Still Sore

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

Thursday, July 23, 1914:  Can still feel the results of yesterday.

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

Grandma—

Are you going to be okay? Your accident yesterday didn’t sound good—and I still think you should have gone to the doctor and the dentist. I hope that your father at least gave you the day off—and that you are lounging around the house.

Grandma hurt herself while loading hay or straw. She wrote:

I’m feeling awful sore in my lower region. Have a sore nose and two sore front teeth. Was loading hay this afternoon. While at work on the last load the train rounded the bend. I glanced in that direction. This next moment I was lying on the ground with the breath knocked out of me.

July 22, 1914

As I described yesterday, I think that hundreds of pounds of hay fell from a hay hook as it was being lifted into the barn.

Injured While Loading Hay

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

Wednesday, July 22, 1914: I’m feeling awful sore in my lower region. Have a sore nose and two sore front teeth. /Was loading hay this afternoon. While at work on the last load the train rounded the bend. I glanced in that direction. This next moment I was lying on the ground with the breath knocked out of me.

The train that surprised Grandma would have come down these tracks.

The train that surprised Grandma would have come down these tracks.

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

Grandma—

Whew, are you okay? Do you think you should go to a doctor (or a dentist)? It sounds like a bad mishap—and like you‘re very lucky that you weren’t hurt worse.

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I think that it was a mishap with the rope and pulley system used to lift hay or straw from the wagon, and take it up into the hay mow. There was a huge hook at the end that held the hay that was being lifted. If care wasn’t used (or if the rope broke) hundreds of pounds of hay would fall back onto the wagon. This would jolt the wagon—and could throw a person standing on it.  The falling hay could also potentially hit a worker.

Hay,Pulley.crop

There were train tracks that ran along the edge of the Muffly farm—and the Susquehanna, Bloomsburg, and Berwick Railroad had regularly scheduled passenger trains that used the tracks. I suppose Grandma was surprised by the train—and somehow failed to properly attend to whatever she was supposed to be doing with the pulley system.

For more information about hay pulleys you might enjoy this previous post:

Hay Pulleys and Ropes

You may also enjoy this link to a YouTube video what shows people using the old-fashioned pulley system to unload hay. (Thank you Jim in Iowa for finding this link and sharing it when I did the previous post on this topic.)

Carrie has a Beau

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

Tuesday, July 21, 1914:  Went to a party about three miles from here. Went with Carrie and her beau. There were lots there I didn’t know. Didn’t stay so very late.

House Carrie (Stout) and John Pressler lived in after their marriage.

House Carrie (Stout) and John Pressler lived in after their marriage.

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

Grandma—

It’s too bad that you didn’t know very many people . . . were you happy for Carrie that she had a beau? . . . or a little jealous?

—-

Carrie Stout is the friend of Grandma’s who’s mentioned the most frequently  in the diary—so I assume that she was Grandma’s best friend. She lived on a nearby farm.

Since Carrie’s not a relative I’ve never put much effort into tracing her story, but here’s the little I know.

Carrie was a little younger than Grandma. She married a farmer named John Pressler who was about 10 years older than she was. (I wonder if the beau in this diary entry was John.) Carrie and John lived for many years on a rural Milton farm. The farm was on Muddy Run Road, and was 3 miles or so from the farm where Carrie grew up.

I’ve never come across a photo of Carrie, so I don’t know what she looked like.

Somehow my description of Carrie feels inadequate—I guess that her life is a puzzle that still has lots of missing pieces.

1914 Johns-Manville Asbestos Roofing Advertisement

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

Monday, July 20, 1914:  Nothing of importance.

???????????????????????????????

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

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share a hundred-year-old ad that I found a bit unsettling. Today we hear so much about the problems with asbestos. I was surprised to see an ad for asbestos roofing in the March 15, 1914 issue of Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine.

New Minister Energizes Church

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

Sunday, July 19, 1914:  Went to Sunday School this morning. Ruth and I went to church this evening.

DSC04302

The days are still long. Maybe it was still light when Grandma and her sister Ruth walked down this road toward home.

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

Grandma—

Wow, church twice in a day! Sounds like your new minister has more services than the old one. Is he as good as the old one? How are his sermons?

The previous minister left in January. On January 4, 1914 Grandma wrote:

Our minister is going to leave soon. He preached his farewell sermon today. I am so sorry to see him go. There were some misty eyes in church this afternoon.

After he left Grandma occasionally mentioned that there was no church because there was no minister. On March 29, 1914, she wrote:

Went to Sunday school this afternoon. Attended church, which isn’t very often since we don’t have a regular preacher as yet. . .

The new one came two weeks prior to this entry. On July 5, 1914 she wrote:

Our new preacher took up his charge today. Am glad that one is secured at last.

White Mountain Ice Cream Freezer Advertisement

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

Saturday, July 18, 1914: Nothing much doing. Went to an ice cream sale this evening. Didn’t get any there, but got some at another place.

Source: National Foods Magazine (July, 1910_

Source: National Foods Magazine (July, 1910_

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

mmm. . . Eating ice cream with friends sounds like a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening.

Grandma did have the ice cream with friends didn’t she? The diary entry doesn’t exactly say that, but I think that’s what she means. In my imagination a group of friends made homemade ice . . . laughing and chatting while they took turns turning the crank.

Dangerously Humid: 3 Die in NYC

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

Thursday, July 16 – Friday, July 17, 1914:  Am having a hot time of it.

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

This is the second day of a two-day diary entry. New York City is about 125 miles east of McEwensville. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about the weather there on July 17, 1914.

Source: New York Times (July 18, 1914)

Source: New York Times (July 18, 1914)

The weather sounds oppressive—and dangerous. My favorite line in the article is:

There is a light southerly breeze at the Battery, but it as warm as if it had blown over the Sudan desert at Wadi Halfi. . .

Somehow high humidity and desert breezes don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence. . . but whatever. . . It’s a very graphic description. :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 912 other followers