18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Monday, December 15, 1913: Ruthie left for Sunbury this morning, also left me all the milking, but I’m pretty hardened to that.
Row 1: Rachel Oakes (middle), Blanche Bryson (right). Row 2: Ruth Muffly (left) Source: The History of McEwensville Schools by Thomas Kramm (Used with permission)
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma and her sister Ruth typically shared the milking chore—and when one of the sister’s went somewhere, the other had to do all of the work.
Is there a bit of annoyance in this diary entry? . . perhaps Ruth missed milkings more frequently than Grandma.
Ruth was a teacher at a nearby one-room school house. I think that she went to Sunbury to attend a teacher’s meeting.
Schools had longer Christmas breaks back then –and teachers sometimes attended trainings during part of the break. Sunbury is the county seat of Northumberland County, and is located about 15 miles from McEwensville.
Ruth had also gone to Sunbury in December of the previous year:
Our dearest Ruth left for Sunbury this morning and my heart is rather sad.
There is a photo in The History of the McEwensville Schools 1800-1958 of Ruth and the other 11 women who attended a teachers’ meeting in Sunbury in 1913. I’m not sure whether the photo was taken at the December meeting or whether it was taken at an earlier teacher’s meeting in Sunbury that took place in May.
The other two women identified in the photo were Rachel Oakes and Blanche Bryson. Both are mentioned in the diary. They were friends of Grandma and Ruth—as well as teachers. You may enjoy these previous posts about Blanche Bryson: