October 11, 1851

 

 

Hog

Sat Oct 11th  Baked in the brick oven  brown bread cake & seed

cakes Squash & apple pies  Miss S. Orr, Mrs Witherell

and her children here to tea  Helen came home last

night and Julia is at Olivers making her silk dress.

Mrs Elizabeth Lothrop is there assisting them.  I have

mended Mr Ames a vest and made the skirt

to Susans striped Delaine dress

 

Today many baked goods came out of the brick oven that Sarah Witherell and Evelina shared. It was getting to be pie season, so Evelina made squash and apple pies, along with more usual fare like brown bread and cake. Special on the menu was seed cake, something that Evelina hasn’t mentioned baking before.  She probably used caraway seeds from some roots she “set out” last April.

Next door Helen Angier Ames, briefly home from boarding school, met with the family’s favorite dressmaker, Julia Mahoney. Only fourteen, Helen was having a silk dress made; perhaps it was a party dress she might use in Boston. Helping Helen and her mother, Sarah Lothrop Ames, was Sarah’s young sister-in-law, Elizabeth Howard Lothrop. Only 22-years-old, Elizabeth was the mother of two very young sons and the recent widow of Sarah’s brother Clinton.

Old Oliver had to be pleased with life at this particular time. Only the day before, “Mr Phillips finisht his work at the great pond,” meaning that the new flume at Great Pond was in place. This was a good achievement for the shovel business which relied on water power to run the factory. Old Oliver was still active in the business he had started and passed on to his sons, yet never took his eye off of the family farm, either. Today he “bought 12 pigs that weighd 1330 pound at 6 ½ cents a lb average weight 112 pounds – cost $86:45.” He would raise those pigs, eventually selling some and slaughtering others to feed his large family. The factory and the farm continued to engage Old Oliver as he grew old.

 

 

 

September 21, 1851

1525-105430-a-flumere

*

Sunday Sept 21st  Have been to meeting  Mr Ames & self came

home at noon and Horace Pool came with us

and they rode up to the great pond where they are

building a new floom.  Brought Abby Torrey from

meeting & carried her back  She & Malvina are spending 

a week at Alsons  Miss Latham & her brother Edward

came to our meeting this morning and to the other 

part of the house after  I called into see them

The new flume going in at Great Pond was attracting local attention. After church, Oakes Ames and Horace Pool rode up to see it. Oakes had been in Boston when his father, Old Oliver, had begun the work, and no doubt he was curious to see the progress.  No one would have been working on it today, as it was Sunday.

The flume was intended to harness water power for the shovel factory. It was basically an inclined ditch lined with stones and boulders to shunt the water along. Some flumes – such as those used in lumbering – are lined with wood, but that wasn’t likely to be the case here, given the scarcity of wood, the availability of stones, and the expectation of longevity. Old Oliver’s oxen must have been used to haul the many stones, and man-power used to put each one in place.  The channel itself would have been dug with Ames shovels, naturally.

Evelina, perhaps moving about slowly on sore feet, went to church and caught up with various friends and family members, including nieces Abby and Malvina Torrey. She popped into the other part of the house – the section lived in by Old Oliver and his daughter Sarah Witherell – to greet some visitors there.  She was settling back into her routine after the Boston holiday.

Photograph of an old flume, blogoteca.com/afonsoxavier, courtesy of Hadrian