September 14, 1852


Tuesday Sept 14th  Alson came this forenoon and carried

mother home  I have ironed 13 fine shirts made

grape jelly and have been hard at work all

day  Mr Torrey came and staid a long while

talking over the news of the neighborhood

Mrs Stevens & self called on Augustus & wife and

went over [to] Mr Carrs where they have commenced

mowing  Mr Torrey & Abby were away, door fastened

New carriage & Buggy chaise came to night


Evelina didn’t stop moving today. She saw her mother depart for home, ironed a baker’s dozen of shirts, made grape jelly, did her usual picking up around the house, entertained guests, and paid a call on her nephew and others. It’s hard to imagine that her kitchen could accommodate the ironing of white shirts and the boiling of purple jelly at the same time, yet we read that this was so.

We readers should also note that for once, it’s Evelina, and not her father-in-law, who tells us that there is mowing going on in the neighborhood. The men were working quickly, one imagines, as “there was Some frost last night.”* Officially, it was still summer, but winter was on the far horizon, and preparations were underway.

And there was new equipage! A carriage and a buggy or chaise arrived. Who had just bought them?  Old Oliver?  Oakes or Oliver, Jr., or one of the sons, or all of the above? How, exactly, might the ownership of the vehicles have worked?


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


June 18, 1851

Black ticking-stripe-15

June 18th Wednesday  Worked again untill nine in the 

garden and then made the tick for the 

mattress.  This afternoon put the cotton in 

and tied it  Bridget was here a couple

of hours & picked over the curled hair

Towards evening called at Mr E Carrs, Dr Wales

and on Mrs J C Williams at Mr Torreys, Mrs S. Ames

called with me  Augustus gone to Boston

Mr Bartlett spent

last night here

Evelina was making progress on the mattress for her new lounge.  She “made the tick” for the cover and stuffed it with old cotton.  The final cover, to be made of horsehair, was still being worked on. Bridget O’Neil, a servant who usually worked next door, came over to help Evelina with the project.

The long-lasting light of day, as the calendar approached summer solstice, allowed for late socializing. Evelina and her sister-in-law, Sarah Lothrop Ames, went out calling.  They visited Esek Carr and, presumably, his wife, Ann; called on young Dr. Ephraim Wales and, again presumably, his wife Maria; and stopped at John Torrey’s to see Mrs. Joshua C. Williams.  Mrs. Williams, we might infer, was a boarder or renter at Col. Torrey’s apartment building, which Evelina called a tenement. Was Mrs. Williams possibly a widow?

A Mr. Bartlett had spent the night with the family.  He was from Maine, so likely had some connection to the shovel works and their ongoing need of wooden handles.