September 7, 1851

 

Ames Home and Office, North Easton, Massachusetts ca. 1852 - 1862

Ames Home and Office, North Easton, Massachusetts
ca. 1852 – 1862

*

Sunday 7th  Have been to meeting all day  Mother

Mrs Stevens & I went to Mr Whitwells at

intermission Mrs Whitwell made a cup of tea

for us, brought mother home with us from meeting

at night  Mr Ames & I called at Mr Swains

Mr & Mrs Peckham are to leave tomorrow for

Taunton & the children & Mrs Metcalf  Thursday

The weather is very warm  Gave Mrs Stevens

some cuff pins it being her birth day.

Despite today’s heat, Evelina and her guest Mrs Stevens, and others of the Ames family, presumably, attended both morning and afternoon sessions of church. When the last service was over, they carried Evelina’s 79-year-old mother, Hannah Lothrop Gilmore, to North Easton to stay for a few days.

An important transition was taking place this week at the shovel works.  John Peckham, former clerk, and his family were leaving for Taunton.  His place in the Counting Office was being taken by John Swain, whom Oakes and Evelina went to visit late in the day.  Swain and his wife, Ann Meader Swain, probably hailed from Nantucket.  They had connections in North Easton, but the move to a new abode was still a big change for the young couple. Oakes, with his wide-armed jocularity and Evelina with her easy, approachable manners, must have made the Swains feel welcome.  Over the years, their friendship would solidify.

Many decades later, when Ann Swain was the only one of the foursome still alive, she told historian and minister William Chaffin about the special relationship between John Swain and Oakes Ames:

“…[H]er husband had his regular salary supplemented by an addition from Mr. Ames. Mr. Swain did more or less work for him, besides the regular office work when he was head clerk. Mr. Ames was not very methodical and his transactions for the day in Boston, jotted down in a notebook rather hastily, would sometimes be in a tangle when he came to the office in the evening (office work in those days always going on in the evening), and he would say to Mr. Swain, ‘Come, John, you help me straighten out these things.’ In common with all the persons who served him Mr. Swain had a strong affection for Mr. Ames.”**

 

*Ames Homestead with Counting Office on far left.  Residence demolished in 1951.

**William Chaffin, Oakes Ames, private publication                                   

 

 

 

 

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