November 19, 1852

 

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Friday Nov 19th  Have heat the brick oven

three times have baked Apple squash

& mince pies & […] bread & ginger snaps

Mr Adriance here from New York to

spend the night  I guess he thinks

we are nice folks here & that I look 

neat.  Catharine [entry incomplete]

Thanksgiving was less than a week away, so housewives and servants across Easton were beginning to prepare. Just as we do in the 21st century, family members would gather for the holiday, often arriving to stay for a number of days. Thus not only did the grand feast itself have to be prepared, but all the breakfasts, dinners and teas leading up to and following Thanksgiving had to be amplified as well. No wonder Evelina was baking such an abundance of food. Her immediate family was already all in place, but others would be joining them.

In fact, the Ameses had company today, a Mr. Adriance from New York – probably a business associate of Oakes, perhaps someone who purchased shovels. Evelina never seemed to mind setting an extra place at the table and Mr. Adriance evidently admired her. She looked “neat.” What fun for her to be complimented this way. Do we think that Oakes noticed?

 

April 7, 1852

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Five Dollar Gold Piece, 1850

1852

April 7th  Mother is 80 years old this day and notwithstanding

the snow banks have been down to see her and made

her a present of a five dollar gold piece.  She is

not very smart to day but is generaly very well and

capable for one of her years.  Orinthia Abby & Augusta

went with me and we have had a very pleasant visit

Augustus stoped the evening here  Helen came

home this afternoon with her father.

Evelina’s mother, Hannah Lothrop Gilmore, turned 80 years old. She was the grandmother of Oakes Angier, Oliver (3), Frank Morton and Susan Eveline Ames – among other grandchildren –  and first cousin-once-removed of Sarah Lothrop Ames. She was born in Bridgewater in 1772, the fifth child and only daughter of Daniel and Hannah (Howard) Lothrop.  Her mother died soon after she was born and her father remarried two times more and had six additional children.

In 1789, at age 17, Hannah married Joshua Gilmore of Easton. They had a large family, too, producing eight children, of whom Evelina was seventh. By this 80th birthday in 1852, Hannah was a widow with only three offspring still alive. As we have seen, she lived on a farm with a son, Alson Gilmore, but often visited her daughter, Evelina.

Beyond these genealogical facts, little is known of the life of Hannah Lothrop Gilmore. When she was barely twenty, however, and already a mother of her first baby, John, she walked on a trail one day with her husband in an area of Easton known at the Great Cedar Swamp. Town historian William Chaffin recorded the tale:

“There was then no road through Cedar Swamp. Trees were however felled, and on these by hard work pedestrians at certain seasons could pick their way through from Easton to Raynham, or return.

“In 1792 […] Raynham had petitioned the Court of General Sessions for Bristol County to require Easton to build a road through the swamp to connect the two towns. The advantages of such a road were obvious. But Easton stood aghast at the prospect of incurring the expense of building a causeway such a distance and in such depths of mire.  The difficulty is illustrated by the fact that as Joshua Gilmore was going on the footpath through the swamp one day with his wife, carrying a little child in his arms, Mrs. Gilmore was speaking of the difficulty of the passage, and her husband replied that some day the child would ride through the swamp in a carriage; and the idea struck her as so essentially preposterous that she had a hearty laugh over it. However, the Court of Sessions did not, it would seem, share her skepticism, for it ordered Easton to construct the road.”*

The road, known then as the Turnpike Road or Street, was built, and Hannah Gilmore lived to ride it in a carriage.

*William L. Chaffin, History of Easton, Massachusetts, 1886, pp. 454-455