Finished Picking Strawberries

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, July 1, 1912:

In the shadow of a shade tree,

There the weary often be,

After they have been well roasted,

In the hot sun of July.

Stopped picking strawberries today. All my earnings, about $4.00 in all, I still have and expect to keep until I spend them.

strawberry plants

Strawberry Plants (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma apparently has—at least occasionally– been picking strawberries for money since June 10. I assume that a neighboring farmer paid her to pick them.

$4.00 would have been worth a lot more a hundred years ago than it is worth today. I wonder how Grandma eventually spent the money.


On the first day of every month Grandma included a poem in her diary entry.

13 Responses

  1. Hi Sheryl. I am impressed with how regular your grandmother was with her entries, and how interesting they are. She must have picked a lot of berries for her $4.00 When I was young, we got $.35 a box for blueberries. Jane

    • I also think that $4.00 would have required her to pick a lot of strawberries. I’m trying to figure out what the inflation rate was between 1912 and 2012 so that I can better understand what $4.00 would be worth in today’s terms. When I get it figured out, I’ll tell you about it in a future post.

  2. I have nominated you for the Mrs Sparklys Ten Commanements Award you can check it out at – Blessings! Patty

  3. I hope it wasn’t as hot there 100 years ago as it is here today! Even in the shade of a tree it was over 100.

    • It had to have been difficult in the days before air conditioning and electric fans.

      I have memories of women fanning themselves with beautiful fans when I was young. I bet fans were even more popular a hundred years ago.

  4. hmmm… good for you Miss Muffly. I too wonder what she decides to spend her well earnt dosh on Sheryl. Hope she shares with us her “wonderings” :-)

  5. Congratulations for the nomination, I really hope you win that award. You deserve it.

  6. […] to replenish her pocketbook. In the past, she earned money by picking strawberries. For example, on July 1, 1912 she […]

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