February 24, 1851

School

Feb 24th Monday.  This morning Orinthia commenced a

private school at the school house had twenty

scholars.  Was choring about house all the forenoon

This afternoon made over a valance for

Franks bed and did some mending.

Martin Guild was burried at two Oclock.  None

of us attended the funeral  Helen & Sarah Ames

called a few moments this evening.  Heavy rain.

Looks like little Susie was back in school today, this time under the tutelage of Orinthia Foss, the new teacher.  Not only would Susie see Miss Foss in the school room every day, but also at home for breakfast, dinner, and tea. During her tenure in Easton, Orinthia would take turns boarding with different families in town beginning with the Oakes Ameses. The exact location of the schoolhouse where she taught is undetermined, but it may have been located right in the heart of the village, at the Rockery.*

As usual, Evelina spent this busy Monday doing housework, or “choring,” as she called it, in the morning, or “forenoon,” while Jane McHanna labored with the weekly washing. What do you suppose was served for midday dinner on Mondays, when the women of the house were preoccupied with everything except cooking?  Perhaps the family ate one of those mincemeat pies that had been prepared days in advance and kept very cold somewhere. Yankee housewives were known to keep some baked goods frozen for months, either by placing them on shelves in an ice house, or simply by storing them in unheated spaces not far from the kitchen. A risky practice, one might think, especially with the varied temperatures and rainy weather that has characterized this particular February.

Also as usual, Evelina turned in the afternoon to her mending and sewing. She refurbished a valance for Frank Morton’s bed.  Although his brothers Oakes Angier and Oliver (3) shared a bedroom, Frank had a space, if not a room, to himself.  A valance was an essential component of his bedstead, naturally offering some warmth and privacy that might otherwise be lacking.

* Information from Frank Mennino, Curator of the Easton Historical Society.  Thank you, Frank.

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