October 29, 1851

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Wednesday Oct 29.  I have been what I call puttering

about house most all day and have accomplished

but very little.  papered the fireboard and pasted

the loose places in Franks chamber  Mr Scott

has painted the sitting room & closet

Mrs Hubbel & Ames came from New York this morning

H O A Orr came for Susan this afternoon  Mr

Walton is there. Mrs Holmes and Abby called

Mr Ames came home from Boston to night

Many comings and goings in North Easton today, under a cloudy sky.  Almira Ames, widow of George, an Ames cousin, arrived from New York with a Mrs. Hubbel in tow. They came for a visit with the obliging Sarah Witherell and Old Oliver Ames in the other part of the house.

Susan Orr, meanwhile, who had been staying with Sarah Witherell and her father for almost a month, was picked up this afternoon by her brother, Hector Oakes Orr. Susan, age 53, and Hector, age 51, were first cousins of Sarah Witherell and her siblings on the Angier side of the family.  Susan and Hector were two of five children of Susanna Angier Ames’s sister, Mary and her husband, Dr. Hector Orr, of Bridgewater. Their shared grandparents were Oakes and Susanna (Howard) Angier.

Evelina’s niece on the Gilmore side, Abigail Williams Torrey, paid a call with Harriet Holmes (the neighbor who had been so ill back in August). A Mr. Walton floated somewhere in the picture; Evelina’s inclusion of his name is a bit vague. And chugging along in the background of the various calls was Mr. Scott painting the woodwork in the sitting room. Evelina concentrated on papering a fireboard when she wasn’t attending to the influx of visitors. For readers who don’t have fireplaces, a fireboard was a piece of wood, textile or ironwork fitted to the opening of a fireplace for periods when the fireplace wasn’t being used.  Fireboards made from wood, most common in the countryside, were often decorated with wallpaper or painting.

 

* 19th century papered fireboard, Pennsylvania, courtesy of 1stdibs.com.

 

3 thoughts on “October 29, 1851

  1. I have just found diaries and photographs, from the 1890’s – 1924, belonging to my Great grandfather Thomas Allen, an artist, who had a beautiful estate in Princeton, MA. I am working on the “Lost Gardens Project,” sponsored by the Smithsonian. The goal is to “resurrect” wonderful old gardens using what ever means are available. I hit the jackpot. I also played there as a child. Now I am grateful for experiencing Sarah Ames’ wonderful work on Evelina. It gives me hope and inspiration. Thank you, Sarah. Anna Lee

  2. And they have done a great job of restoring the grounds behind the North Easton Library. The Winthrop Ames building/grounds, or what was left of them, used to be a wild tangle of overgrown remnants. I remember being concerned that it might one day be gobbled up by parking for the library, but they have since done wonderful things with it.

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