April 12, 1852


Tin Dipper

Monday April 12th  have been making sausages.  Tried

lard salted pork &c &c  Went to the store and bought

large tins mixing pan two small and one larger pan and 

tin dipper.  Susan washed the dishes  She does not like

to work very well, though she improves some

I had 38 lbs sausage meat seasoned them with 3/4 lbs salt

4 1/2 oz sage & savory 3 1/2 oz pepper  Am going to

watch with Mrs Brett tonight.  Not very pleasant

Evelina gave us one of her own recipes today, for sausage seasoned with salt, sage, savory and pepper.  She “tried the lard,” too, meaning that she boiled it down somewhat. And she probably used some of her new cookware in the process, while young Susie Ames helped grudgingly with the dishes.

As usual, Evelina cooked on a grand scale, inviting speculation as to just how much food her family ate. With a husband, three grown sons and a still-growing little girl all at the dinner table, we can imagine that 38 pounds of sausage didn’t last long. A month, maybe?

Old Oliver, meanwhile, was in forward gear.  After noting the “cool” and “chilly” temperature, he seemed please to write that “we were a digging a cellar to day for a cariage hous –“  Perhaps the planning for the new stone shops had inspired him to add another building – a carriage house – to the list of new constructions.

9 thoughts on “April 12, 1852

  1. Why would a carriage want to be in a cellar? Did it need to stay damp for preservation of materials on the top, or the leathers on the seat? And how would they get it in and out… back it down a ramp and then unhitch the horses? LOL, YOU are supposed to know these answers, Sarah.

  2. Oakes and Old Oliver on cellars: “At one time, Oakes had ordered three cellars dug for houses to be erected on Mechanic Street, just east of the old RR station, houses since removed to Pond Street. The middle cellar was hard to get deep enough as a ledge was struck. It was two feet shallower than the other cellars, but as deepening would be hard work, Oakes told the mason to let it go and make the underpinning higher. After a while came along the old gentleman. “What do you mean,” he asked, “by having one cellar so much shallower than the other?” “Well, there is a ledge here and Oakes said it would do as it is.” “No, it won’t.” was the answer. “You go on and deepen it and make it just like the others; it must be done just right, even if it does cost more.” The mason reported this to Oakes who said, “Let father have his way. Make it as deep as the others.” And it is to be noted that Oakes and Oliver deferred as much to their father’s feelings as the interest of their work would allow them.”

    • Interesting, Dwight. I think I have inherited those stubborn genes from my great great grandfathers. However, this still doesn’t explain to me why carriages would be kept in a cellar, as opposed to outdoors. I guess for weather protection, from heavy snows, and using space that would not be valuable for other uses. I am guessing that perhaps the approach to the cellar would be a “driveway” at the same level as the cellar floor and that they would either back the horses in, to position the carriage, or perhaps the carriage was light enough that, after unhooking the horses, two men could push it back by hand?? One would think a simple cover could be erected for carriages, with no digging at all, and the front end and back ends open, or openable, so that the horses could just pull in and position the carriage under the cover.

      • Regarding the construction of barns or carriages house, you’re asking the wrong person, Caroline! But I will say that I once lived in an 1850’s captains house with attached barn, in Maine, and that barn had a cellar to it. Perhaps the cellar was built to conduct the water that ran under the barn every spring! Or to sweep some of the old straw and manure below?

  3. the current garage at “Unity Close” was erected in 1937 by the Parker’s on the foundation of the original carriage house of the mid 1860’s. (this is accessed by what is called “Hoe Shop Street”, the entrance road to Unity Church and Village Cemetery).
    This has a full basement, and was accessed by a driveway to the west, and ramp leading into the basement, with access by very wide double doors. I have forgotten if it was someone from the historical society, or possibly Esther Ames, that told me alternately sleighs or seasonal carriages would be kept there until needed, the main level for vehicles being used and their horses, and the upper level housing, presumably for drivers or groomsmen.

  4. Caroline, The answer to your question might be found in knowing why so many people now have garages for their cars, often built right into their houses. Some of it must be comfort, some of it car protection, and some of it, “who the hell knows?” 😉 My wife settles for a remote starter for her car in our driveway. My cars get started manually, but I am in and out all the time anyway.

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