmas entertainment. Very dark when we came home.

Father is quite miserable again. I do not know what can be done about it. Rec’d package from Orange.

Wednesday, December 25, 1889  

Warm and pleasant. The roads are very muddy. Father, mother, Arthur and Mr. Cooper’s family here and spent the day & eve.

We had roast beef and pork, onions, squash, potatoes, pickles, bread, butter, tea cream, mince and apple pies for dinner. Passed bread cake and pickles after the tree was shaken. All seem to have had a pleasant time but father is feeling badly.

Frank gave me a lovely album for cabinet pictures. I had a 12.50 check from Grandpa W. and various other things.

Frank’s head troubles him – he has the “La Grippe”.

Thursday, December 26, 1889

Did not do much but pick up after yesterday’s works. Father and mother went home this morn and took Jack-horse with them.

Rec’d express bundle from Marion.

School does not keep again until next Mon.

Rainy – Frank went to Northampton.

Grandpa cut up the pork.

Alice did ironing. Very windy night.

Friday, December 27, 1889  

Pleasant day. Frank down to village this P.M. Drew wood this A.M. I ironed shirts and collars. Commenced to fix the girls black cloaks. Made yeast, cut apples to dry.

Written cards to Marion, Clara, Mrs. G. and Miss Prouty.

The grippe troubles F. some yet – his head is dizzy by spells but he has not given up to go to bed.

Sunday, December 29, 1889

Pleasant in the morn, but commenced to rain at about church time; moisture froze as fast as it fell causing many to slip down. Mrs. Cooper hurt her on the their stone steps. All at ch. except Gr’pa and Grandma.

Monday, December 30, 1889

Frank started on a trip off – I went with him as far as Northampton. He stayed with me until I took the 2 o’c train to come home then he took the cars for Westfield. The morning was very windy but this P.M. the air is more quiet and colder. Sky cloudy.

We hear that Engineer Watson’s wife is dead.

Tuesday, December 31, 1889    

Mother and Alice did the washing. I worked on Mattie’s cloak, etc.

Susie is much charmed with her little red comb.

I made mother a ruche for the neck and Susie a pair of worsted slippers. They look very cunning on her feet.

Alice spent the evening down to Mr. Coopers.