Old Cross-Stitch Examples

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

Sunday, January  26, 1913: Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Besse was out.

Source of Pictures: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1913)

Source of Pictures: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1913)

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

Grandma’s sister Besse was married and lived in nearby Watsontown.  Sometimes Besse brought needlework or sewing along when she came to visit. For example, on August 9, 1912 Grandma wrote:

We had sort of s sewing bee here today. Besse was out and brought some of her stuff along.

On this January day, a hundred years ago, perhaps the sisters did cross-stitching while they chatted.

Cross-stitch and crochet work using same rose pattern

Cross-stitch and crochet work using same rose pattern

Close Relationship Between School and Community

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

Friday, January 24, 1913: Didn’t have any visitors at our literary meeting this afternoon, and I was rather glad that we didn’t.

DSC07012

Recent photo of old McEwensville School building.

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

Members of the Literary Society at Grandma’s high school presented recitations and dialogues at their meetings. Apparently, guests were always welcome.

Grandma’s went to a tiny one-room high school (The high school was on the second floor of the building; there was a primary school on the first floor).

The school was such an integral part of the social fabric of the community that it merited mention in the diary not when there were visitors at the meeting, but rather when there were none.

The school obviously had many limitations, yet I have a gut feeling there was something special about the small community-based schools a hundred years ago.

According to the June, 1913 issue of The Rural Educator:

We must, at the outset, recognize that the social institutions are the machines through which social energy works. There is abundant social energy in every rural community. The center of intellectual activities of the community should be the rural school.

DSC07017

Sister’s 21st Birthday Party

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

Wednesday, January 22, 1913: We had a surprise party tonight. Had quite a good time. It was a surprise for Ruth, and she didn’t know the least of it.

Ruth.Muffly.circa.1912

Ruth Muffly

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

It probably was a birthday party for Grandma’s sister Ruth. I bet it was a really big surprise since Ruth  turned 21 three days earlier on January 19.

What was a 21st birthday party like a hundred years ago?

Did Grandma pull Ruth’s ears 21 times on her birthday? People used to pull the birthday person’s ear lobes one time for each year. On January 19, 1911 Grandma wrote:

Pulled Miss Muffly’s ears first thing this morning, whether she liked it or not. . .

And, on January 19, 1912, she wrote:

. . . I pulled Ruthie’s ears. I tell her she is getting to be an old maid but really don’t mean it. . . .

Walked to Reunion in Turbotville

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

Sunday, January 19, 1913: A bright and beautiful dawn welcomed the approach of day. Ruth and I walked to Turbotville this morning to attend a family reunion. All of ‘em weren’t there. Had quite a pleasant time, but it would have been nicer if some more of the cousins had been there. We had our pictures taken out on the lawn. That walk home didn’t do me up, but I did get a terrific head-ache anyway.

Recent photo of road between McEwensville and Turbotville.

Recent photos of the road between McEwesnville and Turbotille. This picture was taken at the point where the road leaves McEwesnville.

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

Whew, it is probably about a five-mile walk—10 miles round trip– from the Muffly farm to Turbotville. Even on the nicest of days—in January or any other month– this sounds like a long, exhausting walk for Grandma and her sister Ruth.

This picture was taken This picture was taken midway between McEwensville and Turbotville.

This picture was taken midway between McEwensville and Turbotville.

Grandma’s maternal grandparents lived in Turbotville. Why didn’t Grandma’s mother go to the reunion to see her parents and siblings?

Turbotville

Turbotville

Patrons’ Day

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

Friday, January 17, 1913: We had patrons’ day at school this afternoon. Everything went off pretty good. We had quite a few visitors.

Recent photo of building that once housed McEwensville Schools.

Recent photo of building that once housed McEwensville Schools.

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

A patron is someone who provides financial support.  In 1912, the McEwensville Schools were public schools, so I’m not exactly sure who attended Patron’s Day.

The school often had financial difficulty, so perhaps community members made donations to help ensure that the students got an adequate education.

Thomas Kramm in The History of the McEwensville Schools included highlights from the school board minutes. The 1913 highlight was:

04-13: The Board borrowed money from the Watsontown Bank.

Hopefully, the school’s patrons were very generous. . .

Related previous posts that you might enjoy include:

School Had Financial Problems

State of Pennsylvania Responsible for the Provision of Public Education

The Food Value of Peanuts

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

Saturday, January 15, 1913: Don’t know hardly what to write today. 

Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1912)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to go off on a tangent.

Sometimes I read a magazine article from a hundred years ago—and I’m absolutely floored by how it could have been written in 2013 instead of so long ago

For example, I recently came across an article in the December 1912 issue of Good Housekeeping titled “The Food Value of a Peanut.”  <<Yawn>>.

Then I read,

As a result of the growing popularity of vegetarianism, the demand for nuts is increasing.

Really? . . .  There were vegetarians a hundred years ago?

And, I continued reading:

Another reason for the increasing demand for nuts, and more especially for peanuts, is their relative cheapness as sources of nourishment and energy. Even compared with such staple foods as bread and beans, peanuts supply protein and energy very cheaply.

Sounds about like today. Both then and now people worry about the high cost of food–though I don’t think that peanuts are particularly inexpensive now.

Hemophiliac Czarevitch Alexei Sick Again

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

Tuesday, January 14, 1913:  Haven’t spent much time on my studies this evening. At present I am waiting for Ruth to get through with a paper so I can read it.

Alexei Nikolaevich, Heir to the Russain Throne (Source: Wikipedia)

Alexei Nikolaevich, Heir to the Russian Throne (Source: Wikipedia)

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

What was in the headlines a hundred years ago today? I’m not sure what was in the newspaper that Grandma and her sister Ruth were reading, but I was surprised to discover that the New York Times had an article about the son of Russian Tsar Nicholas II.

Whew, a hundred years ago Russia was still ruled by a Tsar! Grandma was writing before the beginning of the Soviet Union . . . and before the Russian Revolution.

CZAREVITCH IS ILL AGAIN

Heir to the Throne is Again Confined to His Bed

London, Tuesday, Jan. 14—The correspondent in St. Petersburg  telegraphs:

After being present at the Christmas festivities of the garrison at the palace of Tsarskoe Selo, the Czarevitch, who was mysteriously ill in the autumn is again confined to his bed.

The Dowager Empress, who has been suffering from lumbago, is obliged to keep to her bed.

Owing to the unfavorable impression caused by the cancellation of the New Year’s reception, which was to have been held at the Winter Palace today, the Czar with receive the Diplomatic Corps at the palace of Tsarskoe Selo.

New York Times (January 14, 1913)

Alexei, the oldest son of the Tsar had hemophilia –and that’s probably why he was ill a hundred years ago today. His mother Alexandra believed that a monk named Rasputin was the only person who knew how to cure him. As a result Rasputin became extremely powerful. This was seen as scandalous by many in Russia, and helped bring about the Russian Revolution and the end of the Tsars.

Rasputin (Source: Wikipedia)

Rasputin (Source: Wikipedia)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,110 other followers