December 6, 1851

 

Picking apples 1880

Farm hands fill an oxen cart with apples in the late fall

Dec 6th Saturday  Mr Scott & Holbrook have finished

the first coat of paint in the storeroom &

stairway and porch.  They commenced yesterday P.M.

Have been mending stocking pants &c &c

all day and waiting upon the painters   they have

varnished the graining in the dining room

and painted the inside windows for the sitting room

Yesterday Evelina had sought Mr. Scott to do some painting for her.  He and another workman, Randall Holbrook, had responded quickly, arriving at the Ames’s house by the afternoon.  They continued their work today, painting and varnishing various areas inside the house. The day being “fair”  if “cold,”*  the men were also able to paint a porch outside. One might have thought that Evelina had already gotten everything painted; this kind of work had been going on for months.

Old Oliver noted in his journal that “the ground is frozen hard + carting is good”  The unpaved roads in the village and beyond had hardened, enabling carriages, carts and wagons to move steadily around. There was no sinking into half-thawed, muddy ruts. As modern historian Jack Larkin has noted, “[W]henever it was cold enough to freeze hard, ‘winter was the time…for making journeys.’ The hazards of cold and storm were outweighed by leisure from farm work and greater speed.” **Pulled by teams of oxen, carts full of finished shovels could get moved to market to be shipped out, and raw material for the factory could be shipped in.

 

*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Tofias Collection

** Jack Larkin, The Reshaping of Everyday Life,” New York, 1988, p. 221.

 

One thought on “December 6, 1851

  1. And at this time, before the railroad has come to North Easton, it would be interesting to know to what depots they cart the North Easton-made shovels. The railroad has long since come to Canton 1835, as I recall, where the Ames now have a shop. The Stoughton station (1845) is closer, but when the people commute to Boston, they often go to Bridgewater, possibly North Bridgewater, now Brockton. Don’t know the date when the RR came there. The railroad will come to North Easton in 1855.

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