Went to Sunday School

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

Sunday, April 6, 1913:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon.

The old McEwensville Baptist Church probably was located somewhere on the lot that contains this yard and house.

The old McEwensville Baptist Church is long gone. It probably was once located somewhere on the lot that contains this yard and house.

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

Grandma probably was tired after the wonderful “splash” she’d made the previous evening in the class play.

Grandma wrote a  sentence this Sunday similar to one she wrote most Sundays—”Went to Sunday School this afternoon.”—though she often elaborated a bit more.

How was this Sunday similar or different from other Sundays? . . .

Was it a sunny day. . . or a cloudy one? Was it unseasonably hot. . . or unseasonably cold. . . or just a typical April day?

Was the road to McEwensville dry or muddy? If it was muddy, did Grandma wear galoshes or did she carefully try to avoid puddles?

Had church members seen the play the previous evening?—and did they praise her for her great acting?

What was the Sunday School lesson about? Was it interesting? . . . or boring?

12 Responses

  1. I’m guessing she probably went to Sunday School but spent most of the time daydreaming about a life in theatre…HA.

  2. Maybe she went to repent for her acting in blackface;-).

  3. I’m surprised that Sunday School was in the afternoon!

    • I’ve also found that difficult to figure out. Sometimes she wrote that she went to Sunday School in the morning. . .other times she wrote that it was in the afternoon. I’m guessing that the small rural church had an itinerant minister who needed to travel between several churches in the parish. They may have alternated the service times (and the Sunday School times) so that none churches always got stuck with a bad time.

  4. When I was young– my journal entry would have been the same–“went to sunday school today”–and some Sundays were great and some were boring; some were sunny, and some were not, some sundays we had treats, some we did not; but we always dressed up and we always changed back into play clothes when we got home–a lot can happen at church, and sometimes nothing

    • You wonderfully describe experiences that are very similar to my memories of what church and Sunday school were like when I was a child.

  5. Seems like nothing remarkable or inspiring happened in Sunday school that week. Even the weather must have been ho-hum… :)

  6. I wonder…If she had known others would read her diaries, would she have included more details?

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