Picture Taken Under Apple Tree

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

Sunday, October 11, 1914:  Went to Sunday school this morning. Carrie was over this afternoon, and we had our pictures taken under an apple tree and sitting on the pasture bare.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

It must have been a lovely October day if Grandma and her friend Carrie Stout decided to have someone (her sister Ruth?) take their picture.

I’m a little confused by the phrase “sitting on the pasture bare.” The modern literal interpretation of the phrase makes no sense within the context of the times. Is the pasture bare. . . of grass? . . . of cows? . . . of fallen apples?

Took Two Pictures!!

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

Friday, October 9, 1914: Took two pictures this morning.

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

Grandma—

It’s awesome that you’re still enjoying your hobby, but more details please.

What was special enough to justify taking TWO pictures? You always use such care when deciding to take a picture. Film is so expensive—and if you are sending the film off to be developed that costs a lot, too. . . and if you’re planning to develop the pictures yourself, that’s a lot of work.

An aside:  A new Friday Update is posted on my author website, Sheryl Lazarus.com. This week I’m trying to figure out what I want to do during the final months of A Hundred Years Ago.

Went to an Entertainment

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

Friday, October 9, 1914: About once a week take the notion to write. Well, there really wasn’t anything important. Ruth and I went to an entertainment given in Watsontown. Some fine music I listened to.

Here's a picture of Watsontown--though I don't know where the Opera House was located. Perhaps the building no longer exists.

Here’s a picture of Watsontown–though I don’t know where the Opera House was located. Perhaps the building no longer exists.

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

Welcome back, Grandma! We’ve missed you. The day-to-day happenings in your life are more important than you think.

Did you and your sister Ruth go to the Watsontown Opera House? I’ve heard that the theatre’s name is more presumptuous than the actual building—but that it’s the best place in town to see good performances.

Hundred-year-old Interior Decorating “Rules”

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

Thursday, October 8, 1914: <no entry>

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some “rules” there were  in the October, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal about how to decorate rooms:

There are certain general rules that govern the furnishing of every room in the house, whether it be living-room, dining-room, or bedroom that is under consideration.

  1. Beginning with the floor, see that the covering for this is of a slightly darker color than that selected for walls.
  1. The colors used for your wall, of course, depend upon the amount of light admitted to the room and also upon the exposure. For a south light, which is in itself warm, choose cool colors, light greens and blues; on the other hand, for a north light select warm colors like tones of yellow and red.
  1. Do not use a decidedly figured paper in the same room that you used figured draperies. Figured draperies should be used only with plain paper.
  1. When your paper is figured, be careful not to put too many small pictures on your walls or the effect will be spotty.

 

Tea Tables a Hundred Years Ago

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

Tuesday, October 6, 1914: <<no entry>>

1914-07-21 a

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that you might enjoy seeing some pictures in the July, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal of  set tea tables.

Afternoon tea is now such a well-established custom that many people would as soon think of going without their luncheon as of omitting their tea.

Having afternoon teas is a pretty custom, for they mean informal gatherings of friends, and hospitality that is easy to show.1914-07-21 b

In fact an afternoon tea is one of the simplest and most delightful ways of entertaining a few persons, and they should be few, for the charm is lost when there is a crowd.

The table may be made beautiful. Every dainty touch adds so much to its attractiveness, and such a table is an expression of the taste and individuality of a thoughtful hostess.

1914-07-21 d

1914-07-21 e

An aside—Does anyone set tea tables anymore?

Harvesting and Storing Potatoes a Hundred Years ago

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

Thursday, October 2, 1914:  Picked taters this afternoon.

Late Potato Varieties a Hundred Years Ago--Source: Vegetable Gardening (1914)

Late Potato Varieties -Source: Vegetable Gardening (1914)

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

Grandma-

I guess it’s back to reality today. I hope that you’re at least thinking about all the fun you had yesterday at the Milton Fair while you’re stooping to gather potatoes. It sounds like tiring, back-breaking work.

—-

Here’s what a hundred-year-old book said about harvesting and storing potatoes:

There is a great difference in the keeping qualities of varieties; as a rule the early kinds are hard to keep from sprouting in the latter part of the winter, and the late kinds keep the best.

Early potatoes are generally dug as soon as they are big enough for cooking; for winter use it is very desirable to have the tubers well ripened; if not ripe the skin will peel off when handled, and they do not look good.

When potatoes are high in price it may pay to dig them by hand, for which purpose tined garden forks are desirable. When potatoes are cheap they can be plowed out; though when plowed out some tubers will get covered up; most of these may be brought to the surface by the use of a straight tooth harrow.

Early Potato Varieties

Early Potato Varieties

If the tubers are keeping well in the ground, it is a good plan to delay the digging until the cool weather of autumn, when they may be carried directly from the field to the cellar. If they are rotting in the ground or are “scabby,” they should be dug at once, and if the cellar is cool they may be put at once into it, otherwise it is a good plan to pit them in the field until cool weather comes.

Pitting in mild weather is done by putting the tubers into heaps and covering them with straw or hay and a few inches of loam. The straw should be allowed to stick out along the top of the heap for ventilation, so as to allow the moisture to pass off.

In the colder weather of late autumn, the covering, of course, should be heavier, and when potatoes have ceased to sweat there is no need of ventilation. In milder sections, potatoes are stored through the winter in such pits, but it is impracticable farther north.

If kept in the cellar the bins are improved by having slatted floors and sides, so that there may be some circulation of air through them to prevent heating at the bottom. The bins should not be large nor more than five feet deep.

Vegetable Gardening (1914) by Samuel B. Green

A Day at the Milton Fair

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

Thursday, October 1, 1914:

The days of fall and summer’s last farewell,

When the flowers must droop and slowly fade away.

Time changes. October now is here again,

And sweet summer can no longer with us stay.

Spent the day at the Milton Fair. We had seats on the grand stand. That was the first time I was on one. Don’t get so tired and see a great deal more. Was late getting home, as the trains behind time.

Milton Fairgrounds Grandstand (Photo was taken in the early 1920s) Source: Milton History.org

Milton Fairgrounds Grandstand (Photo was taken in the early 1920s) Source: Milton History.org

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

Grandma-

What fun! Who were you with in the grand stand? . . . your sister Ruth? . . . friends?

It sounds like the perfect day (even if the trains were running late).

For those of you who are familiar with the area, the Milton Fairgrounds were located along the road between Milton and Watsontown near the current site of the Wynding Brook Golf Club.

Grandma began each month with a poem. For more about the poems, see this previous post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

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