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).

18 thoughts on “Sunday Visitors

  1. While our children were young we did big family dinners every Sunday after church. There could be anywhere from 15 to 18 of us. It built strong family connections and cousin bonding that hold fast today.
    So many families live so far away from each other anymore. 😦

    Sheryl, I’ve been wanting to tell you for awhile now how much I enjoy your blog and a look back in time.

    1. I have a lot of fun doing this blog, and it’s wonderful to hear that you enjoy it. Thanks for taking a few moments to write the nice note.

  2. It was the same when I was growing up, except people visited at other times, too, not just on the weekends. Looking back, it was so splendid to have the world at a near-standstill on Sundays, everyone taking a break at the same time. I wonder what our grandmothers would think of today’s world!

    You do such a nice job with this blog. Thanks for keeping it up, Sheryl.

  3. I agree with Nancy about Sundays just being a quiet “do nothing except church and visit” day. (Except for those on farms, when the animals still had to be tended.) My, how times have changed for so many of us.

  4. Sundays have always been a favourite day. When I was a kid it was because my dad was home and we’d go to the lake in the summer for a picnic in the big ol’ Chrysler or out to the farm or skating in the winter. We usually had my cousins over or went to their house. Now, it’s more quiet and lazy. I miss all the action of being a kid.

  5. Hi. I often think how different my Mom’s life was from mine with respect to visitors. It was rare not to have a visitor drop in when I lived at home. My Mom kept a guest book and it was always full of names of people who had stopped by. I’d be lucky to fill one page of such a book. I also think about the consequences of always being ready for guests… house tidy, cookies and tea at ready…. Jane

  6. They were more hospitable. People today seem to much in a hurry, me included most days I am afraid. When I was first married there was a lot more visiting and get together’s than there are now. And that was only 32 yrs ago.

  7. We always went to my maternal grandmother’s house on Sundays for dinner and playing with cousins. Both grandparents passed by the time I was a teen, then the others would drop by our house on Sunday. Once in awhile someone from my dad’s family would “be in the area” and stop by. Dad wasn’t one to go visiting, so they came to us.

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