A Celebration of Something

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

Saturday, May 17, 1913:  Went to Watsontown this afternoon. There was a big time going on in there. The celebration of something. I don’t just know exactly what. There must have been at least four or five different bands. I’m pretty tired by this time. Had to do all the milking after I came home.

DSC03659.cropWere the bands marching down Main Street?

Recent photo of the park in nearby Watsontown.Or maybe they were playing at the Watsontown Park.

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

Hmm—Sounds like fun, though  it’s interesting that Grandma wasn’t quite sure what the event was about.

Did her sister Ruth stay at the celebration in Watsontown?

Based on previous diary entries, I think that Grandma and Ruth typically each milked several cows.

They sometimes traded  the milking chore so that one of them could do something else. Grandma might milk  Ruth’s cows one day—and Ruth would milk Grandma’s a few days later.

26 Responses

  1. …or make Ruth pay her, haha.

  2. I think I would be tired too after a busy day and then milking cows as well.

  3. You know me, I have to see what I can find. On May 13, 1792 John Watson Sr. bought the land that would later become Watsonville. Perhaps they were celebrating that date, or perhaps it is just a coincidence :-). Probably the latter.

    • It makes sense that the town might have been holding a founder’s celebration. I could see how that might have been a very meaningful date for the older people who lived in the town; but fallen into the “celebration of something” category for a teen-ager.

  4. I was thinking along the sames lines as vanbraman, could you find out what they might have celebrated that day? Perhaps it was an event held for the founding of Watsonville.

    • Vanbraman’s suggestion makes sense to me. Old newspapers are available on microfilm at a library. If I get a chance I’ll have to see if I can find anything in the papers about this celebration.

  5. Another mystery…..!

  6. How long does it take to milk a cow anyway?

  7. I love it that your followers are researching and contributing! Sounds exactly like a “Founders Day” celebration. My family were all “out west” a hundred years ago, but my husband’s family were just across the state of Pennsylvania, in the steel mills and mines. Sure am enjoying your bog!

    • Thanks for the nice note. It’s always wonderful to hear when someone enjoys this blog. Pennsylvania is such an old, diverse state–with a rich history.

  8. I can’t wait to find out the future life of Helena because I don’t think she likes farm life.

    • I’m looking forward to exploring the next events in her life via what she wrote in the diary.

      In the longer run, I know that she eventually married my grandfather. He was a farmer, so she never really left farm life.

  9. I love how small-town folk get out and celebrate together.

  10. It is wonderful to celebrate life everyday, even at times we are too exhausted from the craziness of it all. One day we look back and say, “I’m glad I did them.” It’s always a joy to see your past through your memories and recollections. Beautiful! Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

  11. I can’t imagine having to milk the cows every day. And small town celebrations must have been wonderful getaways. Thanks once again to you and your grandma for giving us snapshot memories of earlier times.

    • Having grown up on a dairy farm, I don’t have any problems imagining what it was like to milk cows twice a day–though we had electric milkers so it was easier than it was back in Grandma’s day.

  12. Wow, that’s a pretty big main street. So cool that the town is still kicking.

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