Thursday 31st July Was out shopping most all day but
did not purchase a great deal. Got one of my cuff
pins & marked it at Bigelows Returned home through
Jamaica plains & by the pond. passed a number of
fine place among other[s] Mrs Greens is a beautiful
situation but Kate went so fast so I could
not see much of it. Im told she was a widow Emery
& that her first husband left her the property
Bigelow Bros. & Kennard was a successful store in Boston that ran from ca. 1824 until 1971. Evelina and Oakes were familiar with it, as many of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would be as well. Evelina took a cuff pin – a women’s version of a cuff-link – to Bigelow’s to be marked.
As the crow flies, the distance from Boston to North Easton is approximately 21 miles. The distance on the available roads was closer to 23 miles. Given the speed at which a wagon might travel along a nineteenth century road with a predictable distribution of hills and curves, a journey in 1851 from one location to the other could conceivably take all day. As already proven yesterday, however, when Oakes and Evelina made the trip in from North Easton in time to shop before lunch, the Ames’s horse Kate could move right along.
Kate (also spelled Cate) was well-known in North Easton. She had a sense of purpose and style all her own. Oakes had taught her to respond with speed when someone tried to rein her in, and he enjoyed tricking the occasional wagoneer who tried to slow Kate down with a normal tug on the reins. Kate would simply go faster, especially if she were headed for home.
Thus, Evelina wasn’t exaggerating when she wrote that Kate was going too fast for her to see everything. Evelina wasn’t able to properly scrutinize the fine homes along the road in Jamaica Plains, some of which were quite big and beautiful.