Grandma’s 1914 Thanksgiving

The home Grandma lived in when she kept the diary.


Almost seven years ago I began this blog as a place to post my grandmother’s diary entries a hundred years to the day after she wrote them. She kept the diary for four years when she was a teen living on a farm in central Pennsylvania. After I completed posting all the diary entries, I changed the format to its current focus on food.

On this Thanksgiving day, I thought you might enjoy reading (or, for long-time readers, re-reading) what my grandmother wrote on Thanksgiving Day, 1914:

Thursday, November 26, 1914: Thanksgiving, have been having quite a long vacation. We had a Thanksgiving dinner for one thing. My taster was lacking due to a cold and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have. Carried a sassy goose down from town last Monday. The remains are in the pantry awating further digestion for the morrow. Wonder if that goose will keep me awake tonight.

Helena Muffly

53 thoughts on “Grandma’s 1914 Thanksgiving

    1. I’m left wondering about it as well. I’ve heard of goose as the choice for Christmas frequently, although the only people I know who actually do that are goose hunters, such as myself. I’ve never heard of it as the choice for Thanksgiving, however.

    1. It’s nice to hear that you enjoyed revisiting one of Grandma’s diary entries. Somehow her diary entry about the Thanksgiving goose popped into my head when I was thinking about what to post today.

  1. What a grand way to celebrate this day…by sharing it with a legacy from 100 years ago. Why do I want to wish your grandma free of her cold so she can taste the remains of that goose?

    1. I’m glad that you enjoyed this post. I had fun digging back into Grandma’s diary again to find this diary entry. I am so fortunate to have wonderful readers like you.

  2. I so enjoyed your Grandmother’s diary. It was good to “hear” from her again. Thanks so much for sharing her with us, as well as your wonderful recipes. I always look forward to your entries, and you certainly have added to my recipe stash over the months. I hope your day was delightful; we all have so much to be grateful for.

    1. Happy Thanksgiving! I had a lovely day with family. I’m glad you enjoyed “hearing” from Grandma again. I have a wonderful time trying old recipes for this blog, but I must admit that I occasionally wish that Grandma had kept her diary for more than 4 years. Sometimes I miss her. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I had a very nice Thanksgiving day. It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoy the recipes. I have a lot of fun finding them, and making them.

  3. Oh, my! I am so glad you reposted this, as I think I discovered you after Thanksgiving 1900 🙂 Yep. that’s the Helena I remember getting to know over those 4 years! You’ve done such an honor to her and it’s been a pleasure to read what you continue to share through today. Have a wonderful holiday season, Sheryl!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed revisiting the diary years. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you via our blogs. So many of the things you’ve written over the years have been so insightful, and helped me develop a deeper understanding of my grandmother, myself, and growing up in Pennsylvania. Thank you! I hope that you also have a wonderful holiday season.

  4. Oh I loved reading your Grandmother’s words again.
    Thank you for sharing (again).
    Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.
    Oh! I was making fruitcake with friends yesterday using one of their mother’s handwritten recipes and there it was: Oleo 🙂

    1. Making fruitcake with friends using an old handwritten recipe sounds like so much fun. It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed hearing Grandma’s words again. Thank you for all your support over the years.

  5. By off chance, do you know the calendar date for Thanksgiving in 1914? In 1917 it was November 29. Indeed, I’m going to post a link to this item on my blog on that date, as this is so interesting, as I suppose Thanksgiving in 1917 to be similar to that for 1914, but for the real gloom of the news at that time (not that 1914 was cheery, but we weren’t in the Great War yet).

    1. Thanksgiving was on November 26 in 1914. You’re absolutely right about 1917 being a rough year – the war, high food prices, etc. 1914 was better.

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