Went to an Entertainment

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

Friday, October 9, 1914: About once a week take the notion to write. Well, there really wasn’t anything important. Ruth and I went to an entertainment given in Watsontown. Some fine music I listened to.

Here's a picture of Watsontown--though I don't know where the Opera House was located. Perhaps the building no longer exists.

Here’s a picture of Watsontown–though I don’t know where the Opera House was located. Perhaps the building no longer exists.

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

Welcome back, Grandma! We’ve missed you. The day-to-day happenings in your life are more important than you think.

Did you and your sister Ruth go to the Watsontown Opera House? I’ve heard that the theatre’s name is more presumptuous than the actual building—but that it’s the best place in town to see good performances.

Women and Hunting Licenses a Hundred Years Ago

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

Sunday, October 4, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Milton Evening Standard (October 1, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (October 1, 1914)

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

Yesterday, I wrote about the suffragettes’ booth at the Milton Fair. Since Grandma again didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m still thinking about gender issues. Sometimes I’m amazed by the things that women could and couldn’t do a hundred years ago. Women couldn’t vote, but they could hunt—go figure.

Suffragettes’ Booth at Fair

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

Saturday, October 3, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Milton Evening Standard (October 1, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (October 1, 1914)

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

Is Grandma still remembering all the fun that she had at the Milton Fair earlier in the week? When she was at the fair, did she stop by the suffragettes’ booth?

I love how the women’s suffrage question was framed — Motherhood  has become a public function; therefore women need to be allowed to vote.

P.S. There’s a new Friday Update on my author website, Sheryl Lazarus. com.  This week I’m thinking about the nuts and bolts involved in developing a new blog that tells the story of my Great-Aunt Marion who was in the Women’s Army Corps (WACs).

Fair Week

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

Tuesday, September 29–Wednesday, September 30, 1914: Guess I’ll have to commence writing about the weather. Well the weather should come in for its share of notice. You see this is fair week. I mean one with a capital F.

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 21, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 21, 1914)

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

Grandma—

Yeah! It’s Fair (with a capital F) week!  The Milton Fair will be sooo much fun. According to last week’s paper there will be a band, a public telephone booth, and fast horses . . . AND (sigh)  to keep parents happy, the fair will have a moral tone with no wheels of fortune.

A Little More About “Tweet”

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

Sunday, September 13, 1914: Went to Sunday School this morning. Was up at Tweet’s this afternoon, and went to church this evening.

Wesner's Dairy Milk Bottle

Wesner’s Dairy Milk Bottle (Photo Source: Worthpoint)

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

Tweet was the nickname of Helen Wesner. She was a friend of Grandma’s who was occasionally mentioned in the diary. Based on the diary, and other sources, here’s what I know about her:

Helen was three years older than Grandma. Helen never married—and worked on her family’s farm and in their small dairy processing plant that produced bottled milk. She died in 1976 at the age of 84.

Anyone with the nickname of Tweet had to have been a fun person. Here are two previous diary entries that mentioned Tweet or the Wesner’s.

On December 6, 1913 Grandma wrote:

The whole family was invited out for dinner today. We all went except Pa. It was up at Tweet’s place. We had something that I always had a curiosity to know what they tasted like. It was waffles.

And, on January 3, 1914, Grandma wrote:

Made a call this afternoon, so that the time wouldn’t be so tedious. I’m wishing and longing for a sleigh ride, now that there is sleighing.

Ruth and I went up to Wesner’s this evening. There were some other girls there too. Renewed my acquaintance with a former school mate whom I hadn’t seen for over three years I guess, until I saw her on Christmas eve. Had a good time.

Photo of Ruth Muffly and her Students

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

Tuesday, September 1, 1914:

The summer flowers we bid adieu

To brighter days and balmier hours

There short brief life is well nigh spent

For with the summer goes the flowers.

It seems rather lonesome here without Ruthie, but still have enough to take up my time.

Source: The History of McEwensville Schools by Thomas Kramm (Used with permission)

Source: The History of McEwensville Schools by Thomas Kramm (Used with permission)

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

It was the first day of school for Grandma’s sister Ruth. She taught at the Red Hill School during 1914-15. This school was at the south end of McEwensville. It was a different school than where she’d previously taught.

Whew, it looks like Ruth had 9 boys, and 1 girl in her class. I bet she had a handful.

Monthly Poem

For more information about the poem on the first day of each month see this previous post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

Watsontown Cemetery

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

Sunday, May 24 – Thursday, May 28, 1914:  Nothing much doing.

Recent photo of Watsontown Cemetery.

Recent photo of Watsontown Cemetery.

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

This is the second of five days that Grandma lumped together into one diary entry. Her infant niece, the daughter of her sister Besse, died on May 23–and she apparently didn’t feel like writing.

Did they have a funeral for the baby? . . . I don’t know where is she buried.

I haven’t had a chance to get to the library to go through the microfilms to see if I can find the obituary—but I know that when I looked two years ago after the death of Besse’s first baby that I wasn’t able to find anything.

I also know that Besse and her husband Curt are buried in the Watsontown Cemetery—and that the two infants are not buried in that plot.DSC03518

Memorial Day wasn’t until May 30 in 1914, but on this Memorial Day week-end I thought you might enjoy seeing some additional photos of the Watsontown Cemetery. It is on a hill overlooking the town—and has an awesome view of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and the mountains in the distance.

DSC03523

DSC03528

The statue in the distance is a Civil War monument that was erected in 1902.

DSC03526

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