January 14, 2015 – The beginning of the long sadness

“Gather Strength from LIfe’s Storms”

March is the beginning of a very hard time for Frankie a.k.a. Frances.  Far from home it appears from her diary that she is not aware of how bad things are at home.  And she learns again that you have to keep going forward in spite of sadness and losses in life.

                                 Diary of Frances Keating. March 1, 1899 to April  10, 1899

I broke this up this way so as to have consistency in the story. It starts in March when life is just going along and then she gets bad news and has to go home. The picture above is of her father and I am not sure if that is his wife Sarah or one of sisters.

Wed. 1 Mar. ’99. Lovely day. Quite cold. Quite a good class.

Thurs. 2 Mar.’99. Lovely day. Had tea at Kennedy’s. Received letter from Jen, Ag. and Annie C.

Frid. 3 Mar. ’99. Lovely day. Called at Mrs. McNeeley’s. Getting ready to go to Calabogie tomorrow.

Sat. 4 Mar. Snowing in the morning. Went to Calaborgie with Mrs McNeely. Called at Mr. Skully’s, Mrs Yuills & Lagries. Went to Church. Rec’d letter from Emma & Ag.

Sun. 5 Mar. Raining at intervals during the day. Fathers French & McKeein sic {McEachen} there. Had a good time. Heard two masses & Benediction. Came back at 5 p.m.

Mon 6 Mar. 99. Lovely day. Walking rather poor. Writing to Brudenell.

Tues. 7 Mar. ’99. Cold day. Rather strong wind. Send letter to Brudenell.

Wed. 8 Mar’99. Lovely day. Rather cold. Nothing happened out of the ordinary.

Thurs. 9 Mar. Fine day. Snowing. Went to Kennedy’s for Dinner & Tea. Received letter from Jen & Ag. and congratulations from “Ag”.

Frid. 10 Mar. ’99. Lovely day. Had a class of 30. Mr. Halliday came home.

Sat. 11 Mar. ’99. Went to Renfrew at 8 p.m. Reached there at 10 a.m. Had dinner at Mrs. Easton’s, then went to Miss French’s, called at Father Ryans, then returned to Miss Frenchs. Left for here about 5 pm. Heard quite a bit about Brudenell. This is the night of “Erin – Go Bragh’. Reached here about 7 p.m. Enjoyed the day very much.

Sun. 12 Mar. ’99. Raining in the morning. Cleaned off about eleven. Wrote to Effie, Annie C, Ag. and Jen.No church. Wrote to Emma Mac. Went for a walk after dinner. Got caught in the rain. Saw ten crows.

Mon. 13 Mar ’99. Very cold in the morning. Fine night. Went out for a skate. Ice good.

Tues. 14 Mar ’99. Lovely day. good skating. Received an unexpected letter from “Ag”. Quite long and _____? {her line and question mark}

Wed. 15 Mar. ’99. Cold day and very stormy. Snowed all day and in the evening. Had a class of 18.

Thurs. 16 Mar. ’99. Clear and cold. Mr Scott visited the school. Went to Mrs. McCrea’s for tea & remained all evening.

Frid. 17 Mar. ’99. Cold and clear. Went to McCrea’s for dinner. Had a class of 26. Answered Jen & Ag’s letters. Received one from Miss Ryan.

Sat. 18 Mar. ’99. Snowed all day. Taught school. Miss Armand came up in the afternoon. Went down with her and Practised hymns for Sunday. Father Ryan came along. Got a drive home with Mr. Reddy. After tea I got ready for Sunday.

Sun. 19 Mar. ’99. Snowed all day. Walked to church, snow very deep. Received. Mrs McCrea, Ethel, Tecie, Miss Armand & I sang for Mass and Benediction. Went to McCrea’s for dinner and tea. Father Ryan played and we sang all afternoon, Father Ryan recited. Came back at 8:30 p.m. and found everyone in bed. Had a pleasant day.

Mon. 20 Mar.’99. Drifting very much. Roads very heavy. Drove to Mass. Had a class of 17. Drove home from school. Very stormy.

Tues. 21 Mar.’99. Very deep snow. Driven to and from school. Had only 13 in class. Rec’d letter from Mary N….

Wed. 22 Mar. ’99. Snowing a little in the morning. Roads still heavy. Not a cold day. Had a class of 11.

Thurs . 23 Mar. ’99. Still drifting. Drove to school. Had only 11. Roads still very deep. Rec’d letter from Brudenell & none from Ag or Jen.

Fri. 24 Mar. ’99. Went to school. Rec’d a telegram saying Mary was very sick. Mr. McCrea drove me to Calabogie. Reached K. at 5 pm found that Mary had died at 6 a.m.

Sat. 25 Mar. ’99. Sad day. Ag & Mrs. Shields came up on the evening train. Dr. McC came home Sat 4 am remained up Sat night.

Sun. 26 Mar. ’99. Went to 6:30 Mass at House of P……. A fine day. Mary’s funeral at 2:30 p.m. A very large one. Very lonesome.

Mon. 27 Mar. ’99. Ag went home at 7 p.m.

Tues… Friday 28 Mar to 31 Mar. Very lonesome time.

Sat. 1 Apr. ’99. Ag came up again. Very pleasant surprise.

Sun. 2 Apr. ’99. Nothing out of the ordinary. Ag and I lounged.

Mon. 3 Apr. ’99. All the Gananoque people up. Ag went home with them. Miss Roach & H & M Short called, also Mary & Dr. McC…

Tues. 4 Apr. ’99. Mary Nolan & M. Pogue came over.

Wed & Thurs. 5 & 6 ’99. H. of P. Bazaar going on.

Frid 7 Apr ’99. Rained all day. “Saver” in City Hall. Called on Mrs. Ferrier. {cannot interpret “Saver” or Sawer?}

Sat. 8 Apr’99. Called on Mary Nolan and Clara O_.

Sun. 9 Apr.’99. Rather raw day. Went to Vespers. Dr. McC and Mary came down. Said “Au Revoir”

Mon 10 Apr. ’99. Left home at 11:50 – for Springtown. Pa, Jen& Jim down to train. Very lonesome. Reached here about 5:30 and had to give vent.


2 thoughts on “January 14, 2015 – The beginning of the long sadness”

  1. What a gold mine. You are so fortunate to find the diary. Being a McCrea, the daughter of Charles McCrea and granddaughter of Jim McCrea of Springtown, I find this fascinating. I would love to hear, and know more. I have always been interested in the history of the family and surrounding area, and wondered where all the distant cousins went as it was a large family. We still have property in Springtown.


    1. Ido feel so lucky to have found this diary in my grandmothers belongings. There are also some lovely sketches she did of there or an earlier placement. Reading the diary gave me insight into this lovely woman and the pain she carried throughout her life. My mother hated anything to do with death and I wonder if being the oldest child she inherited her feelings from her mothers. I am glad you are getting to read about the kindness of your ancestors to this woman in such a sad time in her life


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