/51 Jan 12 Sunday Have been to church all day and heard two
excellent sermons from Mr Whitwell. The afternoon text was
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old
he will not depart from it” Passed this evening at Mr Willard
Lothrop with Mr Ames & met with Minister Norris & Mr Torrey
This noon I stopped to hear Mr Whitwells class in the Sabbath
School afterwards went into Mr Daniel Reeds with Mother
Very warm + pleasant for the time of the year
The Ames family, Unitarians all, attended meeting today and stayed for both services, which encompassed a morning program, an intermission, and an afternoon program. In their family pew, Evelina, Oakes, Oakes Angier, Oliver (3), Frank Morton and Susan sat with or near Old Oliver, Sarah Witherell and her children, George and Emily. Also nearby, if not in the same pew, sat Oliver Jr, Sarah Lothrop Ames and their children, Fred and Helen, faces upturned to hear Reverend Whitwell deliver the day’s two sermons. Eight-year old Susie may have squirmed in her seat; she wasn’t inclined to sit still for the second service. And Oakes Ames was known to fall asleep, however inspiring Mr. Whitwell’s words were to Evelina.
In 1851, the Unitarians congregated at a church in Easton Centre, a few miles south of the village of North Easton (but still within the boundaries of the Town of Easton, Massachusetts.) Like many families, the Ameses had to travel by carriage or sleigh to attend Sunday service. The adults would have ridden, or “been carried,” as the expression went, but the children may have had to walk the distance. Children walking to church, regardless of distance, was common. If this was true for the Ames family, we might imagine that cousins Oliver (3) and Fred walked together, as they were close friends.
At intermission, children went into Sunday School and the adults socialized. Winthrop Ames, a grandson-to-be, described the scene in his family history (from 1937):
“They tethered their horses in a long, open shed and stayed through both morning and afternoon services, eating the luncheons they had brought and gossiping with the townsfolk during the intermission.”
On this winter Sunday Evelina and her mother, Hannah Lothrop Gilmore visited at the nearby home of Daniel and Mary Reed. Socializing continued in the evening as Evelina and Oakes called on Willard Lothrop.