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

“Don’t Buy Booze”

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

Saturday, May 16, 1914:  Same as yesterday.

Milton Evening Standard (April 9, 1914)

Milton Evening Standard (April 9, 1914)

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

Since not much was happening at the Muffly house, I’ll share an intriguing 1914 article from Grandma’s local paper, the Milton Evening Standard. I’m not quite sure what to make of the article, but it’s definitely thought-provoking.

Prohibition in the US began in 1920 when the 18th amendment went into effect—but, as this article indicates, there was a strong movement against alcohol in preceding years.

The article is about the town of Mount Carmel. Grandma lived in the northwestern part of Northumberland County. Mount Carmel is at the eastern edge of the county, and was in the heart of the anthracite coal region.

Influence of Seasonal Variation on Health

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

Monday, April 20, 1914:  There really isn’t much to write about.

McEwensville

McEwensville

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

Yesterday, I shared information from a book published in 1914 about the relationship between weather and health. Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some more from the book about the relationship seasonal variations and health.

At low temperatures, but more especially at high temperatures, the relative humidity of the atmospheres plays a most important role in determining the healthfulness of the climate of a locality.

The seasonal variations alone in the temperate zone are of great influence upon mortality aside from the general climatic conditions of a locality.

Mild winters and cool summers both lower the mortality, the former exerting a special influence upon the aged, and the latter upon the young, more particularly the infantile population. A cool, damp summer is always accompanied by a low mortality.

Season has also an important influence upon the character of the prevalent diseases—intestinal diseases being most prevalent in summer and respiratory diseases in winter.

The Principles of Hygiene (1914) by D.H. Bergey, MD

Parcel Post Packages Sold at White Elephant Sale

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

Saturday, April 18, 1914:  Went to a social this evening up at town. Parcel post packages were sold at an auction. I bought a package, which, when unwrapped disclosed a handkerchief. That wasn’t a misfit, but there were some that were more. Who ever heard of a man wearing a sun bonnet or an apron? Well that’s what some of them got.

Milton Evening Standard (April 28, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (April 28, 1914)

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

Wow, occasionally I just tingle, when a post pulls together like this one did. I never would have guessed that I’d find a newspaper story about this diary entry—

Several weeks ago, I was browsing through old Milton Evening Standard microfilms at the library looking for interesting stories and advertisements that I could use on days when Grandma didn’t write much—and suddenly this column jumped out at me. Grandma attended the party described in the paper!

Parcel post in the US began in 1913—and apparently it was such a cool thing that people had fundraisers with White Elephant sales—but with a twist. Instead of bringing the wrapped items to the party, they mailed them via parcel post.

Two days before this entry, Grandma mailed several packages that apparently were sold at the party:

Went up to town this afternoon to mail some parcel post packages. Oh dear me, and it cost eleven cents . . .

April 16, 1914

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