I have often read about house and barn raisings and it always seemed like a party -- and perhaps it was. However in reading the diary, one gets the feel that the raising of a house or barn was just one of the necessities that was done in the course of life, like digging potatoes, cutting hay, thrashing, planting.
To me, one of the most notable parts of daily life in 1850s Springdale, Wisconsin, was the strong sense of community and neighbor helping neighbor, which was indeed a necessity in that time and place. Nonetheless, in my heart of hearts, I believe that it would have been nice to live in 1850s Springdale.
Journal Entries for
November 11, 1850 through November 30, 1850
Novr 11 Monday Thrashing for Mr. Paton.
" 12 Tuesday " " " "
" 13 Wednesday " " " " & Daniel Lester
" 14 Thursday " " " " & John Eadie. Received letter from Ann Adamson.
" 15 Friday Working at my house – logs. Posted letters to Ann Adamson & Robt Brand.
" 16 Saturday Working at my house – logs.
" 17 Sunday At Mssers Paton and Beats.
" 18 Monday Working at my house – logs.
" 19 Tuesday Wm. Beats with his own & Mr. Lamonts oxen hauled the balance of my logs.
" 20 Wednesday Working at my house - logs.
" 21 Thursday DO “ “ “ “
" 22 Friday DO “ “ “ “ & Mr. Miles.
" 23 Saturday DO “ “ “ “
" 24 Sunday Called on Brown and Rutherford to come to my raising.
" 25 Monday Mr. Anderson hewed my wall plates in forenoon
Mr. John Eadie fitted joist in afternoon.
" 26 Tuesday Raised my house, assisted by Messers Anderson, Miles, Menzies, John & James Eadie, Mitchell, Dd. Beat, G. Davidson, J. McDonald Jr., Dan Lester, Wm. Thomson, and Mr. Lamont and his oxen.
" 27 Wednesday Working at my house.
" 28 Thursday DO DO Assisted by Mr. Anderson in the forenoon.
" 29 Friday At the saw mill for lumber. Mr. Cummings chinked the lower part of my house.
" 30 Saturday At Mr. Miles raising forenoon. Working at my house afternoon.
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© Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications