Photo of Happy Women

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

Thursday, September 3, 1914:  My pictures arrived this morning. I was more than satisfied with the result and could hardly keep my eyes off of them the whole day. One picture especially is a beauty. It is a picture of the girls sitting on the rocks, and all three are laughing.

Alma Derr, Rachel Oakes, and Ruth Muffly at Niagara Falls (Caption order may not be correct; Uncertain of the order; of the women)

Alma Derr, Rachel Oakes, and Ruth Muffly at Niagara Falls (Caption order may not be correct; Uncertain of the order of the women)

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

I’m only aware of one photo that Grandma took which still exists, and I find it amazing that Grandma again mentioned it in the diary. Grandma must have had an uncanny sense from the moment she took the photo during the trip to Niagara Falls that it was going to be special. On August 18, 1914 she wrote:

Arrived at the hotel. We rubbed up a little and started out again to the falls a second time. We lingered a long time, loath to leave the spot. I took a shot at the girls sitting on the rocks. The funny part of it was, they sat so nice and quiet, after I had pressed the button, and could hardly believe the picture had been taken.

Grandma apparently liked the photo enough to frame it, which probably facilitated its survival across the years. My cousin Alice now has the photo. I’m going to repost a portion of what Alice wrote about it:

. . . I love the picture so much. It still hangs in my office and I enjoy looking at it every day. Everyone looks so happy.

And, I tingle when I think about how the picture has brightened people’s lives for a hundred years. Grandma enjoyed looking at the happy faces a hundred years ago, and Alice equally enjoys looking at them now.

Why Wasn’t Grandma a Teacher?

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

Wednesday, September 2, 1914: It need not be recorded for there is nothing important to write.

DSC04324

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

Grandma—

You sound a little down. Yesterday you wrote that you missed your sister Ruth now that school has begun, and she is teaching at Red Hill School. And, your little brother Jimmie probably also started school—so it’s just you and your parents on the farm.

Your oldest sister Besse also was a teacher before she got married. Did you ever want to be a teacher like your sisters?

You’ve never written anything about seeking a teaching position. . . so maybe I’m letting my imagination run wild. However, you graduated from high school, so it seems like you’d be qualified. What happened? Didn’t any schools offer you a job . . . or did you decide that you preferred to stay home and work on the family farm?

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

Got Teeth Filled

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

Monday, August 31, 1914:  Went to Milton this afternoon to have my teeth filled. Took my filius (?)  along too.

diary-8-31-14

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

Grandma—

Ouch! How many teeth needed fillings? It doesn’t sound like much fun. Hopefully your teeth feel better now.

I can’t quite make out the third word in the second sentence of this diary entry. I think that it says something like “filius.” Any ideas?

DSC03572

Recent photo of Milton

Photo of Sunday School ClassTaken

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

Sunday, August 30, 1914:  Went to Sunday School this morning. We made out to have our pictures taken this afternoon. Came home and got my dinner, and then started out. Met Carrie on the way. The pictures were taken at the home of our Sunday School teacher.

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

Source: Library of Congress

Source: Library of Congress

In my imagination I see an itinerant professional photographer with a tripod and huge camera taking the picture, but it could have just been a church member with a Brownie camera.

It’s difficult to tell how far in advance the photo shoot was planned. Was a professional photographer engaged to take the pictures? . . . or did a Sunday School class member suggest on the fly during class that morning that she had a camera, and they really should take a class photo?

Carrie Stout was a friend of Grandma’s. She lived on a nearby farm that was situated midway between the Muffly farm and McEwensville.

Painted School Interior

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

Saturday, August 29, 1914:  Ruth and I painted the interior of the schoolhouse where she is going to teach this winter. We made sort of a picnic out of it. Ruth had a friend along. We were well-dabbed with paint by the time we got through.

Red Hill School Building

This building once housed Red Hill School. It was converted to a house many years ago.

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

What a fun way to get the schoolhouse freshened up for the new school year! Teachers sure had to wear a lot of hats back then. Grandma’s sister Ruth apparently not only needed to prepare lessons and teach—she also needed to organize a work crew to renovate the school building.

The previous day Grandma wrote that she went to town with her sister to help carry some things, and that she tore her dress on a pane of glass. I’m now wondering if the glass was needed to repair a window in the school.

I’m not sure where Ruth taught in prior years, but according to the History of the McEwensville Schools by Thomas Kramm she was the teacher at Red Hill School during the 1914-15 school year. It was a one-room school house at the south end of McEwensville.

Window Pane Tore Dress

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

Friday, August 28, 1914:  Ruth and I went to town on the train this morning. I was to bring some things home that she didn’t want to bother with. By good fortune I got an auto ride and tore my dress on a pane of glass I was carrying.

window pane

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

Grandma—

Did you want to go to town with your sister Ruth to bring things home that she “didn’t want to bother with”? . . . .or did your parents make you go?

Somehow it doesn’t seem like an older sister should be able to force her younger sister to carry a pane of glass. It sounds dangerous. Did you break a window?

At least you got to go into town . . . and, you got an AUTO RIDE! What fun! Overall it sounds like an okay day—except for the torn dress. Is it repairable? . . . or is it ruined?

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