April 5th Saturday Was choring about the house an
hour or two this morning and then went to sewing
on a shirt for Mr Ames. Mrs S Ames is quite
sick to day has not been able to sit up much.
This afternoon called to see her but did not stay
long as Mrs Connors came to get some butter. I then
went to the store & got Susan a dark print dress.
Have returned it again.
Sarah Lothrop Ames was sick today; perhaps she caught Evelina’s cold of the week before. Evelina went to sit with her but was called home to parcel out some butter to a Mrs. Connors. Although we never hear of Evelina or Jane McHanna churning it, Evelina evidently made household money through the sale of butter. The making of butter was probably one more chore on Jane’s plate.
The Ameses didn’t just sell butter, or just make shovels, for that matter. They also ran a dry goods and general mercantile store in the village, as we have mentioned before. Evelina sometimes shopped there, although it’s uncertain whether or not she had to pay for items she selected. Today she found a dress for her daughter that she took home and then promptly returned. Did Susie try the dress on only to find that it was too small? Or did Evelina want to examine the dress to see how it was made? And once having captured the overall style and pattern, did she return it? Had Evelina already determined that she wasn’t going to keep it? Was she, perhaps, treating the store a little bit like a personal closet?
This was a period, too, when “ready-made” clothes were barely on the market. What was this little dress? Was someone in the village making dresses and selling them there?