Two diaries, 150 years apart…

For Ebenezer, November brought the return of cold weather, sleighs (and sleigh accidents), and family visits. Winter preparations included butchering, cutting wood, and banking the house for winter. After over a month of hard work, Charles finished making cider and packed up his mill for the year. Thanksgiving was a small affair, just a few days after the butchering of the chickens, geese, and turkey.

For Alan, November brought warm, breezy days as well as snowy days. Winter preparations included getting snow tires and harvesting the end of the carrots and brussels sprouts. Thanksgiving brought a large crowd, a local turkey, and lots of pies. An evening with a full moon and friends was perfect for the celebration of the Thai holiday of Loy Kratong and the launching of pumpkin boats.

Ebenezer Brown, November 1873

1 Cold morn. Ther 30 Sunshine with flying clouds–a little snow flying in the air at one time in the forenoon.

I am carrying the apples into the cellar. Charles has plowed this a.m. the corn ground by the Barn, begun the piece for sowing wheat next spring & p.m. has carted manure & harrowed in a ½ acre of Rye in West lot.

3 Cold & windy some sunshine and cloudy at 2 p.m. a heavy wind & snow squall followed by sunshine, at 4 p.m. a heavy snow squall with great wind makes the ground white–clears off & an evening of cold moon shine–

5 Cold sunny day. I am Banking the house. Mr. Sewell called this p.m. a little while and we had quite a social visit with him. Charles is at work at the cider mill.

8 A very rainy day and rained and snowed last night and some of the hills are white with snow this morning. Charles is making cider.

10 Cold weather ground froze hard this morning. I am at work about the house & barn. Charles is making cider.

12 Cold and snows, has fell about 6 inches during the last night and the sleighs run on the road today. Charles is making cider.

Sleighing Scene, Longyear Museum Collection

13 Cold weather–pleasant sunshine. I am choring about the house & barn. Charles is making cider.

14 Very cold, sunshine & windy

I am fastening up the hatchway, putting up lye leach etc. Charles has finished making cider. Took the mill to pieces & come home.

16 Cold and snows all day moderately. 5 or 6 inches snow fell.

20 Cold cloudy morning–sunshine in the middle of the day Cloudy

Mr. Royal Roberts of Sharon called this evening just at dark for his little grand daughter to warm and on his starting away from the door in his sleigh tipped over his sleigh & broke it but soon tied it up with straps & started out but left his barrel of flour that rolled out his broken sleigh not being strong enough to carry off.

24 Cold and snowing all day & snowed the latter part of last night about 6 inches snow has fallen. The snow in the woods across the brook is nearly 2 feet deep–

William & Charles have killed the Fowles. 11 chickens & 2 geese and 1 turkey.

25 Cold winter day. Snowed last night and is snowing a part of today.

William & Charles went to their Uncle Pitts and slaughtered his fat hog and Wm went to Hanover and got the old John & James mare shod for the first time since she has been kept here her lame foot having almost got well.

A school meeting is held in this school district to raise money to pay the debts and expenses of the district.

27 Cold and snowing all day.

This is a day of National Thanksgiving appointed by our good President W.S. Grant

Our family at Thanksgiving supper is myself, Mrs B, son William, Charles and Mary.

28 November 1873 Friday

A cold winter day of sunshine.

Charles & William got some logs out of the woods. Wm took them to the sawmill & Charles went to Saml Hutchinsons to see about selling turkeys.

29 Cold sunny day.

Charles got out of the woods a load of sled length wood for Brother Pitt and took down to him this p.m. and got the oxen shod at Cushmans shop and paid for shoeing–

30 November 1873 Sunday

Another cold sunny day. Ther 5 above. I am yet quite unwell and don’t get much better–

Alan Berolzheimer, November 2023

1 Cloudy and 31 degrees at 8 am. Some rain this afternoon, also some sun, high of 40. At 9 pm it’s 33.

3 Mostly cloudy, 36 at 8:30. Breezy, up to 55 degrees during some late-day sun. Still 51 at 6 pm as it’s getting dark. 46 degrees at 10 pm.

5 Daylight Savings Time begins. Wet this morning, mostly cloudy and 44 degrees a 8 am. Turns partly sunny, gloriously mild, high of 58. 38 degrees at 9:30.

7 A little rain overnight. 43 degrees and overcast at 8 am. A bit of sun, and it rains for an hour this afternoon, high of 55. 43 degrees at 10 pm.

9 An inch of snow on the ground this morning, 33 degrees at 7:30. Temp stays steady. Power goes out for an hour tonight. 34 at 10:30.

10 Mostly cloudy and 34 at 7 am, Warms up to 47, most of the snow melts. Saw a pileated woodpecker this afternoon.

11 Partly sunny and 38 degrees at 8:30. High of 44. I cut back the fall raspberries, which have produced nicely this year, fertilize and mulch them. 34 at 11 pm.

12 Overcast and 33 degrees at 8. I put the bird feeders up. Turns mostly sunny, up to 44. We take a nice walk on Patrell Road.

13 Sunny, crisp, and cold, 23 degrees at 8 am. Up to 40. We’re visited by a bluebird and a red-tailed hawk. 34 at 10:30.

14 A little snow overnight, overcast and 34 degrees at 8. High of 42. 38 degrees at 10 pm.

16 Mostly sunny and 38 at 8:30. Milder still, up to 62 degrees in the sun! Still 45 degrees at 7 pm. Asa comes at dinnertime for a day’s visit, to get his snow tires on. 37 at 10 pm, very clear night.

18 A little rain overnight, overcast and 43 at 8 am. Birds today: goldfinches, purple finches, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, bluebirds, and I think a grosbeak. Cold and windy. Margery comes for dinner. 30 degrees at 10 pm.

21 Low of 17 degrees overnight, 24 and sunny at 8 am. Up to 37, clouds up in the afternoon. I collect the rest of my carrots and brussels sprouts from the garden, for storage. 35 degrees at 9 pm.

22 Three inches of snow overnight, turning to sleet and rain this morning, 35 degrees at 7. Up to 42. Arrivals for Thanksgiving. 38 degrees at 9:30

23 Mild day, high of 45. Enough snow left for Selah and Luciania to sled on the hill. Fred, Sharon, and Eb join us for Thanksgiving dinner. I roast a Hogwash Farm turkey—it’s delicious!—and we have various veggie dishes along with apple, pumpkin, and pecan pie. 38 degrees at 11 pm.

25 Low of 19 degrees, 24 and sunny at 8 am. A cold day, but the sun is strong, up to 42. Aviva, Mark, Selah, and Asa hike GIle Mountain. 28 at 10 pm

26 Sunny and 28 at 7 am. Aviva, Mark, and the kids head back to Philadelphia. Asa leaves too. HIgh of 43. 36 degrees at 10 pm and there’s half an inch of snow on the ground.

27 A light coating of snow. Full moon, friends come for dinner and making of pumpkin boats to celebrate the Thai holiday of Loy Kratong that Nancy learned from a visiting teacher 25 years ago and has become an annual ritual for us. We launch them at the Main Street Museum in White River. 34 degrees at 11 pm.

28 Mostly cloudy, 31 degrees at 8:30. Some sun but it’s cold, high of 36. At 10:30 it’s 27 degrees and cloudy.

29 Overcast and 23 at 8 am. Visit from a pileated woodpecker this morning, Stays cloudy, gets up to 33. 25 degrees at 10:30 pm.

30 Partly sunny and 30 degrees at 9 am. A warmer day, high of 43. 35 degrees at 9 pm.