Rode Ferris Wheel

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

Thursday, September 21, 1911: Went to the Fair today with Miss Carrie of course. We took a ride on the Ferris Wheel (a thing I was never on before) and a ride on the Curling Wave. Saw a good many people I knew and more that I didn’t know. I got rather tired walking around all afternoon and sot such a thumping headache. Got home about six o’clock and then had to do all the milking as Ruthie hadn’t yet made her arrival.

The Ferris Wheel at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 (Photo Source: Wikipedia)

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

Grandma and her friend Carrie Stout went to the Milton Fair. According to yesterday’s entry McEwensville High School gave the students the day off to attend the fair.

The rides sound exciting. I checked Wikipedia and discovered that the first Ferris Wheel was at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. It was invented by a bridge builder named George Ferris, and manufactured by Bethlehem Steel in Pittsburgh.

I was somewhat surprised that a fair in central Pennsylvania would have a Ferris Wheel only 18 years after very first Ferris Wheel was created. I imagined that new technology once diffused more slowly than it does today. But I guess that 18 years was a long time—both then and now.

I asked my father about the Milton Fair. He cannot remember there ever being a fair at Milton, but says that when he was young, people called the area on both sides Route 405 near the Arrowhead Restaurant “the fairgrounds”.

Milton Fair Coming: Best Ever with Only Clean Shows!

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

Monday, September 18, 1911: This is fair week. It was rather doubtful looking this morning. Mother wanted me to take an umbrella, but thought it wouldn’t be called for. Pretty soon the sun burst forth and shone in all its radiance. Hope the rest of this week will be as nice as it was today.

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

According to the  Milton Evening Standard the 1911 Milton Fair was going to be the best ever:

. . . only clean shows

. . . the amusements will be fit for man, woman, or child.

As to the horse racing, it will be better than ever. The purses are the largest ever offered.

Milton Evening Standard (September 15, 1911)

Straw Hat Season Over

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

Saturday, September 16, 1911: This Saturday was rather dull. I did some mending this afternoon I have four or five problems. I should have worked tonight, but will procrastinate if until tomorrow or some other convenient time only so I have them done by Monday noon.

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

It’ sounds like a boring afternoon. . . I wonder if Grandma felt down because fall was fast approaching and straw hat season was over:

Milton Evening Standard (September 16, 1911)

Finally Got Cavities Filled

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

Thursday, July 6, 1911: Went to Milton this morning. Got that bothersome tooth that ached in the spring filled and several other ones. Went to the extravaganza of buying a five dollar ring today. I am busted now.

Old postcard of South Front Street, Milton. Grandma probably walked to Watsontown and then took the trolley to Milton when she visited the dentist. (Source: Milton Historical Society)

Recent photo of South Front Street, Milton

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

Yeah! Hip Hip Hooray! Thank goodness! Grandma finally got her tooth filled!

It took Grandma almost three months to get her tooth fixed after it started hurting. She first mentioned that she had a toothache on April 11, and again complained about it on April 15 and April 18. She then tried to visit the dentist in Milton on May 6 and again May 13 but he wasn’t in his office when she got there.

As a mother I can’t imagine one of my children having a tooth ache for months—and wonder why Grandma’s parents let this health problem linger for so long. I guess that times were just different.

I know that this entry was written a hundred years ago, and that all of the problems and concerns that Grandma wrote about resolved themselves one way or the other long, long ago—and that it is irrational for me to be concerned about problems mentioned in the diary–but I must admit that I’ve worried about Grandma’s health when she couldn’t get her tooth fixed for months on end.

The Ring

I’m amazed that Grandma bought herself a $5 ring. In past entries Grandma’s always worried about wasting money, but maybe she decided to reward herself for finally getting her tooth fixed.  The ring must have been really nice. In today’s dollars it would be worth about $140. In June Grandma earned $2.65 from picking strawberries—I wonder where she got the remaining money for the ring.

Went Shopping in Milton

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

Thursday, June 22, 1911: Mother and I went to Milton this morning. I got a dress and a pair of shoes and some other accessories. Mother was so fatigued when we got home, but I was far from that.

Old postcard showing corner of Broadway and Front Street, Milton (Source: Milton Historical Society)

Recent photo of the corner of Broadway and Front Street, Milton

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

See the May 2 entry for a 1911 advertisement and photo from a shoe store in Milton.

Didn’t Go Shopping

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

Thursday, June 15, 1911: Wanted to go to Milton today and get some things to wear but mommie wouldn’t go.

Old real picture post card of Milton--Grandma wanted to shop here a hundred years ago today, but she didn't make it. (Postcard source: Milton Historical Society)

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

Since Grandma mentioned several times in previous diary entries that she went to Milton by herself, I’m surprised that she didn’t just go alone when her mother won’t go. I suppose that her mother would only pay for whatever Grandma wanted to buy (clothes?) if she went along.

Carpenters and Circus Recap

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

Friday, June 2, 1911: I would like to rub up an acquaintance with one of the young carpenters. There are two of ‘em, but seems an impossibility. Dear, dear me.

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

I’m really struggling with our age difference today. My grandmother was about 40 years younger than what I currently am when  she wrote this entry. A hundred years ago she was a teen jotting down her thoughts about cool guys who were helping build the addition on the Muffly barn—while I’m a mother with adult children.

I’m just going to let this entry stand without any comments—and instead will go back to yesterday’s entry about the circus in Milton. I would like to share two articles in the June 2, 1911 issue of the Milton Evening Standard:

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