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History Lives Here Text

Laketown Township,1873,Day by Day

William B. Smalley, who lived in Laketown Townshipjust north of Saugatuck, kept diaries for many years. May Francis Heathincluded parts of some of the books in her 1930 book. The Society has recently acquiredthe diary for 1873 from the Brown estate. The school house he mentions isprobably the one at Gibson. For a living Smalley did small carpentry jobs, soldfirewood, and sharpened saws. He did most of his shopping at the H. D. Moorestore that was operated in conjunction with a sawmill, located where the ElboRoom now stands. Notice how the schoolteacher, was moved from place to place.



1 Cold again today but not snowing. Sammy and I wentto town and changed his coat for a smaller one. Got a fare 1/4 of beef of H. D.Moore weight 170# at 5 3/4 cents per pound. James Judkins brought itup as far as John Zwemers. I drew it on a hand sleigh from there home.


2. Raining and freezing this morning but snowingbefore noon. Cut some wood in the morning, then went and worked on Schoolhouse 1/2day. raining agin this evening, snow settling quite fast.


3. Froze this morning and snowing most of the day andwind blowing hard from S.W. Filed cross cut saw in the morning then went andworked on the schoolhouse 1/4 of a day. McClair came here in themorning. McClair [the McClairs were neighbors] and George came todinner, cold and blowing hard this evening.


4. Snowed some in the forenoon and blowed from NW Cutsome wood in the morning then went and worked on school house privy

1/z day.Still snowing a little this evening.


5.Still snowing this morning and a little most of the day. McClair came here inthe forenoon and we went and cleared out the school house. Sammy went to townto Sunday school and got my Sun and Tribune.

6. Rather cold in the morning but more moderatethrough the day. 'Vent to the schoolhouse in the morning and built fire andmade some doors for privy. Filed McCluirs saw. Cut some wood, then shoveledsome snow out of the road.


7. Pleasant and not very cold, shoveled road some inthe morning. Daniel brought me a Trefoil hog weighing 264 1/8 # at 5cents per LB McCluir came and got his saw and brought it back just before noonfor me to shorten the teeth. Then he went to town. Came back in the evening andbrought me some salt & meat.


8. Cold, snowing and blowing hard all day. Did not domuch today, cut some wood, split it and git in the house. McCluir took his teamand brought the teacher and children home from school at night.


9. Still snowing and blowing. Went over to theschoolhouse in the morning and built a fire. Came home and cut up my hog andsalted it. Cut a little wood, still cold and stormy this evening.


10. Still cold and snowing but not quite so windy.Rubbed our hams and shoulders with salt and settled the brine and put it on thepork. Then went to Wallins and git my axe and some window sash. Came home andcut some wood. A little warmer this evening. the teacher gone home thisevening.


11. Not quite as cold today and not snowing. finisheda window frame and put it in in the forenoon. git out a hole of potatoes andcut some wood in afternoon. found 1/2 bushel of potatoes froze. Spent 4days in all fixing house for Wallin.


12.More warm today and a little misty towards night. children all gone to town toSunday school. got back just at night. Mr. Titus sent his team to bring themhome. George McCluir came over and brought us some milk.

13. Rained most of the night and misty all day. washedsome frozen potatoes and boiled them to save them and worked about an hour onhair press modelle went out in the woods to see if I could find a turkey. sawtwo fly over the field. did not get any. cut some wood at night. freezing thisevening.


14 Froze a little last night, not very cold today.fixed some more meat to day cut some wood and done the chores. took one halveout of my axe and put on another one. cold and windy this evening, playedauthors in the evening.


15. Still thawing, rained and snowed in the night andlowry all day. sprinkled by spells all day. worked on hair press modelle onehour. fixed a handle on shanty door. went over to McCluirs and got some milk.Jenny gone to town, raining this evening.


16. Froze some last night and rained, snowed and windblowed. growing colder all day. made some mortar and plastered upstairs some.done the chores and worked on hair press modelle about one hour.


17. cold and pleasant all day but cold N wind. wentover to W Pratts and carried some flour home and got some sugar and eggs of Mrs.McClair. come home and cut and split some wood. Fred Taylor come after theteacher just as night.


18. Cold and pleasant all day. went to town inforenoon and got my mail, an axe and some groceries and came home towardsnight. cold and pleasant out this evening.


19. Snowing a little today and blowing quite cold.staid at home all day and made an axe helm and fitted it in my new axe. Sammyand Hattie gone to Saugatuck to Sunday school, came home in afternoon. Jennynot back yet.


20Snowed a little last night, misty this morning and freezing. went down to Dunnsshop and ground my new axe and git a book for the school district to keep therecords in, got some soap to Mr. Griners.


21 Snowing some today but not very cold. fixed the crosscut saw, sawed some wood, split it and got it in.


22 A few flurries of snow today. not very cold. fixedthe cross cut saw and sawed some wood for Harry Holt.


23 Cold and wind blowed hard all day and snowing mostof the day. filed saw in forenoon, done nothing but chores in afternoon andread some. still snowing and blowing this evening.


24 Wind gone down, not so cold. snowing a little thisafternoon. cut some wood at the house.


25 Not quite as cold today but snowing a little. gotsome wood at the house in forenoon and cut wood for Harry Holt in afternoon.Sammy went to town today and got my Tribune and Sun.


26 Snowing a little but not very cold. staid at homeall day. McClair and family here this afternoon and took supper with us.


27 The weather about the same as yesterday with alittle snow, put some meat to smoking and cut some wood at the house. snowingsome this evening.


28 More cold today and snowing a little and blowingsome from the N. went out and cut some wood for Harry Holt in forenoon. anddraw in some wood to the house in the afternoon, cold and pleasant thisevening. played authors in the evening.


29Very cold and pleasant all day, wind partly S. cut some wood in forenoon andwent to town in afternoon. got my Tribune and some things at Moores and some at the drug store. git a ridedown and back part of the way.

30 Not quite so cold today but cloudy all day. snoweda little in the afternoon, cut some wood at the house. played authors in theevening.


31 Did not feel very well all day on account of badcold. all I done was the chores.





1 Feeling a little better today. pared and cut someapples for mince pies in the forenoon. cut some wood in the afternoon. came verynear to falling out of my chair about 11 at night with dizziness.


2 Lay in my bed all day with giddiness and sickness atthe stomach. John McClair here just a night and got an order on town treasurerfor our school money.


3 A little warmer and raining some in the afternoon.feel a little better tonight but not able to do anything my head is not rightyet.


4 Colder again today and a few flurries of snow, didnot get out of the house much. Mouth feeling a little better. Mrs. McClair herein afternoon.


5 Pleasant and rather cold day. feeling some better.went out and cut some wood in forenoon, my head was so giddy I had to stop.went towards night and cut some more. went to school house in evening and gotmy paper that Hattie left there. clear pleasant and still this even.


6 warm and pleasant all day with heavy frost thismorning. read some in the morning, then cut some wood. John and James McClairhere this evening.


7Warm and pleasant `tit toward night, then it snowed a little. cut some wood anddrawed it up to the house. then went out in the woods to see if l could find astick for an axe handle. did not find a good one.

8. Snowing by spells most of the day. did not doanything. Miss Clara Welcher and Miss Caroline Kennedy here in afternoon andstayed to tea. Fuzzy in afternoon.


9 Froze quite hard last night and heavy frost thismorning. pleasant all day. Sammy went to town, the rest of us went to McClairsand staid to dinner. Sammy went there when he came home. Mr, and Mrs. Dole wereat Mc and took dinner and we rode home with him.


10 Froze hard last night but thawing today. did notfeel well today. put some more meat to smoking in the forenoon and cut somewood in the afternoon. raining a little this evening.


11 Cold but pleasant most of the day. cut some wood inthe forenoon and went to town in the afternoon. Mrs. McClairs, his little girland James McClair here to dinner and staid most of the afternoon. SusieBruechman here to supper and stay all night.


12 Susie went away after she got her breakfast, didnot feel very well and did not do much only cut a little wood.


13 Cold and pleasant all day. put some more meat tosmoking and cut and split some wood and drawed it to the house.


14 Cold and cloudy all day and a few flurries of snow.McClair came over here and I went and helped him cut some timber for his barn,cut a little wood just at night. worked 1/4 of day for McClair.


15 Cold this morning, cloudy but pleasant in themiddle of the day. went with Mr. McClair and cut timber and logs for his barn.worked 3/4 of day, yesterday 1/4 making 1 day.


16More warm and thawing today, not very well today, my tonsils inflamed andswollen so they almost choke me by spells. Robert Moore came after my wife togo and take care of Hanna Moore. Sammy went to town and got my Sun, then toGrinners and git some soup.


17 Clear and pleasant all day. froze hard last night.stayed in the house most of the day and shelled corn. Mrs. W. Pratt here in theafternoon. I cut a little wood just at night.


18 Did not get freeze last night and thawing all dayand pleasant, went down to Dunns shop in forenoon and ground my axe, then wentto town got my Tribune, sent a letter to the publishers of Smiths PatternBazaar, got a diary for 1873 at Ensigns. Stopped to see H. Moore. M is littlebetter.


19 Froze again but pleasant but cold wind all day. cuta little wood in the morning. then mad a horse to file cross cut saws on.McClair come over here at noon and brought his saw for me to fix and took mineand I filed his saw. pleasant this evening.


20 Froze last night, cold in the morning but thawingin the middle of the day and snowed towards night. Cut a little wood in themiddle of the day and fixed McClairs saw in afternoon. gave Mr. Tidd an orderof six dollar for getting school wood.


21 Cold blowing and snowing most of the forenoon. coldand windy all day. staid in the house most of the day, went up to Suttons andgot a 2 x 4 whitewood for making stair railing for Ensign. my wife come homejust at night from H. D. Moores.


22 Cold and blustering all day with some snow. stayedat home all day and worked on stair rail for Mr. Ensign. cold and windy thisevening. killed the old Shanghai rooster this evening.


23 Very cold night, cold all day and snowing some andblowing. staid at home a1 day. McClair and wife here in afternoon and helped useat some chicken. he took his saw home.


24Not quite as cold today but snowing a little in the afternoon filed on my crosscut saw most of the day. sawed a little wood just at night.

25 Not as cold last night or today, cloudy most of theday. covered a ball for Hattie in the morning, then cut and split wood the restof the day.


26 Rather moderate in forenoon getting some colder in afternoonand snowing quite hard towards night. went at town in forenoon and git my N.Gibson curried. some work to Ensign and some clothes to the H. D. Moore, gitsome things at drug store and at Moores.


27 Snowing all day steady but not very cold but windy.staid in the house most all day and read Americans Abroad John McClair herejust a night and left $20 for the teacher. I gave him an order for the same.


28 A little warmer to day and not snowing much. fixedsome brine on my meat in forenoon, cut some wood in afternoon, snowing a littlejust at night. pared and quartered and cored some apples for pies in theevening.





1 Pleasant all day and thawing in the sun. cut somewood in the forenoon and Sammy and I went to town in the afternoon. got somesyrup and kerosene. went to see Mr. Ensign, went to the post office and camehome.


2 Cold again today and snowing a little in forenoonbut pleasant most of the afternoon. staid at home all day. McClairs and wifehere and took dinner. the children went to town to Sunday school. Mrs. Thus andFred came and brought them home with their team. cold and windy this evening.



(To be Continued-page 344)