June 10, 1851


June 10th 

Tuesday  Worked all the forenoon and part of the afternoon

weeding the flowers.  Got some Petunias at Mr Savages

The gardener has been to work in my flower

garden most all day weeding and fixing the

beds, has made them wider  This afternoon have

been mending Franks & Olivers pants

Mrs Witherell & Mitchell & Miss Eaton walked

up to Edwins garden.  Abby & Miss Smith called

Bridget ONeil here to work to day


The weather was fine enough that sisters Sarah Ames Witherell and Harriett Ames Mitchell took a long walk north toward Stoughton with their houseguest, Miss Eaton. They headed to Edwin Manley’s garden, a much-visited spot, to see what he had growing. Being on foot, it’s doubtful that they purchased anything to bring home. They may have ordered something to be delivered, however.

In the morning, Evelina went out to look at flowers, too, at the nearby home of William Savage, a shovelworker, and brought home some petunias.  Petunias, a great garden favorite in the latter half of the nineteenth century, originated in South America, appeared in Europe by 1800, but had only recently become available in the United States. Petunias were still so exotic, in fact, that they didn’t appear in the list of annuals in Breck’s Book of Flowers, published in Boston in 1851. How did Mr. Savage come upon them?

The Ames’s new gardener, who had been with the family for almost a month, weeded the flower beds today and worked at making them wider. Evelina’s parlor garden was becoming more and more ambitious. And for some reason, Bridget O’Neil, a servant, worked at Evelina’s today. She had been working next door at Oliver and Sarah Lothrop Ames’ house.  Where was Jane McHanna?

7 thoughts on “June 10, 1851

  1. Undoubtedly, you have mentioned it in earlier commentary, but where was Edwin Manley’s garden?

  2. Edwin Manley lived near the line with Stoughton. If you look at the 1858 Bristol Country Map, you can see Manley’s placed marked, in clear proximity to both Stoughton and the northernmost Ames holdings in Easton. Small wonder Evelina and her sisters-in-law went to him for flowers.
    I found the map in the Easton Historical Society’s 1988 publication, Easton’s Past: As Shown Through Maps.

    • From that map, which I found on Google, it looks as if Manley lived on the sw side of what is now Canton St on the farm (the name will come to me, maybe Tufft) now owned by the Town of Easton and leased to tenants. It is across the street from the site of hammer shop at the southern end of (Ames-Long) “the Great Pond” and what is now the cemetery, which Oliver referred to in earlier days as the place where Kelly lived. I live less than a mile and a half up the pond…in Stoughton, which is why I learned some of this stuff. I once could tell you off the top of my head the name of the guy who ran that hammer shop. I do know that his wife died young, and he died soon thereafter. That will come to me too…. with a little help from my files. 😉

  3. Ah, here it is. My time line for Ames in 1833: “1833 March 26, 4/2 (1828-33 Accounts 4/4 Nathan Willis buys shovels May 16- Jere Vose charged for hay from Charles Clapp June OA bills Callinans fro money paid to James Adams.
    . 11/29 William Ames for cash- $5. 12/6 buys 99 boxes of coal small and dirty 12/14 charges JV for one knife from John Ames. O builds house for Oliver jr and one for Edwin Waite at the GP shop and one at Braintree for Hosea Waite, put an addition onto my house to make the porch longer and make a counting room, put in a new flume at the Hoe Shop = built a trunk through the dam and lined the hammer wheel and put in new buckets Dig up the fall from the mouth of the Quesset River to Nipenicket Pond put in a floom about 40-50 rds from the pond cleared out the river below the Queset took up a part of skim milk bridge and put it down deeper OA makes 78,000 shovels and employs sixty-five men Oakes buys sweet oil and spermaceti-$1.
    Oliver’ older sister, Huldah married Abiel Lapham in Minot, Maine and gave birth to dies in Maine in 1848 (age 82) and Abiel dies in 1851 (age 91)”

  4. What thorough documentation! Two more things to add to the family activities in 1833: Frank Morton Ames, son #3, was born to Evelina and Oakes, and Oliver Ames Jr. married Sarah Lothrop. It makes sense that Oliver Jr. moved into his own house next door, given the population boom in the old homestead.

  5. When I was taking all my notes, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for. My early goal as a major retirement project was a possible book comparing Thoreau, whom I had taught for a long time and whose journal I began to study after I retired, to Oliver I, as two (very) contrasting American types, who both had a close relationship with their ponds, and since my property abuts Ames-Long Pond, I felt a visceral connection to the man who had essentially created it in 1825. I noted Edwin Waite because he ran the hammer shop closest to me at the south end of the pond, and then there was the discovery of his wife’s, and soon thereafter, his own early demise. James Adams fascinates me even more. He noarded the first Irish worker, and Oliver named one of his cheap shovel lines after him. He soon quit the Ames business and allegedly declined into increased eccentricity, alcoholism, and poverty, but he also out-lived his contemporary, Oakes. Chaffin refers to a scandalous poem that JA wrote, but refuses to quote from it. I was hoping that said doggerel would appear in Chaffin’s notes, which have been recently sifted and catalogued, but according to the woman who did it, nothing along those lines showed up.

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