July 16, 1852


Traveling dresses*


July 16th  Have been to Boston & Mt Auburn with

Mrs Witherell, S Ames & A L Ames had a 

very pleasant time  Returned from Mt

Auburn about one or two called on Mrs 

Stevens and the rest of the day shopping

bought me a travelling dress &c &c

Did not see any of Mr Orrs family except

Mr Norris  Mrs N is at Newburyport


The Ames women went to town today. Apparently they headed first to Mt.  Auburn, probably to take a turn around the cemetery, then on to Boston. It sounds as if the four women rode in a carriage or wagon all the way from Easton. One of the women may have driven the vehicle, but it’s more likely that a man, such as Old Oliver’s coachman Michael Burns, drove. Whoever held the reins guided the horse along what is today’s Route 138.  The carriage would have traveled a short distance east to get out of Easton, then headed straight north through Canton and Milton into the outskirts of the big city. Normally the vehicle would have taken Washington Street as it veered northeast into Boston, but today they went instead via Jamaica Plain to cross the Charles River.

After their tour of Mt. Auburn Cemetery, a popular destination for many pedestrians and riders, the Ames women crossed back across the Charles River into Boston, where they spent “the rest of the day shopping.” Evelina purchased material and a pattern, perhaps, for a “travelling dress,” such as the one in the illustration. She will spend the next few weeks making this new outfit at home.

Back in Easton, meanwhile, Old Oliver reflected on the week going by and noted that “the 14 – 15 + 16th were all warm good hay days + verry drying.”** He was satisfied with the weather.


Godey’s Lady’s Journal, November, 1852

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

July 30, 1851



Wedns 30 July  Went to Boston with Cate & waggon had

a fine ride got to Mr Orrs about ten, went out

shopping untill dinner time  After dinner took Mrs

Orr with us to Mt Auburn and we rode & walked most

all over the grounds & went into the chapel  As we were

going through Brookline we stoped at the reservoir

and saw some fine situations in & about Brookline

Finally, Evelina got to go into Boston, a trip she had been trying to make for days now. She and Oakes rode into town in a wagon behind his horse Cate.  They trotted up today’s Route 138, past farms, fields and woods, through Stoughton, along Canton, into Milton and on into the city, approaching it by way of Washington Street. It was “a fine ride.”

After a little shopping and midday dinner with the Orrs, Evelina, Oakes and Melinda Orr drove to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, a new-style burial ground on the Cambridge side of the Charles River. Fashioned somewhat after the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, the twenty-year old cemetery had been the brain child of, among others, a Boston physician named Jacob Bigelow who felt that the practice of burying the dead under and right next to churches and meeting houses was unhealthy.  With the encouragement of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and a designation of 70 acres from the Massachusetts legislature, Mt. Auburn Cemetery was created.

By carriage and on foot, Oakes, Evelina and their friend Melinda were able to go “most all over the grounds,” seeing paths, plantings, monuments and the Bigelow Chapel. They saw other landscapes of greater Boston today as well, including the brand new Brookline Reservoir.

*Pilgrim’s Path, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, 1851.