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.

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. :)

Do Canning on a Cool Day

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.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

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

This is probably a stretch—but could the Muffly’s be canning fruits or vegetables? . . . maybe cherries? . . . or green beans? Canning is a very hot job.

According to the August, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Canning is the process of putting up fruits or vegetables in air-tight jars either with or without sugar. Preserving is the preparation of fruits with sufficient sugar to keep without fermentation whether air-tight or not. If possible do the canning on cool days. . .

Maybe the produce was at its peak . . . and they just couldn’t wait for a cool day like the magazine recommended.

Wednesday Chores

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

Wednesday, July 15, 1914:  Wednesday—Perhaps a little different from other days.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Grandma. . .HOW is Wednesday different from other days? Did your family have specific chores for each day of the week?

Washing clothes on Monday. .

Did you do the mending on Wednesdays? Different lists have different chores for Wednesday, but the most frequently mentioned one seems to be mending. I’ve also seen lists where the ironing is listed as the Wednesday chore.

Sufficient Rainfall: Crops Making Promising Progress

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

Tuesday, July 14, 1914:  It’s raining some these days. One can even tire of the rain for a time.

DSC04615

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

Grandma—

I understand! I tire of rain very quickly, too. But rain is good.

It looks like Pennsylvania (and most of the rest of the country) is getting enough rain, and the crops are doing well. I bet that your father is happy.

Source: Wall Street Journal (July 15, 1914)

Source: Wall Street Journal (July 15, 1914)

 

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