March 6th Saturday Mr Scott whitewashed the parlour
& sitting room chamber this morning and I
varnished the front entry oil cloth. Lavinia
came at eleven and Augusta this afternoon
Alson came after Lavinia and stopt to tea
Charles Pool came up and carried Edwin
and Augusta home to stay till Monday
I have been to work on a stiched pink apron
A full moon shone down on North Easton this night, highlighting the charred ruins of the shovel factory. Before it rose, however, Old Oliver took the opportunity of “a fair day”* to travel to Bridgewater, quite probably on shovel business. He and his sons were developing plans to rebuild the factory, and some help for that would be found in Bridgewater.
Evelina’s way of coping after the devastating fire appears to have been to keep the domestic front moving smoothly. Redecorating continued, social calls were made and enjoyed, and sewing continued without a blink of an eye. Daughter Susan would soon have a new pink apron.
Years later, Evelina and Oakes’s grandson, Winthrop Ames, would credit his grandmother and other Ames wives with exerting a positive influence on his male ancestors. “They made the homes, reared the many children, saved their husbands’ money, encouraged their undertakings, and steadied them in failure and misfortune,”** he said. Evelina’s evident steadiness during this challenging period is one such instance of positive influence. Oakes Ames had come home from the fire “more cheerful” than Evelina had expected; she seems to have behaved with equal optimism. Though naturally sanguine, Oakes’ bright outlook and ability to cope in the aftermath must also have been bolstered by his wife’s unflappable focus on home and (redecorated) hearth. Together, they maintained continuity.
Charles Pool, Augusta’s eldest brother, drove up from southeastern Easton today and fetched his sister and her husband, Edwin Williams Gilmore, “home to stay” for a few days. Perhaps this visit had been prearranged, or perhaps it was an effort by the young couple to get out of the way of remnant smoke and disruption from the fire.
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collection
**Winthrop Ames, The Ames Family of North Easton, Massachusetts, 1937, p. vi.