16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, September 7, 1911: Really nothing so very much for today. Am getting used to going to school now.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Since Grandma didn’t have much to say a hundred years ago today, I’m going to go off on a tangent.
Summer’s over—and based on the diary I don’t think that the Muffly’s took a vacation during the summer of 1911. I just assumed that farmers didn’t take vacations back then because the animals needed to be fed regularly and the cows needed to be milked twice each day.
I was surprised to discover that my assumption was wrong and that some dairy farmers did take vacations a hundred years ago. The cover story in the July 15, 1911 issue of Kimball’s Dairy Farmer magazine recommended that dairy farmers take vacations.
However, apparently many farmers took vacations without their families–and they left their wives at home to do the farm work. The article reprimanded men who did this:
The farmer’s vacation should include other members of the family besides himself. The wife who has been struggling through the entire year with her difficulties and her tasks that oftentimes seem hopelessly burdensome should share in the recreation pleasures.
Kimball’s Dairy Farmer (July 15, 1911)