Picture of Grandma Wearing Granduation Dress

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

Thursday, April 3, 1913:  My graduating dress is almost done. I think it will be very pretty.

helen_muffly2a

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

Sometimes I almost tingle when I have a picture of something that Grandma was writing about. Today is one of those days.

I think that this photo is Grandma’s graduation picture—and that she is wearing her graduation dress.

A seamstress in McEwenville was making the dress for her. In a previous diary entry, she described it a plain white batiste dress trimmed with lace insertion and edging.

(This picture is also posted in the People category—see tab above.)

Picture of Women Churning Butter on Hundred-Year-Old Magazine Cover

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

Monday, March 24, 1913:  These days are rather dull.

Source: Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 1, 1913)

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 1, 1913)

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

What did Grandma do on dull days? . . . Did she ever help her mother churn butter?

1913 Easter Sunday

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

Sunday, March 23, 1913:  Easter Sunday. Quite a few joined the church this afternoon. I would have like to but decided otherwise. The Bunny didn’t bring me any eggs. Rufus got three and Jimmie got two.

Old-fashioned Easter eggs dyed using onion skins

Old-fashioned Easter eggs dyed using onion skins

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

Lots of “whys” today . . . .

1. Why did Grandma decide not to join the church?  She occasionally mentioned catechism classes that must have been preparing her to join the .old McEwensville Baptist Church. I’d think that she would automatically join when she completed the classes, but I don’t know much about what joining a Baptist church entailed.

2. Why didn’t Grandma get any Easter eggs?  Grandma’s little brother Jimmie was just 7-years-old; but her sister Ruth was 21. It doesn’t make sense that the Easter bunny skipped the child in the middle.

You might enjoy this previous post on dying eggs with onion skins:

Coloring Easter Eggs with Onion Skins

The Last Day of Winter in 1913

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

Thursday, March 20, 1913:  Am resting and sleeping like a log from my two nights out. Am glad this is the last day of winter.

calendar

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

When I was young, the first day of spring was always on March 21. So when Grandma wrote this diary entry, the 20th was the last day of winter.  Now it seems like the first day of spring varies from your to year. This year it is today—March 20.

Grandma attended parties on March 17 and 18. They must have really worn her out. My mind often races after exciting events and I struggle to sleep—but it sounds like that wasn’t a problem for Grandma.

What Does “Got It Put on Me” Mean?

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

Wednesday, March 19, 1913:  Got it put on me tonight. Nothing serious though. Think I’ll soon recover.

Recent photo of the house that Grandma lived in when she was writing the diary.

Recent photo of the house that Grandma lived in when she was writing the diary.

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

Hmm. . . I’m not sure what this means. Did someone tease Grandma?  . . .pull a joke on her?. . .hit her? . . . ????

Old Honey Candy Recipe

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

Friday, March 7, 1913: Ruth and I went to a candy box social up at Smith’s School House tonight. We walked up but rode home with her cavalier.

DSC07187

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

Whew, it must have been a  2 or 3 mile walk to Smith School. I think that the school was located  out in the country near the intersection of Vincent Road and 8th Street Drive.

This was the third time that a box social has been mentioned in 1913. They must have been really popular back then. It sounds like the box social went well for Grandma’s sister Ruth. I wonder who got Grandma’s box of candy.

What kinds of candy did the Grandma and Ruth make? Here’s an old recipe for Honey Candy that I found in the December, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

Honey Candy

One quart of honey, three heaping teaspoonfuls of butter, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar, half a teaspoonful of baking soda, and two teaspoonfuls of lemon extract. Put the honey, butter, and vinegar into a saucepan, and boil until the mixture will harden when dropped into cold water; then stir in the baking soda and the lemon extract. Pour into a buttered tin to cool. When half cold mark into squares and when cold break apart.

The candy turned out well, but has a different taste from the typical corn syrup-based hard candy of today. It is a rich buttery hard candy with concentrated honey undertones. It’s the perfect candy to satisfy my sweet tooth–without making me want to eat a second piece.

This mixture boils at a low temperature. Most of the time, I had it on the low setting on my stove to keep it from boiling over.

It takes a long time to get the boiling mixture to the hard crack stage (300 degrees). I boiled it for about 1 1/2 hours.

You may also enjoy these previous posts with old candy recipes:

Old-fashioned Sugar Taffy Recipe

Old Cocoa Fudge Recipe

1911 Chocolate Fudge Recipes

Old-fashioned Butterscotch Recipe

Old-fashioned  Coffee Candy Recipe

Sour Cream Fudge

Sunday Visitors

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

Sunday, March 2, 1913: Went to Sunday School this morning. Besse and Curt were out this afternoon. Went to church this evening.

House Besse and Curt lived in. (I'm not sure whether they lived there as early as 1913).

Recent picture of house Besse and Curt lived in. It’s just outside of nearby Watsontown. (I’m not sure whether they lived in this house as early as 1913).

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

Grandma’s oldest sister Besse was married to Curt Hester. They were frequent Sunday visitors.

When I was young, Sunday afternoon was considered the perfect time to visit friends and relatives. People generally didn’t work on Sunday, or clean house on Sunday. Stores were closed.

We’d often get unexpected “company” on Sunday afternoons. We looked forward to getting these visitors. There was no expectation that people would call ahead to see if we were busy. No matter what we were doing (and we were probably just reading or playing games), we’d welcome the guests—and would consider ourselves fortunate that people liked us enough to visit. I picture that the customs were similar a hundred years ago.

Today, it’s considered impolite to stop by someone’s house without first texting, emailing, or calling first. Sometimes I think that people were more hospitable years ago (or maybe they were just less polite).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 914 other followers