Wednesday Dec 31st This morning sit down early to knitting
my hood Have it all finished ready for the lining. About ten
Oclock went into the school with Mrs. Witherell. Mr Brown
has closed his school to day. Passed the afternoon & evening at Olivers
Mr & Mrs Wm Reed Mr & Mrs J Howard, Whitwell & A Gilmore were there.
Susie Ames and Emily Witherell may have been happy today to reach the end of their school term. Class, dismissed! 1851, dismissed!
Just how the Ames family celebrated the departure of the old year and arrival of the new, we don’t know. Old Oliver, with his usual terse assessment of the day, merely noted that “this was a cloudy day and some cooler + misty + foggy.” The cool mist he saw would develop into a huge rain storm over night, preventing folks from moving around much.
A group of friends and relatives gathered for tea next door at the home of Oliver Ames, Jr. and his wife Sarah Lothrop Ames. Besides Evelina and Oakes, at the party were Reverend William Whitwell and his wife Eliza, Reverend William Reed and his wife Abigail, Jason Guild Howard and his wife Martha, and Evelina’s brother Alson Gilmore and his wife Henrietta. In just a few more years, a group like this might have sung the beloved Auld Lang Syne to mark the occasion. In fact, a version of Auld Lang Syne, written in 1855 and called Song of the Old Folks would become “the tradition of the Stoughton Musical Society to sing […] in memory of those who had died that year.”*
Out with old, in with the new. What a year it would be for the Ames clan.