I have been thinking about putting some of Charles Diary on here just to see if people like it. Charles O’Connor was my gr grandfather. He was the younger son of two sons in a family of 11 children so in the end he inherited the farm at Long Point. His brother Michael had a farm down on Black Rapids Road for while that his father Daniel bought for him but he did not stay there.
Charles kept diaries for years and unfortunately his daughter Madeline transcribed what she could or wanted to and destroyed many of the pages of the original older diaries. But even so you do get a picture of farm life at the turn of the 19th century. Our school house is on a piece of the property so it is all very special to me. I started transcribing Charles diaries years ago. My cousin Mary and I decided we would each take a book and transcribe it. She never did hers but I have so far gotten through 1919 which most of which are his original diaries. I find it terribly fascinating to read about life and death of those years and how they entertained themselves to much.
Social life on the farm was amazing. If you did not like seeing people it would probably drive you crazy since hardly a day went by without someone coming to see them or they going somewhere to visit. They lived across the street from the school house so they housed teachers often and when there were any problems at the school house they would call them for help. My great grandmother Emily came from a large family and she was very close to them as was Charles to his family. As a result many of their frequent visitors were his or her nieces and nephews or siblings. I will try to ID those who are relatives for my cousins who are reading this.
Lena Flood – Ellen Cecilia Flood daughter of Bridget O’Connor – sister of Charles and Anthony Flood; Herb McArdle – son of John McArdle – brother of Emily and Mary Anne O’Connor – no relationship to our O’Connors; Marie McArdle – sister of Emily; Donnelly boys sons of Catherine McArdle – sister of Emily and James Donnelly; Bertha Slack granddaughter of Benjamin Slack and Joanna O’Connor – sister of Charles; Fergus – my grandfather son of Charles and Emily; John McDonald and Annie O’Connor McDonald – sister of Charles; Stevens children – of Mary Elizabeth McArdle and Samuel James Stevens of Athens. I will see if I have pictures of these folks on the ipad or this machine I
- Stevens family; 2. Some of the McArdle siblings; 3. Siblings of Charles O’Connor; 4. Emily McArdle O’Connor
So here is the start which was heavily edited by Madeline O’Connor
Notes from my Father’s diary. Paper of original yellowed and tearing so I am destroying after copying lines I can read – many lines I cannot.
June 1898 – continued from Black covered note book
June 16 thurs. Fine day. John Nixon came to buy cow. Prices are up and he pays $32.
June 17 – Fergus home from Athens and he goes to Delta to get Lena Flood.
June 18 – Saturday – went to picnic all day and eve. Very dark night but no accidents leaving grounds.
June 19 – Sunday – the Donnelly boys, McArdle girls, Herb, Bertha Slack – all here from last night. Lots of fun.
Monday June 20 – Big showers today.
Tuesday June 21 – Picnic profit $13.92. Another community meeting in school re: mail.
Wed 22 June – I go to Gan. Sam Cross helps to hoe potatoes.
Thursday June 23 – Emily and I in Gan.
June 24 – Fine day. Home from Gan.
June 25 – Saturday – I took mare to Lyndhurst as she had to be shood on one foot. Fine day.
June 26 – Took Fergus to Newboro to visit his friends, the Singletons. They welcome him. He stays.
June 27 – busy at potatoes
June 28 – drove up to Larows at Charleston Lake.
June 29 – Sam Cross here wanting work so I let him hoe potatoes
June 30 – Thursday – Had new potatoes for dinner.
July 1 – very, very hot
July 2 – went to Gananoque bought a suit of clothes for $4.50.
July 3 –Sunday – Terribly hot. Fergus and I went to Mass.
July 4 – Fergus and I go to pick berries.
July 5 – commenced to mow.
July 6 – mowed and raked. Lent Mrs. Lappan $6.00
July 7 – took Fergus to crossing early. James Berry looking for work so I take him on to help haying.
July 8 – rainy and hot.
July 9 – Fergus stays to write exams.
July 10 – Sunday – Emily, Madeline and I at McArdles.
July 11 – Heavy frost, big surprise.
July 12 – No more haying.
July 13 – warmer, put up hay.
July 14 – Mr. Berry back again.
July 15 – Went to Athens for Fergus. Seems satisfied re exam. He certainly deserves success and Emily and I thank God for such a son.
July 16 – Factory milk money $20.00
July 17 – Quiet day of rest
July 18 – Emily sent $20 to K and Rogers
July 19 – 20, 21, 22, 23 to dim to read – probably work of the season
July 24 – went to Mass then to John and Annie McDonalds.
July 25 – Monday – fine hot day. Draw in rye for Lappan.
July 26 – Went to R. Tyes bee. Maria comes this eve.
July 27 – Steven’s children here.
July 28 – fine day – helped Lappan
July 29 – Steven’s went to Donnelly’s.
July 30 – Work around fences cutting out hay. Went to Seeleys Bay in eve.
July 31 – visit with Maria all day.
August 1 – Emily sold turks to Dr. Cornett
August 2 – Helped Lappan to get in wheat then cut peas.
August 3 – Emily and Maria happy visiting together
August 4 – rolled peas and gound wheat.
August 5 – Big rain.
August 6 – James Berry helps me today. Poor man. Hard on pride.
August 7 – Emily and Fergus take Marie to Donnellys. Madeline and I stay home. She does not mind and plays with her dolls most of day.
August 8 – Fergus and I helped Berry cut and draw in his bit of hay.
August 16 – Tuesday – visited more of day. George and JW were here all day.
August 17 – went to Gan today. All happy to hear Fergus had passed. No surprise of course but always to know for sure.
August 18 – commenced to plow.
August 19 – Friday – ploughed all day
August 20 – Fergus goes to Athens. He has been a wonderful help and we have tried to have him enjoy it and he has had little visits here and there and has seemed quite happy.
August 21 – Sunday – cattle lost so look all day until we found them.
August 22 – threshing time again.
August 23 – Heavy. Fergus goes to South Lake to visit Maggie Featherstone. Henry and Lottie arrive.
August 24 – Threshed at Burns
August 25 – Threshed at D. Townsend
August 26 – Get ready for threshers. Steven’s bring Maria back here.
August 27 – Threshed all day . 72 bus wheat. 58 barley and 52 peas and 170 oats.
August 28 – Sunday – Fergus takes Maria to Donnelly’s.
August 29 – Fergus helps Bryans.
August 30 – Emily and I go to Lyndhurst to shop for Madeline’s birthday. Ellen takes her to Flat Rock and picks some high bushed huckleberries, then makes pie, Madelines favorite.
August 31 – Fitted ground today.