December 22, 1851



Monday Dec 22d  Washed the dishes with Susan, made

the beds &c and then went to work on the hour glass

table got it made about the middle of the afternoon

Mr Ames went to Canton this afternoon  Mrs Mc

Hanna to Mr Savages  Spent the evening at 

Augustus  Went with Oakes Angier in the sleigh

as he was going to Mr Whitwells  They went this

afternoon to the funeral of Lewis Keith

Domestic chores and neighborhood errands reigned on this winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. Jane McHanna did laundry, little Susie helped wash dishes, and Evelina made the beds. Evelina had a special project, too, that she worked on: an hourglass table she was making to give to her nephew, Edwin Gilmore, and his bride-to-be, Augusta Pool.  She made major progress on it, but what was it?  Does any reader know about the design and/or purpose of an hourglass table?

In the afternoon, after the midday dinner, family members rode out in various directions. Under a cold, cloudy sky, Oakes Ames went north to Canton, to the family works there or perhaps to the Kinsley’s. Oakes Angier drove a sleigh south to the minister’s house in order to attend the funeral of a local farmer, Lewis Keith.  Evelina rode along with her son but stopped to visit her nephew, Augustus Gilmore.  Jane McHanna, meanwhile, went out on foot to see William and Hannah Savage, who lived in the village.  Mrs. Savage was poorly.

Did anyone tell a ghost story tonight after dark fell? Such tales were customary for some families at winter solstice.  On her way home from her nephew’s, was Evelina able to see Orion in the night sky through the clouds?

*Image courtesy of







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