May 15, 1851


Ames Long Pond

May 15

Thursday  I was intending to go to Boston with Mrs S Ames

this morning but she has the ague in her face

which prevented and lucky for me that I did

not go for about twelve Oclock Lavinia, Ann Pool,

and Francis, came and this afternoon Abby.  We all

rode to Edwins and Mr Clapps garden and to the ponds

Jane cleaned the […] buttery, and I was working

in the chambers when they came


Sarah Ames was sick once again, this time with what was probably a head cold, so a planned outing to Boston was called off. Sarah had been quite ill for much of the spring; perhaps she hadn’t given herself enough time to recover and was now suffering a relapse.

Normally, Evelina would have been disappointed to miss a trip to Boston, especially as she still needed to buy a bonnet, but a visit from a set of young relatives made for a happy alternative.  Her nieces Lavinia Gilmore and Abby Torrey, nephew Francis Gilmore, and a young friend of theirs, Ann Pool, arrived and rescued her from choring. With Francis holding the reins, presumably, the group rode north toward Stoughton, where they stopped at two farms to look at garden plants, one farm belonging to Edwin Manley, the other to Lucius Clapp.

They also rode by the ponds, including Ames Long Pond, which sits on the boundary between Easton and Stoughton. Most likely they also rode by Flyaway Pond which had been created only six years earlier, in 1845, to supply more water power from the Queset River to the shovel factory. Queset, according to historian Ed Hands, was “the most heavily used of all the drainage systems” in the watersheds of Easton.*  The shovel business would never have started in Easton had it not been for the Queset (Brook) River; O. Ames & Sons absolutely relied on it for decades.

Flyaway Pond is no longer configured the way Evelina and her companions would have seen it during their pleasant afternoon ride. It collapsed during a huge flood in March, 1968, wreaking havoc and causing considerable property damage.   As Hands points out, that 20th century flood washed away an important symbol of the Ames period in Easton, that of the control of the Queset River for commercial purposes.  Evelina couldn’t imagine that future for Flyaway Pond, of course; she could only enjoy riding past it and Ames Long Pond – and others, perhaps? –  in the spring air.

*Edmund C. Hands, Easton’s Neighborhoods, 1995



2 thoughts on “May 15, 1851

  1. I was IN that flood when the dam at the bottom of Langwater Pond was overtopped by the torrent of water coming from Flyaway. The fire department and police were all around the area where our house was on Main Street because the water going over the road at that point looked pretty shallow and safe but it most certainly wasn’t. It was very hard to keep one’s footing in it. We carried our kids to safety but if we had stayed in the house any longer there could have been tragedy.

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