March 15, 1852





March 15th Monday  Gave the sitting room & entry

a thourough sweeping & dusting and then

went to sewing.  Susan washed the dishes

Amelia & self carried our work into Edwins but did 

not stop to tea, are invited there tomorrow.  We called

at Mrs Bucks  She has 41 schollars and 5 or 6 boarders


After “considerable rain” over night, Monday broke “cloudy in the morning but fair + warm in the afternoon and in the evening there was some rain + it grew colder [.] Mr Arnold came to day to sleight the hammer shop”* Thus wrote Old Oliver.

After Sunday’s respite, work on the rebuilding of the shovel shops picked right back up.  A slate roof was going up on the hammer shop, thanks to the expertise of John Arnold, a local man who had done roofing for the Ameses before.  Old Oliver seemed pleased.

At the Ames home, Amelia Gilmore continued her visit with Evelina. Once the morning chores were complete, with Susie washing dishes and trusted Jane McHanna doing the laundry, and midday dinner consumed, Evelina and Amelia walked across the way to visit Augusta Pool Gilmore, carrying their sewing with them. They must have spent several hours there, but didn’t stay for tea. Instead they headed home, stopping off to see another neighbor, Polly Buck.  Evidently, Mrs. Buck was running a private school with day students and boarders. One imagines that the ruckus there might have been equivalent to the bustle of workers at the building site.


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

November 4, 1851



Tuesday Nov 4th  Put down the parlour carpet this

forenoon baked some cake &c &c  Mrs Buck &

Mrs Drake (formerly Lucy Reed) called about half

past eleven.  Mrs Hubbell & Ames & Mrs Witherell

Father were here to tea  They all dined

at Olivers.  Mrs Hubbell commenced knitting

me a hood. I have put the trimming on the sleeves

of Susans Delaine dress



The day was “cloudy […] + cold + chilly,”* according to Old Oliver, meaning that baking “cake &c &c” in the shared brick oven at the Ames compound might have been pleasurable.  At least it was one way to stay warm. It may still have been in the oven when Polly Buck and Lucy Drake, the former Reed sisters, came for a short call.  Local women, Polly was married to Benjamin Buck, who lived in the village; Lucy was the wife of Ebeneezer Drake.

In all likelihood, Evelina baked the cake – seed cake, perhaps – to serve at tea later in the day. She invited Mrs. Hubbell and Almira Ames, visitors from New York, as well as Sarah Witherell and “Father Ames” to join the family in their newly redecorated parlor. How happy Evelina must have been to show off the recent refurbishments.

Mrs. Hubbell and Almira Ames had midday dinner earlier in the day next door, at Sarah Lothrop and Oliver Ames Jr., a gathering to which Evelina and Oakes don’t appear to have been invited. In turn, Oliver Jr and Sarah Lothrop didn’t appear for tea at Evelina and Oakes’s. It may be that Evelina and Sarah Lothrop Ames agreed to split hospitality responsibilities for the day. Almira Ames was a favorite cousin who often came to visit; she had even lived with family for a period after Old Oliver’s wife, Susannah, died.


* Oliver Ames, Journal, Courtesy of Stonehill College Archives