Two diaries, 150 years apart…

Ebenezer Brown, 1873

2 Hot sunny day…Charles worked for G.M. Slack. I hoed the sweet corn & worked in the garden. Got Ellens order from Ransom Lewis for 3 months teaching school.

4 Very cool & sunshine all day I mowed at the road side at the I place & the schoolhouse yard a.m. & p.m. went to the Plain with Ellen presented her order of the 1. school dist to W.E. Lewis Treasurer & he paid $25.00 which was endorsed and Ellen paid her bill for Board to Mrs. Don A Brigham of $25.00

5 Cool and exceeding pleasant through the day…I am choring about the house and mending the tree fence at I place Charles worked with G.M. Slack.

7 Cloudy & warm. Hot sun by spells. I went to the Plain this a.m. paid at Olds store $1.14 for kerosene, sugar, fish, crackers, candles etc

11 August 1873 Monday

And still another pleasant cool day. Son James W. Brown left home this a.m. for his home in Lowell Ms. Left his wife & child here to stay a few days until John Bridgham comes up to return with him–Charles carried him to see his grandmother and to the RR Station –I have mowed & raked a little in the I Pasture

12 Cloudy cool & some little rain but not much…We are not doing much today –I am chopping at the door and Charles is looking for his flock of turkeys & has found the most of them…Reuben Loveland & his wife & daughter called at tea.

18 Warm and sunny forenoon and rainy latter part of afternoon. Charles cradled the oats this a.m. I mowed raked & cocked some hay in I pasture.

19 Cool..Rained most of last night. Charles & Mary & James wife went to the River to see their Grandmother.

20 August 1873 Wednesday

Warm Sunshine but somewhat overcast. I went to the Norwich Depo early this morning & carried son James Baby carriage to be transported by freight to Lowell Ms. Returned and carried his wife and baby to there & they took the cars for house at L. Mss [Lowell, MA]

I this pm. took in a load of hay from I pasture. 

25 A most beautiful pleasant day. Charles cradled I wheat a spell in the morning up in the mowing lot and then went to G.M. Slacks and worked the rest of the day–I mowed by the road side 18 trumbles & raked it.  Ther. 48

26  Ther. 48  Cool and cloudy most of the day…clears away at sunset without rain.

29 Cool morning Ther. 44 but pleasant hot day….I am choring about and reaping hay seed in the corners of the lots and by the fences.

30 Clear Hot day

I am at work about the house a.m. & p.m. brot a load of chips from the wood chopping of last winter and took fencing polls to the I house lot.

31 August 1873 Sunday

Warm & cloudy a.m. & thunderstorms in the afternoon


Alan Berolzheimer, 2023

1 Nancy and I have been in Chicago for four days, visiting with my father, sister, and ailing 90-year-old mother. 

6 Back from Chicago, mom is stable. Mostly sunny and 74 degrees at 6 pm. There were thunderstorms yesterday.

7 Overcast and 61 degrees at 9 am. Steady rain all day, on and off. High only to 66. Heavier rain most of the evening. 65 degrees at 10:30 pm.

10 Cloudy and 65 at 8:30, turns partly sunny and gets up to 77. I harvest one bed of potatoes that was done. A decent number, but more rotted spuds and ones with holes in them than usual. Showers and a couple of thunderstorms this evening, one with a lot of lightning. Rain has stopped and it’s 66 degrees at 11 pm.

11 Mostly sunny and 62 at 8 am. Breezy, sun and clouds, high of 77. I harvest half of my garlic; not a lot of big heads, but they’re all in good shape. I also plant some lettuce and beet seeds. 62 degrees at 11 pm.

12 Partly sunny and 61 at 9 am. High of 77. Some rain and a little thunder after 8 pm. Not raining and 68 at 11 pm.

17 Overcast, wet, 66 degrees at 8 am. A little rain around noon. I bring in my first few tomatoes—only one is fully ripe, all have insect damage (but the cherry tomatoes I harvest are fine). Made a peach-blueberry pie to bring to Kate and BIll’s for dinner. Another coolish day, only up to 70. 66 degrees at 11 pm.

18 Heavy rain starts at 8, it’s 65 degrees. Rains all morning, then clears to partly sunny, up to 75. Cloudier later in the date. Wes and Lauri come over from Middlebury for the weekend. 62 degrees at 11 pm.

20 Mostly sunny, 57 degrees at 7 am—first morning below 60 in at least 6 weeks (I see one other in late June). But it turns into a fine summery day—finally!— with a high of 81. I harvest the rest of my garlic, and disturbingly, discover invasive jumping worms in my garden; not a lot, maybe two dozen in three beds, but it’s very upsetting. 66 degrees at 10 pm.

21 Mostly cloudy and 64 at 8 am. Turns partly sunny, up to 77 degrees. 64 at 11 pm.

22 Mostly sunny and 62 at 8 am. A lovely day, high of 75. At 11 pm it’s 58 degrees.

23 A cool morning, the overnight low was 50 degrees; it’s sunny and 57 at 9 am. A perfect summer day. High of 76; 59 degrees at 11 pm.

24 Foggy and 53 at 8 am. Clears to sunny but it gets gradually cloudier and breezier and glowery over the course of the day. High of 76. Rain starts around 8 pm. Raining and 61 at 11 pm.

25 Rains through the night. Wet and 57 degrees at 8 am. One hard but brief shower this morning. Then dry. Then some early evening sprinkles. High today at 68, somewhat humid. 66 degrees at 10 pm.

28 Foggy and 58 degrees at 7:30; fog dissipates around 10:30. Occasional sprinkles through the afternoon. Up to 76 degrees. More rain tonight, 66 at 10 pm.

29 Overcast, humid 66 at 9 am. Turns mostly sunny and hot, high is 77. We go to hear Mark Chute’s blues band on the Strafford green. Nice sunset and a beautiful nearly full moon follows us home. 70 at 9 pm.

30 Raining and 67 at 7:30. Soon turns partly sunny and hot again, up to 78. More clouds roll in late afternoon, 74 at 6 pm.