March 8, 1852


March 8th

1852 Monday  To day is town meeting.  George brought

sister Amelia here this afternoon  Have got

the carpet down in the front entry and 

the chamber carpet partly down

S Ames sent for the entry lamp for fear

I suppose that I should keep it but

she […] might not been alarmed

Carpenters have come to rebuild the shops

A new week signaled a fresh start. It had only been six days since the fire at the shovel factory, but the clean-up had gone quickly. The ruins were “dismal,” as Evelina noted yesterday, but the debris was mostly gone, hacked down, shoveled up and carted away. Carpenters had arrived to begin rebuilding, as Old Oliver, too, noted in his diary:  “some of the carpenters came on to day to build up our shops + Mr Phillips + his son came.”*

Life in the village was returning to normal.  Housewives, some with servants, tended to washing day. Children went to school and men went to town meeting.  As at church, the fire must have been part of the conversation as the men gathered to decide on town affairs and expenditures for the coming year. People must have wondered how soon the shovel shop would be up and running.

At the meeting, a new moderator, Alson Augustus Gilmore, presided. Not yet thirty years old, it was his first time holding the gavel; he would repeat the performance twenty-four times over the coming decades.  According to William Chaffin, Gilmore and his predecessor, Elijah Howard, Jr., “served with signal ability.”**

Evelina and her sister-in-law, Sarah Lothrop Ames, had a minor set-to over “the entry lamp,” which appears to have been a luminary that was shared by both houses. Sarah was evidently skittish about not having it, and Evelina was annoyed to have it commanded away.  No cause for alarm, she might have said. She wouldn’t have been annoyed for long, however, as a favorite family member, Amelia Gilmore, arrived for a visit. Amelia was the young widow of Evelina’s younger brother, Joshua Gilmore, Jr. She had lately been working as a private nurse.

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

**William Chaffin, History of Easton, 1886, p. 637

6 thoughts on “March 8, 1852

  1. I keep getting thrown off by the leap year. I read Monday the 8th, I think I must have missed a day.

    • Tad – It is confusing, isn’t it? I liked it better when we were on the same day of the week as Evelina. If you think you missed a day, please check the post for March 1, which was a double post that included February 29. Thanks!

  2. Ah, yes, “Mr Phillips,” mentioned by Old Oliver rings a bell. I believe that he has been and will be involved in a lot of the engineering and building.

  3. Not sure where he was from, but this is what I found on my Ames time-line: 1846 “Bailey’s Shop in B-water 5/3 report of a “leak through the hill at Flyaway 5/4 we began to frame the store and dig the cellar-details of the Bailey’s hammer installation 5/9 Mr Wright came from Salisbury and Augustus Gilmore from Franklin 5/11 Mr Peckham went to NJ to see about William’s affairs. I went to B-water and carried Mr Clark to help Mr Phillips repair the grist mill wheel.” 5/11 Mr Peckham went to NJ to see about William’s affairs. I went to B-water and carried Mr Clark to help Mr Phillips repair the grist mill wheel. 5/15 fished framing the store and got sills on 5/18 “we raised the store today and the bloms are on the apple trees 5/21-2 frosts kill some things “in the gardenings”5/23 “in the evening there was considerable sharp lightening 5/29 Mr Peckham got home from NY this morning (gone 18 days)
    1847- Jan 21 “I went to George Ames shop in Sharon and from there to Canton with Mr Phillips to view the Messenger priviledge. 11/18 “Mr Phillips finished his work at Canton (underlined.) 11/22 “I went to Canton and carried down hands to begin welding backstrap shovels.”HDT leaves Walden somewhere around this time.

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