Gossiping with a Friend

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

Tuesday, June 2, 1914: Carrie was over. We had some gossip and some other rare tidbits. Miss Ruthie, she spends the days away now.DSC04329

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


Yeah! A friend managed to navigate her way into your lonely castle at the side of  the brook!

What did you talk about? PLEASE tell us the gossip and the rare tidbits. We want ALL the juicy details.

Carrie Stump was a friend of Grandma’s who lived on a nearby farm.

Hmm. . . Miss Ruthie? . . .   Was Grandma annoyed,? . . . Jealous? . . .Grandma had various nicknames for her sister Ruth. For example, she often called her Rufus when she was upset with her.

What was Ruth doing these days? Ruth was a teacher at a nearby one-room school house during the school year—and in past years she helped with the house and farm work during the summer months. Did Ruth have a job in Summer 1914? . . . or was she spending her days at friends’ homes? . . . or doing something else?

27 thoughts on “Gossiping with a Friend

  1. Hmmmm…. yet another mystery from Grandma’s pen…. Glad she had a friend over for some fun times; she’s sounded “down” lately.

  2. Helena leads a pretty solitary life–it’s good to hear her write about having company and interaction. When did Ruth marry? Maybe she’s with a beau?

    1. I’m not sure exactly when she married–but I don’t think that it will be for several more years. She married William Gauger. According to the Gettysburg College Alumni Directory that is available online he graduated from Gettysburg in 1918. I assume (though really don’t know) that they didn’t get married until after his graduation. .

      (Google “William Gauger Gettysburg”–and a link to the directory as a Google Book will come up.)

  3. I love that Helena doesn’t tell us much…perhaps she’s afraid someone will find and read her diary. In those days, it would have been quite a scandal to be talking about someone and especially giving out any details. I can just imagine them talking, whispering and laughing!!!

    1. My gut feeling is that teens a hundred years ago giggled and whispered about very scandalous things just like they do now. 🙂

    1. I hadn’t thought about it exactly what way until I read your comment; but now that you say it, I think that you got it exactly right.

  4. Miss Ruthie sounds like Helena is implying some kind of haughtiness or self-appointed importance to Ruth, i.e., she’s away a lot, too special for our little lives type of sarcasm. I like Helena’s spunk!
    Diana xo

  5. I love reading all the comments! What do you think Helena would think reading all of our guesses about the bits and pieces of information she leaves us with. I’m thinking she would smile and enjoy it!

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