277 Main Street
Norwich VT 05055
Aunt Ella’s Diary: Haying (#3)
This week’s diary excerpts include Ella’s observations about haying. Ella didn’t participate, but was a keen observer of the weather. Her entries mention a number of neighbors and relatives – there were too many to review them all. Key figures were her boarder/farm hand Mr. Wood, and her brother Bartlett, who lived across the road.
This is a fairly recent photograph of the house Bartlett Sargent lived in on Norford Lake Road. Incidentally this is where Ella spent the last 13 years of her life with Bartlett’s daughter, Henrietta Higginbotham.
Thursday, July 6, 1880 Pleasant Father and Bartlett have been haying Uncle Phin helped get in some Thurs. July 17, 1884 Pleasant Bartlett went to the Plain this morning and then came down and went to mowing They have mowed on the Flat
Wednesday, July 9, 1902 They have commenced to Hay a little to day mowed some and Raked it up got through before night Wednesday, July 30,1902 Pleasant and warm Bartlett and Mr Wood have been Haying have got in 4 Loads It has been a hot day Tuesday, July 28, 1908 Pleasant and very warm Mr Wood raked up some Hay and after dinner Leland came up and got in 2 loads that finishes Haying here Friday, July 20, 1917 The best hay day we have had for some time It has not rained any but the ground was pretty wet this morn Austin has been haying they have got in some Saturday, July 23, 1921 A very good Hay day Sun was pretty warm
Imagine the amount of work to mow, hopefully with the help of a farm horse or team, and then to rake it all by hand.
Early haying picture from Hillside Farm on Pattrell Road.
This week’s longer entry gives an idea of how much was going on at the farm on a typical day.
Monday, July 22, 1901 Pleasant and quite warm A good hay day John went to Norwich this morn. He took my Calf to the Depot it weighed 230 pounds Bartlett and Mr Wood have hayed over in the flat lot I have washed some and done the work Henrietta and I have been to the Village [Union Village] to night
[Under the “Cash Account” for July, Ella records that she received $11.50 for a Calf.]