16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, May 2, 1911: Ruth and I went to Milton this morning. Her highness got a dress and a pair of pumps. Don’t know when I will get mine, perhaps next winter.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
We’re five months into the diary–and even though Milton is probably only about 5 miles from the Muffly farm–this is the first time that it is mentioned in the diary. The only towns previously mentioned were McEwensville, Watsontown, and Turbotville. Whew, by today’s standards, Grandma never got very far from her home.
A trip to Milton probably felt like a trip to the big city.
A hundred years ago Milton had a humming downtown with lots of wonderful stores. Back then there were trolley tracks that ran between Watsontown and Milton, so Grandma and her sister Ruth probably walked to Watsontown and then took the trolley to Milton.
The trolley system was dismantled a few years after the diary was written:
With the automobile came on the scene in the early years of the twentieth century, the trolley business began to slack. After a sharp decline in business, the L.M. & W. trolley company changed to gasoline buses in 1922. Even the buses couldn’t complete with the automobile and service ended in the early 1930s.
George Venios in Chronicles and Legends of Milton (2002)
An aside: I had a wonderful visit with George Venios, Deb Owens, and Joan Nunn at the Milton Historical Society yesterday. I enjoyed learning more about Milton, and they shared many wonderful artifacts with me including the early postcard in today’s posting. Additional Milton pictures from the historical society will illustrate future posts. Thank you!
I’d also like to thank the Milton Public Library and the Montgomery House Library for their awesome assistance with finding and navigating my way through old issues of the Milton Evening Standard and the Watsontown Record and Star. I’ll be periodically sharing materials from those newspapers.