January 6, 1851


/51 Monday Jan 6

Jane commenced washing this morning but was taken sick

and had to leave it.  And I had to do the housework again

Father killed two oxen & gave us the tripe  Went to North

Bridgewater this afternoon in a sleigh with S A, Helen 

and E Quinn.  A A Gilmore here to tea had business in

the office  Bought patch for a quilt for Susans bed   run

it together this evening  Received a letter from 

O Foss  She says Roland A has come from California

Jane McHanna was under the weather this Monday morning – perhaps from yesterday’s drive in the frigid air – and unable to manage the laundry and housework.  In the kitchen, something had to be done with the fresh tripe that arrived from Evelina’s father-in-law. Considered a delicacy, the tripe would soon be served at the midday dinner table.

As was typical for this time of year, Old Oliver slaughtered a yoke of oxen and distributed the meat and offal among the family. As he described it, “we kilt a yoke of oxen to day I had of Charles Gurney the off one weighed 1475 and the other 1330.”  Now 71 and retired from the shovel business, Old Oliver spent much of his time raising oxen. (Farming, too, as we’ll see later.)  He was evidently quite fond of them, and they were extremely useful in the family business for transporting raw material and finished shovels.  Oxen were a common sight in North Easton in 1851; anyone inside the Ames house would have heard ox carts rumbling by on the road.

The weather had improved and  housework couldn’t keep Evelina at home this afternoon.  Off in a sleigh to North Bridgewater she went with Sarah Ames, Sarah’s daughter Helen and a neighborhood dressmaker, Elisa Quinn.  The women were most likely on the hunt for fabric.  Evelina found quilting material, and after tea was over that night, began to put together a quilt for her daughter, Susan.

3 thoughts on “January 6, 1851

  1. Well, this is absolutely fascinating! I love your insights into the diary notes, the explanations of who is who, and encourage you to keep up this very important work! It is now a favorite part of my morning reading.

  2. It is a wonderfully simple, wholesome way to start the day and, somehow, serves to smother the raw reality in the morning news.

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