Farewell Glance

9 Jun

(Sally here: Well, It’s been a while hasn’t since my last entry. I keep saying I’m going to get better but this new adventure of mine is keeping me pretty busy. Part of this adventure that I’m embarking on is that I’m in the process of reading, researching and cataloging all the diaries in my private collection; no easy task but I’m having so much fun doing so. BUT, I’m not giving up on my blogs and hopefully this new project of mine will enable me to share more and more diaries. I appreciate all your patience with me. And, on that note, this is the finally entry for Mary as she ends her honeymoon trip and what an amazing passage to end it with. But, really that’s not the end because remember as I stated at the beginning of this, Mary’s daughter then picks up her mother’s diary in 1911 to write her own Honeymoon diary.)

“March 4th, 1874, Yesterday and today we have been very busy making preparations for our final departure on the morrow. Have been packing nearly all day and tonight. I am weary.”

“March 5th, 1874, About ½ past 8 this morning after passing around to all the rooms, giving them a farewell glance, feeling that henceforward they belonged not to my home, I made my adieus to my dear mother, brothers, and sisters. I had left them many times before, but always with feeling that I should soon return and resume my place in the family circle. Now how different! Another spot, the home of him whom I have chosen for my life companion will claim me and feel it a pleasure as well as a duty to enhance his happiness and prosperity in every good work. After the last articles were placed in the wagon, father came in and in faltering tones said, “We are ready now.” Arising I pressed the hand and lips of each, but no words were spoken.”

Borrowed Light

21 Apr

27th, 1873 At King’s to help quilt. Zena Worthington and wife came while we were there. Father and J. J. came about 4. All took tea then J. J., Lib and self went to E. Crew’s to spend evening, which was very fine. Zena shed much of her borrowed light making the frost work glisten on the grass and everything so beautiful that our 2 miles walk home did not seem to weary us.”

(Sally Here: Is that not just an amazing passage. So incredibly visual. I would love to know more about Zena, and her “borrowed light.”)


5 Apr

I’m finally back from Texas. It was such an amazing trip (way too much to express here) so again I’ve picked up my own diary to write about my experiences. I’ve read thousands of diaries in my lifetime and figuring out “why” people write in their diary is one of the most fascinating aspect of reading other peoples diaries. As for me, I write to get things out of my head and off my heart, but of course that never works; somethings will always stay with you regardless of how wonderful or how painful….yet I still write.

And with all that said, I want to introduce you to Dorothy. I just found this diary a few months ago and this, her 1st passage, is so surreal. Her last words just blew me away, it was if she was talking to me……me a “girl of this century”


DorothySept. 13, 1919. A great many people have advised me to keep a journal saying that if one keeps a journal he will be more likely to find interesting events going on around him, so I, Dorthy, am going to keep this one. I am twelve, thirteen next month. I’m in my first year of High now and hope to be the rest of this year. I have a father and mother and a brother. Also a dear friend whose name is Sara Louise Spear. I met her at Hampton Beach where our family stays summers. She is a dear and I surely do love her. My best friend here at home is Marion Hansome now. I really like her very much although our friendship now is a bit strained. I’ve read so many books about other girls who kept diaries years ago who had them and then girls of this century found them. I would like nothing better than to have this book found and read after I am gone. I hope if such happens that the people who find it think it interesting.”

Homeward Bound

6 Mar

Before I quote these next few diary entries I want to let you know that she’s getting ready to head back home where she’ll pack up her things and finally leave with her new husband to her new homestead. It’s a terribly sad time in her life yet exciting at the same time and even though these entries seem fairly simple, you can see how her heart is preparing for the next stage of her married life.


1st mo. 9th, Teachers and boys came out to dine with us today and they seemed to enjoy it despite the rain.”

1st mo. 12th, At Wheeling homeward bound. Came down in hack which was too late for train, so must remain here until 6:20 this eve. Wrote to S. Hall today.”

14th, Father met me at J. Davis this morn. Spent night before last at Scofield’s. Got along very well during my trip and tonight am enjoying myself at my old home.”

15th, At Mon. mtg. today. Weather very cold. Lillie and children came this eve.”

17th, Father, mother, and Lib and I went to R. Penrose’s taking Hannah along. Weather still very cold, mercury at zero but we got along well over the rough roads.”

18th, Went to S. King’s. Weather more pleasant.”

2nd mo. Looked all day yesterday and until 9 o’clock at night for J. J. then retired feeling quite disappointed, but had just gone to sleep when he came.”

2nd mo. 24th, In the midst of driving snow storm, father, mother, J. J. and self went to church to attend 2nd mtg. on the morrow. Spent night at Uncle J.’s.”

25th, Attended mtg. which was very long but interesting. E. Dean had much ministering to do which was very good. Some others also spoke. Called awhile at Uncle Elisha’s after dinner at Dr. Bean’s then to Aunt Hannah’s for the night.”

26th, Came home, did not arrive till nearly 3. The roads are so bad.”

Difficulty in Traveling

14 Feb

Sally here: I thought I’d quote several entries here as many are rather short. One thing I couldn’t help but notice as a common thread throughout is how bad the roads were for traveling. It just makes me realized how we take for granted just how easy it is for us to get around these days. Can you imagine traveling everywhere in a buggy, and during the winter yet on very muddy, frozen or snow ridden roads.

13th, 1873. This day I have felt more anxious about than any other as I was to be introduced into my new home and be scanned and criticized by J. J.’s many relatives and friends. We came out about 11 and despite the rain found about 37 guests. The day passed off very pleasantly I believe.”

14th, 1873. The day quite disagreeable yet J. J. and I went to meeting on horseback, none of the rest being able to get there.”

15th, 1873. Mother, Selma and I did a large washing in A.M. and in P.M. they did some baking preparing for another co. tomorrow.”

16th, 1873. The elderly Friends at H-ville, (Harrisville) B. and H., J. and A. Stratton were here today and we had quite a pleasant time.”

17th, 1873. J. J. and I went to the school meeting and remained awhile after dinner. The roads still very muddy and Rhoda whose acquaintance I made today, took me over the road so rapidly that I received a good portion of it and also became very tired in trying to hold her in. Did a little shopping in Mt. P. (Mt. Pleasant) then home again before night.”

“20th, 1873.  J. J. walked to mtg. to day it being unsuitable for any of the rest to go.”

21st, 1873. Mother and I washed this A.M. and this P.M. father, mother, Rachael and Selma went to Concord to attend Mon. mtg. tomorrow, leaving J. J. and myself to keep house.”

“22nd, 1873. We arose at an early hr. did up our work, closed the house and as soon as possible were on our way to Mon. meeting in our buggy which we feared would be broken it was so much rougher than we expected. Dined at Lupton’s then went to a. Raley’s to spend night leaving buggy and walking.”

“23rd, 1873. Back to Lupton’s then to J. Steers for dinner after which started home stopping awhile at Oliver Bidwell’s. Roads still very bad but we reached home safely before night.”

25th, 1873.  Commenced cutting carpet rags which mother kindly gave me. It is new business to me and I will doubtless be some time ere it is completed.”

Stamm House

20 Jan

“December 12th, 1873. Started at 6 this A.M. and for the first time since leaving home have had quite a rainy day. Reached Wheeling little before noon and went to the Stam House. To our disappointment, Moses told us the roads were too bad to take back there and he had sent it to Portland where we must also go on the next train. The rain increased making that smoky city dreary indeed. Went to P. arriving at 3 and then came the worst part of our journey, yet the brave horses took us thro the creeks and over the hills landing us at Mt. P. B. S. about ½ past 6 where we had a pleasant night.”

(Sally here: I believe I found the Stamm House in Wheeling. One of the photos came from a 1867 Wheeling West Virginia newspaper and talks about the opening of the Stamm House. The other photo is of the Hotel itself only taken years later.)

Happy New Year

10 Jan

I haven’t forgotten my posts. Between moving (after 23 years of being in the same house and same town) and family Christmas vacations, my blogging and diary business was put on hold. BUT no longer thankfully and I have more time (because of my decision to move) to devote to my blog, my facebook page, my new instagram page and my business and I’m very excited to see what the future brings. So, I will continue on with these diary entries soon but until then I thought it only fitting to quote one of my favorite New Year entry from an 1873 diary in my collection……

“January 1st, 1873 Arthur gave me this diary. I now commence at the opening of this New Year with another diary. With the uncertainty of ever covering even one page after this one with my thoughts or deeds of mine, nevertheless I begin, “seeing not a step before me as I tread the days of the year. The past is still in Gods keeping, the future his mercy shall clear. What looks dark in the distance may brighten as I draw near.”

Near to my heart

7 Nov

Forgive the delay in my posts and I promise when I get settled I’ll be posting much more regularly. As many of you know I’m in the process of moving and many of my diaries have found their way into their temporary traveling homes all ready for a new adventure. I’m heading to Issaquah Washington where my son and his wife have moved. They have taken my life line; my grandbabies and I need to be near them. However I’m also up for a new adventure. The quote I’m posting here isn’t from our regular author but I did find a quote I want to share that seems to mirror my thoughts of late. It was written at the end of 1927 by a 15 year old girl about to see the New Year begin……

“To Me
1927 is nearly gone, gone! To think that this glorious year has nearly ended. What wondrous joys has it not brought? So few sorrows or ills. Have I done anything worth while? That is the important question….My trip was a glorious adventure. It was wonderful. I had often dreamed delightful dreams of travel, but those dreams were always of trips abroad to the mysterious and romantic lands of Europe and Africa and Asia. Often indeed have I dreamed of a visit to the Sahara, to the garden of Allah, there to meet with God, to walk and talk with Him, to ride the stately camels over those endless sand dunes, to venture through those queer desert towns, to hear the sound of wild, wild fierce music that reaches way down deep and makes one ache with feeling. Oh, that those dreams may come true. Often too have I dreamed of journeys to the palaces of India, to the temples of Greece and the castles of Europe. But a great surprise and quaint adventures was my journey this summer. Oh! The mountains of the Sierras, those magnificent stately peaks with pines and pines and pines……As it is, I think that this year I have begun to think more profoundly and have come to enjoy reading the more thoughtful and great books; tragedies seem more pleasing to me than happy books, they seem so much more real to me……Lately I have become very restless and have an uncontrollable desire to live, really live. I do not call this existence, this school, study, practice, sleep existence, real life! The longing comes over me most strongly at night when the mournful whistle of the train, I hear and when I look up at my star and ask him what my life shall be. Then I feel that I am of no use that I am not fulfilling my mission…..Here I sit this New Year’s Eve and ponder and wonder. Will I be able to stand despair, hunger, and poverty should that be my lot or if I should become rich would I forget that there are those who are hungry and alone?….Why write all this? God knows what is in my heart. He knows and understands. May I live as courageously and bravely. May I love as strongly. May I be brave and true and when I leave, my some dear person, weep ever so softly! May mine be a “beautiful gesture” in life! Only God and I know what is in my heart. Marthe Johnson. 12/31/27”

Point of Rocks MD

27 Sep

“December 11th, 1873, Took train homeward bound at 8 A.M. It was quite pleasant to feel that our faces were really turned toward home. Our ride most of the day was thro the wildest most picturesque scenery I ever witnessed. The road to Point of Rocks seemed at most one succession of deep cuts, hills and trestle work. The day was delightful and few enjoyed the Mts. much. Stopped to dine but we not wishing to go to eating rooms, J. J. went out and bot something which was eaten in the cars. Passed by some very beautiful rocks a sample of which J. J. thot to get at Point of Rocks. I came very nearly being left. Quite to our disappointment darkness came on just as we reached the Cheat River, so I was disappointed in Harper’s Ferry it being so much smaller place than I anticipated, tho the Rocky River and the mts. which hem it in give it a very picturesque appearance. At night stopped at Grafton a small place between the 2 mt. ranges.”


Senate Chamber

3 Sep

“December 10th, 1873. Went first to National Observatory then back to Capital where J. Cove met us and led us thro the many richly furnished rooms. One of the finest is called the Marble Room. At 12 went into the Senate Chamber, where business was conducted very lively for a little time tho where we sat I could here but little. Vice Pres. Wilson presided. Then went to House of Representatives where we were much entertained for a time. The salary question claimed attention and a no. spoke warmly. Tremain of New York, Collins of Vermont and other names we did not hear. Ed recognizing Butler from his photograph. A. H. Stephens, Fernando Wood and others of whom we had frequently heard were there. Walked to top of building, then down thro basement rooms which are very numerous. Afterwards visited National greenhouse which consists of 3 large rooms filled with rare and beautiful plants from all parts of the earth, tho very few were in bloom. Then back to Goves.”

(Sally here: I had no idea that in 1873, the very year this diary was written, U. S. Grant converted the White House to Victorian Style, called “Pure Greek” by some and openly mocked by others. Great article and photos concerning this time at the following web site.)


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