19th century oil lantern
March 9th Tuesday This morning finished putting
the sitting room chamber in order
Mrs Witherell came in with her work
for an hour or two. I sent for Hannah
Augusta & Abby this afternoon. Abby
came in this evening Augustus called his
wife has the canker and was not able to come
Today “was a fair good day + pritty warm,” * accommodating weather for the carpenters working on the shovel shops. According to modern town historian, Ed Hands, the repair would be rapid enough to allow a resumption of manufacturing “in less than three weeks.” But what happened to the shovel makers during the hiatus? Were they kept on payroll? Or were they given unpaid furlough?
What happened to Patric Quinn? An Irish immigrant with a young wife and two small children, he was the watchman who had dropped his lantern into the varnish on the night of March 2d. He started the fire. Was he injured? Was he held accountable? Did he stay on payroll? He and his wife Elisa, who sometimes did sewing for Evelina, remained in North Easton. They lived on Elm Street in one of the workers’s houses.
At the Ames compound, Evelina put the sitting room and parlor back in order. She and her sister-in-law, Amelia Gilmore sat and sewed. They were joined for a time by Sarah Ames Witherell who was followed by young Abbey Torry and Augusta Pool Gilmore. Hannah Lincoln Gilmore was too sick to attend.
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collection
**Edmund C. Hands, Easton’s Neighborhoods, 1995, p. 163