Henry E. Brewster Diary 1851


Nathan B. Williston's House

Drawn By Henry E. Brewster On Tuesday, April 30th, 1850

One Door North Of The Williston Stone Building

Main Street, East Side, Looking North-West


Saturday, June 14th, 1851.

I have resolved to keep a Journal of passing events, partly for my own occupation and amusement, but more particularly to have some record to look back upon, if I live to grow up to manhood, and see how the days of my youth were passed. And I may perhaps add another motive, that of pleasing and amusing my friends, although I confess the latter cause did not weigh remarkably heavy on my mind.--It has been the first real summer day we have had, and to one who has watched the clouds and wind as closely--and none but a sick person can--as myself, it is, to say the least, quite acceptable. I rode with Margarette over West-River this morning and then left her to call on Lucia Farr while I did my business in the street. This afternoon it rained a short time and now--5oclock--it is very pleasant. Grandmother left us yesterday for Hartford and we had a letter from there to-night informing us of her safe arrival.

Sunday 15th.

Quite warm and pleasant to-day but rather cloudy. Mr. Clapp preached in the morning and Mr. Geo. Tyler in the afternoon. I did not go to church. It is nine weeks ago to day since I attended church at Northampton and I was taken sick that week and of course have not been since. Mr. E. Sawyer came up last night from E. Hampton and brought Margarette a letter from Grandfather. We still have to have fires every morning and evening it is so cold.

Monday June 16th.

It rained when I awoke this morning and as I took some cold last week I have got to be very careful. Mother told Maria this morning that she was going to Boston on Wednesday, with a party, to hear Jenny Lind sing. Of course, she was very much delighted. It is a miserable kind of a day, cold & sour
I wrote a letter to Charley Mead this afternoon. Dr. Dickerman came over this forenoon and told me to take pills of Belladona and Ipecac. Charley came up this evening.

Tuesday 17th.

It was very foggy this morning but cleared away at about 9 o'clock. Helen Dwinell has been taken quite sick. I should think she was taken some as I was but I hope she will get over it quicker. Father came home to-night about sick and the Dr. is afraid he is going to have a run of fever.

Wednesday 18th.--

I had rather a poor time last night. The pills that the Dr. gave me made me sick so that I vomited &c in the night and I feel miserably to-day. Mother was up most of the night with father. He is better this morning and may get along without a fever. Maria had given up going to Boston but we all thought she had better go and she did. H. Dwinell was very sick last night but she is better this morning and they think she may get along. It has been quite warm to-day.

Thursday 19th

Father dressed and came down this morning quite smart. We all took breakfast in the sitting-room together at about 8. The masons began to plaster the house this morning. I rode out with Margarette. We went over Prospect Hill and came down into the Vernon road by "Dummer farm". It has been a beautiful day but rather hot. Father went down street this afternoon very slyly. I think he is very imprudent.

Friday 20th

It was very bright early this morning but soon clouded over and is preparing to rain. Father went to the store this morning. I rode again with M. today to Algiers and home over the old road. We go every day almost, somwhere we never went before. Maria came home this noon all used up--feet blistered- sore thumb- tired to death &c. Yesterday we picked the first lot of Strawberries off of our beds and to day we got a quart or more. I went over and bought some Poland eggs of Mr. Clapp and sett a hen on them this afternoon.

Saturday 21st.

Rode with M. out to Algiers and home by the way of Broad Brook. We picked a good many Strawberries today. This afternoon I went down to Mr. Burnham's garden. It looks just about right.

Sunday 22nd.

Very hot day. Geo. Tyler preached all day. I thought I would go to church in the afternoon but did not feel very well at noon and so staid at home.

Monday 23.

The new Railroad opens today. Dr. D. came over this morning and thought I had better take Cod Liver Oil so I am going at it. The carpenters began to work on the sitting-room today. It is a very wet, miserable day.

Tuesday June 24.

A rainy, foggy, morning. They are taking down the chimney in the girls' room to-day. The Oil is the meanest stuff to take that I ever saw & perfectly hateful. Rev. Mr. Clapp- formerly of Easthampton- called here last evening to see father. My mouth is very sore today but I guess not as bad as yesterday. I have considerable cough now.

- - -Wednesday 25th.

I rode this morning with Mother to Algiers to speak for some brick. We were passed by a train of cars down in the meadow which looked finely. Mr. Tyler and J- n have gone to Bellows-Falls to attend the State convention. They got back in the afternoon. Through in 45 m--24 miles.

Thursday 26th.

Dr. Dickerman left this morning for N. Y. via Boston and New London. He will be gone a week or ten days. I rode again with Mother, up in town &c. An excursion train left this morning for the Falls. Our boy "Barney", left, in it but I suppose he will come back. I walked over to the railroad to-night with Mother and stopped in at Mr. Steen's new house.

Friday 27th.

Mr. Sawyer called up here this morning with his little boy Henry; he is quite a pretty boy and has got so that he talks considerably. I went down to the Junction & back in the forenoon, had the pleasure of Mr. S's company going down. There is a good deal of rivalry between the two roads to see which will get to the Falls first as the C. R.R.R. train leaves a few moments before the Valley train.

Saturday 28th.

Last night, after tea, I walked with Mother and Maria across the common and out to the River bank. It is the first time I have been out after tea. I went down and got a horse this morning and rode with Margarette on the Hinsdale road. It is very warm, and was "about the same" yesterday. I brightened up the old clock and made it look quite respectable. Went to Pratt, Wheeler & Co's and bought a coat, pants, and vest- got quite tired- came home and went to sleep.

Sunday 29th.

Foggy morning, but very hot day. I went to church this forenoon for the first time since I have been sick. Margarette also went, and I believe it is still longer since she went before than since I went. Mr. Clapp preached a very fine sermon in the morning, from Revelations, about the heavenly city as there described. It is a great privelige to be able to go to church again. In the afternoon a minister from Worcester preached. Mr. E. H. Sawyer and Chloe M. Bigelow were propounded to be admitted, next Sunday, to the church.

Monday 30th.

We sent a large basket of Strawberies &c down to Grandmother this morning. I went down to the Depot and staid some time in the forenoon and went again in the afternoon. It has been a very hot day indeed. I covered two frames with "mosquito cloth" to put in the window. Went to walk after tea with Mother and the girls.

July 1st. 1851.

It was raining when I awoke and has been showery all day. It cleared up before dark. I made a mould and cast a block of lead to go in a "Guillotine" that I am making to kill hens with. I have been in the house all day. Jenny Lind sings at Northampton on the 3rd. inst.

Wednesday 2nd.

I rode on horseback this morning with Chas. Thompson. Had a very pleasant time. I worked on my machine this afternoon. Mr. Clapp called this afternoon, and Mrs. Stone came in and staid to tea. Mother went to the church meeting in the evening and I slept on the bed while she was gone.

Thursday 3rd.

This morning I rode to Guilford with father was rather tired when we got home as it was afternoon. I walked down street after resting awhile, to get my pantaloons &c. but they were not done. They are making extensive preparations to celebrate the 4th here tomorrow in good style. Excursion trains are to be run on the valley road and if it is a fair day a great many are expected from abroad. There were 25 or 30 persons went down this afternoon, from here, to hear Jenny sing, among them were Mr. & Mrs. Tyler. It looks tonight as if we might have rain tomorrow but I hope not.

Friday 4th.

It commenced raining last night at 9oclock and has rained all day till 4oclock. I did not set my foot out doors till evening, when I went over to Mr. Dwinell's to see the fireworks. They went off very well; lasted over an hour. I believe it is the first rainy 4th we have ever had. There were not near as many persons here as were expected, on account of the rain. The oration came off at the High School and the dinner at the Wantastiquet. The girls went to the fair, at the chapel, in the afternoon and bought a few things. I guess it was rather a poor affair.

Saturday 5th.

A very fine day, cool and comfortable. I went to ride with Henry Wait on the ponies in the morning and enjoyed it very much. We went over West River and when the cars came down over the bridge they frightened my pony so that he plunged and wheeled at a great rate but I managed to stay on. After that we rode around Thomasville and then to the stable. I went to the Depot to see the Southern train come up and then came home and lay down. This afternoon I went to the store and staid a little while, brought home a couple of cocoanuts and some oranges.

Sunday 6th.

I went to church in the morning and I think I should in the afternoon but my ride yesterday made me so lame that I can hardly walk. E. Sawyer and Miss Bigelow united with the church by profession and P. H. White and wife by letter. Mr. Clapp preached all day. In the morning his sermon was almost a continuation of the one last Sabbath only he described the condition of the saints in heaven, instead of heaven itself.

Monday July 7th 1851.

It was cloudy in the morning and we all thought it would rain but it cleared up and has been a very fine day. I went to ride with Charley in the afternoon to Algiers via Broad Brook. After that I 'tended store a little while and then came home. Mr. Gilbert came to work again to day for the first time since he was sick. A new Engine for the Valley road, came up yesterday, named Putney. It is exactly like the "Dummerston." We ate the last of our Strawberries for tea tonight.

Tuesday 8th.

We have been talking some time about going to Bellows-Falls and this morning we concluded to go. Father, Mother, Margarette and myself went. We rode to the Junction and there changed cars and took passage for Keene, found Mr. Fisher was also going to the same place. The road must have been quite expensive to build, until we come near Keene where it was very easy of construction. Keene is built on a very level plain something, I imagine, like a prairie on a small scale. The Monadnock is near and raises itself far above the other mountains. It is the highest mountain, I suppose, that I ever saw. We took a room and dined at the Cheshire House. I walked around with Mr. Fisher most of the time--had a good ice cream-felt pretty well and then left for the Falls. We went over the far-famed "Summit" and I had no idea, before, of the enormous work and expense it was to build railroads--rocks piled high above our heads for great distances, and as high a grade as possible to run on I suppose, make roads rather expensive. We passed a long cattle train with two Engines attached near the Summit and there was also another just leaving Keene as we started out. When we got to the Falls we took a coach for the "Island House" and it is a most spendid house. When we got a little rested and took tea we walked out in different directions. I went up and saw the new R. R. Bridge that the Sullivan Co. are building. In the evening I staid in our room some of the time and in the parlors the rest of the time. There is a cage for an Eagle who flew around in it "quite at home". From the Observatory or Cupola there was a fine view in all directions. A number of Brattleboro people were stopping at the house and of course it was very pleasant.

Wednesday 9th.

It rained considerably during the night and is cludy this morning. We took breakfast at 7oclock and then walked out with Mr. Mead who we found there on our arrival. At 8.50 we left for Home by the Valley road. It is a fine road to ride on, there is so much beautiful scenery by the river. We arrived home in safety before 10 and I have staid in the house all day since as it was damp and cloudy. We have to make a fire quite frequently it is so cold and damp. It is my birthday but we have done nothing to celebrate it. Dr. Dickerman came over this evening, he having arrived Tuesday morning.

Thursday July 10th.

I worked a little while on my Guilotine this morning and also on my hen coop as I expect my hen will come off tomorrow with some chicks. It rained pretty hard in the afternoon. Mr. Kingsley came to get mother to go and watch with his wife,--who is very sick,--tonight, and she is going.

Friday 11th.

It is a beautiful day and I have been fixing my chickens up in their new home. They began to hatch yesterday and this afternoon I took them out and put them in the coop. There are nine of them which I call a good hatch. I rode out with Maria this afternoon; we went up the new road to New-Fane some ways. Henry Reed got jammed between two cars, at B. Falls, and was brought down to-night. The Dr. thinks he will get over it. Mother went to meeting this eve.

Saturday 12th.

Another nice day. I found the chickens all right this morning but Mr. Tyler said he saw a skunk come out of John's hen-house last night. I must look out. I got a horse & rode up to the W. Village with Dr. D. and Henry Sawyer. Had a very good time. Barney talks of going home today.

Sunday 13th.

A beautiful day. I went to church in the morning and heard a very solemn and impressive sermon by Mr. Swift of Northampton who preached all day. I did not go in the afternoon as I was too tired. I cannot tell how long I shall be permitted to go to church and it becomes me to look well at my heart and see wherein my hope consists.

Monday 14th.

Still pleasant weather although rather warm in the middle of the day. After taking care of my chickens I went down to the Livery and took a saddle-horse. I did not ride but half an hour as it is a hard exercise for me. I staid at the Depot some time and then came home & went to bed. In the afternoon I finished my Guilotine and watched my chickens. The masons set our arch-kettle in the afternoon and the others are hanging doors &c.

Tuesday 15.

This morning I rode with Margarette up by Mr. Rice's and came over the West River home by the NewFane road. It is the longest ride I have taken I should think. It was quite hot in the forenoon but a shower in the afternoon cooled the air some. Dr. Dickerman came over towards night. He thought I had better take my Oil three times a day.

Wednesday 16.

Very warm day. I went down to the Depot and staid some time and then went into Dwinell's Furniture-rooms with mother to look for a bureau for my new room. I did not ride as it was so hot. After tea I went with mother over to Mr. Steen's house and then down to Mr. Clapp's, to look at his garden. It was very fine. I have not been down street, so late, before since I was sick.

Thursday 17th.

I did not feel very well this morning and as it was so very hot I staid at home till after tea when I went to ride with Maria. We wrote to Grandmother this afternoon.

Friday July 18th.

Father is sick this morning. His head is dizzy and he is sick at his stomach. He had the Dr. who says he is not going to be sick much. I went down street and "laid round" a spell, went to "Carpenter's" and sent for some back nos. of the Age so we can have ours bound. It is very warm to-day. After tea I rode with Mother up to Mrs. Clark's and had a very pleasant time. Father is better to-night.

Saturday 19.

It commenced raining in the night and rained more or less untill 9 o'clock when it cleared off and is very hot again. Mrs. Kingsley died last night. She has had a very severe and painful sickness. I went down to the Depot to see the cars come in, this afternoon. While I was there it clouded over and thundered some and by the time I got to the store it began to sprinkle. I went in and waited untill it held up and then came home. Afterwards it rained quite hard.

Sunday 20.

A beautiful day. I staid home from church in the morning and lost a very fine sermon by the means from Mr. Langstroth. I went in the afternoon and heard Mr. Stone an agent of the Home Missionary Soc. He was rather coarse and talked through his nose. I went to the funeral of Mrs. K. after meeting. It was attended by Mr. Clapp. Chas. Mead came up last night and although I was at the Depot I did not see him. I saw him at the gate when I came home. This evening Charles T. came up and sang a little while.

Monday July 21.

A warm pleasant day. I went down to Chas. Mead's after breakfast and found him washing his buggy. When he got through he took his horse over to get his harness, and then we was going to ride but the harness was not done and so he could not go. In the afternoon I staid at the store a little while and then went to the Depot, as usual. Charley came down there and we waited for the cars. The Valley-train was an hour and a half late as they had to wait at the Falls. I rode with Mother after tea. I think I shall go to B.Falls tomorrow with Chas. Mead.

Tuesday 22.

Jerry sawed his thumb this morning so that he had to leave his work. I had to dress up to go to the "falls" and Charley came up for me before I was quite ready but we soon left for the Depot. While on our way we saw C. Goodhue who thought he had better go, much to our annoyance. We met Jerry at the Depot and as there was still half an hour he said he would go home,"fix up," and go with us. Finally it turned out that A. Hall and H. Wait were going up too. We did not like quite so many, but we all went. When we got there, about noon, we went to the Island House and as I was tired I took a room and lay down before dinner. At one we had dinner which, of course, was firstrate. After that we went up in my room (Jerry, Charley and I) and ate some very fine mangos which we had at dinner. I got a horse and buggy then, and all three of us went to ride. We rode all through the village and some ways out and back to the house in time to pay our bills before the cars left, which was at 3 1/2 o'clock. We arrived home at 4.20 and at the Depot met Frank Cune who came up by the Southern train. He has not grown much but has altered some in the face. I guess he is glad to get home after an absence of 15 months although he will not see his father, who died since he left. The liquor dealers in the village have been prosecuted to-day and John Ray and Mr. Rice were fined. Capt. Lord was sick and had his trial postponed on that account. I hope they will follow up the good work till liquor ceases to be sold openly in the village.

Wednesday 23.

I did nothing this forenoon but stay at the store an hour or two. It is very hot. At 5o'clock I got a team and Charley and I went to look for his horse who strayed from the yard this morning. We rode up the new road and down the old stopping at every house to inquire if they had seen a horse go by. At last when we came down to John Wells' they told us that he had gone up into their pasture. So I sat in the buggy while Chas. went up in the pasture. In about 20 minutes he came back with the horse and we drove home feeling very well satisfied with our success. Charley is going back to Springfield next Monday.

Thursday July 24.

It has rained all day and I have been at home. I made a hog-trough for Mr. Currier this afternoon. He is doing the painting. Mr. Haywood left work last night and started for Canada this morning where he goes to visit friends.

Friday. 25.

I staid at home untill after dinner and then went down to Chas. Mead's. I found him just starting off for Northfield. He wished to have me go with him but I thought it might rain and so declined. I went with Mother after tea to look at Paper Hangings for the new rooms. I selected the paper for my room at Wheeler and Day's and Mother looked at some for the other rooms but did not decide. When we arrived at the store we met Gen. Harvey who came up to the house and spent some time.

Saturday 26.

Charley Mead came up this morning to ask me to ride. We went up over West River and fastened the horse to a tree and after picking a few blackberries we walked out to the railroad to see the cars go by. Bill and Fred were with us and also John Crandall. When we got ready we came home. Larkin came up at noon from Greenfield and Dick Bradley came in the afternoon train from New-York. I rode around the village after tea- with Larkin who says he is not going to remain at Greenfield but a month more. I bought some fancy paper to-night to paper boxes.

Sunday July 27.

It was quite pleasant untill about one o'clock when we had a very violent thunder shower which lasted about two hours and then cleared off bright. I went to church in the morning and should have gone in the afternoon but was prevented by the rain. Mr. Clapp preached all day. His sermon in the morning was about the individuallity of each person and was a very able and solemn discourse.

Monday 28.

There was an Eclipse of the sun this morning but in consequence of the clouds we could not see the critter. I partly papered a box to day for Margarette. It has been rainy and cold almost all day. It cleared off so that I rode up to Mrs. Clark's with mother, before tea. We found that she had the back numbers of the Age which we had sent for and so father countermanded the order.

Tuesday 29.

Cold and rainy. Had a fire all day and I staid in the house. Dr. Dickerman came over and saw me in the morning. He thinks of going to Hanover, to Commencement, this afternoon. One can go up in three hours. I finished my box and varnished it to day. Henry Smith came here to dinner this noon. He has been in the place several days.

Wednesday 30.

Still cold and rainy. We want a fire as much almost as in winter. It does not rain all the time but only by snatches. Maria and I rode up over the river before dinner but got caught in the rain.

Thursday 31.

The sun shone this morning until about nine o'clock and then it clouded over again and has been the same as yesterday. I feel rather dull. In the afternoon I went to the store and staid a short time; bought some more fancy paper at Steen's--received a very fine letter from Edmund and came home. The Dr. got home from H. today and came over to see me this evening.

Friday-August 1st.

The weather has been very much the same as yesterday. I have not done much but commence a couple of boxes. This evening Mrs. Rockwell called to see mother but as she had gone to the meeting she spent the evening with "we children," and and we had a fine time.

Saturday 2nd.

This morning it was pleasant and has been very hott all day. I rode up in town with Margarette in the morning and worked on the boxes in the afternoon. Such weather I never saw.

Sunday 3.

I went to church in the forenoon and Mr. Clapp preached. I was too tired to go in the afternoon. A stranger preached. It has been a very pleasant day. Mother went to the concert in the evening.

Monday 4.

It has been cold and cloudy and I have had a fire in my room all day. I got a few of my tools into the house and made a small box for Aunt Catherine.

Tuesday August 5.

The Dr. came over this morning It is cold as it was yesterday although it cleared up some at noon. The Dr. said I had better sleep in the air unless it really rained. I had a present of a Saw from W.& T. today to pay for saving a bad debt for them. I also bought a smooth plane.

Wednesday 6.

Quite a warm day. I took a horse and buggy and went up the new road about four miles for the purpose of fishing. When I got there I found that I had left my bait at home and of course I could do nothing but ride home again. In the afternoon I went down to the Depot and saw the cars come in and go out. I bought the August No. of Harpers' Magazine of Carpenter. After tea mother and Margarette went to ride on horseback.

Thursday 7.

Maria and I rode horseback this morning. It was her first ride in this way. She rides quite well for a new beginner. We rode about to Mr. Wells' and then came home. We have had a thunder-shower this aftenoon and it is still rainy.

Friday 8.

It is very warm and pleasant. I went to S. Vernon on the cars this morning. I answered Edmund's letter this afternoon and then went to the Office and mailed it. The painters finished with us for the present. We shall be quiet now I hope.

Saturday 9th.

This morning it was rainy but it held up and I went over to see them pitch the tent for Barnum's mengerie, which exhibits here to-day. I staid in Uncle Steen's part of the forenoon as it was showery. In the afternoon Mother, Maria and myself went into the exhibition. We looked at the animals, and saw Tom Thumb go through part of his performance, when the tent began to blow up and down and there was a great rush for the door. I crept out under the canvass and ran for home. It rained before I arrived & I was so tired that I got to bed directly. The rain came down in torrents after I got into the house. Mother and M. came in about as soon as I did. We have got the carpet down, and the furniture into our sitting room and we feel pretty nice about it.

Sunday 10th.

A pleasant day. Mr. Clapp preached in the morning and Mr. Miller of Dummerston in the afternoon. I went in the morning as usual but not in the P.M.

Monday 11th.

I rode over on the mountain road with Dr. Dickerman who went to visit a patient. We are talking of taking a journey up to Mr. Walkers' as soon as possible. Mother thinks she will be able to get the house cleaned this week and then we shall go.

Tuesday 12th.

We were rather startled this morning by father's informing us that there was a murder committed in the street last evening by a foreigner who stabbed Peter Moore so that he died in two hours. The murderer was taken and to day he was examined and committed to jail to await his trial next month. The affair made quite an excitement in the street. I rode again this morning with the Dr. to the same house where we went yesterday. I had some conversation with Mr. Geo. Blake of Boston, yesterday and he advised me by all means to go a voyage to England for my health. He has had great experience in such a case as mine, he being himself consumptive. Today he has talked with father and evidently impressed him favorably on the subject. I find too that the Dr. is in favor of my going to the sea side and trying the effect of sea breezes on my constitution. I rode last night with Margarette. Mrs. Tyler left for Heath this morning to be gone two weeks.

Thursday 14.

I rode with mother this morning doing errands preparatory to going away. We have altered our minds and concluded to go direct to the sea shore at Bath L.I. We leave for Hartford Monday morning and go to N.Y. on the next day. I wrote to Aunt Maria to-day.

Friday 15.

I sold my hens today, to Mr Hadley and carried them up to his slaughter house. This afternoon I carried Margarette to call on Lucia Farr who has recently become engaged to a gentlman from N.Y.

Saturday 16th.

I rode out with Charley Thompson this morning. We took in a lot of old jugs at the house and carried them to the store. I then went down to the Deport and put Norry aboard the cars for Dummerston. She never rode in the cars before. In the afternoon I rode with Margarette over the hills to the West village. It was quite cold on the top of the hills. We met Dr. Bushnell of Hartford in the street when we were coming home. He is to supply Mr. Clapp's pulpit tomorrow. We found several letters from N.Y. and Hartford when we arrived home. Geo. Hollister and his mother called this evening. He is going to N.Y. Monday and expects to go a voyage for his health.

Sunday 17th.

It is a rainy day. I did not go to church in the morning and lost the privilege of hearing Dr. Bushnell preach. In the afternoon as it did not rain, Margarette & I went expecting to hear him but were very much disappointed to find another man in the pulpit. However he preached again in the evening and M. went. Mr. Woods of Utica, an old friend of father's, called in after church and took tea with us. After tea Dr. Dickerman came in and staid a few moments. Edmund called before the meeting and told us that he expected to be in N. York the fore part of the week and would call on us. The weather to-night does not look very promising.

Monday August 18th 1851.

I awoke quite early this morning and was much pleased to find it pleasant. We were kept very busy, in getting ready to start, until the last moment. I rode down street with father and got a few of the last things. Soon the coach came and after kissing all round we bade the girls Adieu. We left in the cars at 9.48 in company with Edmund and Geo. Hollister and met with nothing of note till we arrived at Springfield where we dined at the Hampden House. E. got off at Northampton. I saw Charley Mead at S. and delivered him a package from his father. We were soon off for Hartford where we arrived about 3 o'clock. Mother knows one of the Stockmen and we gave him our checks and then went into the Sitting Room and rested ourselves a few moments and then were carried up to Mr. Lincoln's. Grandmother, aunt Maria and the babies had gone out to ride not expecting us so late in the day, but the time has been changed on the railroad. I washed up and lay down on the bed to rest. The party soon came in and a right merry time we had talking and laughing. It really does one good to see Grandmother's face again. We talked until tea time and Uncle Charles came up from the office &c. After tea I was quite chilly and sat by the kitchen fire some time. We spent the evening very pleasantly in conversation, and thus ends our first days' travel.



Henry E. Brewster

Gravestone In Marlboro, New Hampshire

Photograph Credit Elizabeth Hoffman June 27, 2010


The Good Neighbor.

My friends, did you ever have a good neighbor? I think there has been one in our village, and that at no great distance of time or place. I think I see her now stepping lightly across the street, bearing in her slender hands some dainty for your next meal, or some root or slip from the last rare plant she had been cultivating; or perhaps she comes in playful mood, to show you some specimen of the latest fashion, never, with her, carried to its hideous height, but tempered by a taste in colors and arrangement, in itself a proof of delicacy of character. Her sympathy was unfailing; her farewell and her greeting always kept the track of your going and coming; the former always made the home you were leaving appear more valuable, and her welcome added sunniness to a return in itself joyful. Yet she was peculiarly free from any spirit of curiosity or interference. The smoothest of managers herself, she needed not the counsel of others, and, was too ladylike to let in the light on any privae annoyance, and appreciated time too highly to spend it in gossip over petty matters. And this shield of a discreet reticence was held up over her neighbors also. You never needed to regret that your premises were raked by those gentle and kindly eyes. If your lawn were uncut, your garden unweeded, your wood-pile uncared for, if your visitors were few or many, if they came or went at the most eccentric hours, it was no concern of hers, at least for cavil or criticism; on the other hand, if you placed a fair blossom in the window opposite hers, or let a ruddy jet of fire-light illumine your walls at the dark hours of twilight, the recognition came quickly---"How pleasant you look over the way there!"---"Your house enhances the value of ours"--or some such remark. And when sorrow brought the dark time, and the windows of the house of the soul were darkened, how sincere and unaffected her sympathy, expressed in a few words and brief gestures, more telling than many fulsome phrases of exaggerated condolence. The flow of her charity was not checked by any barriers of sect. Her conscience was too nicely balanced, she was too faithful and dutiful herself not to appreciate the fulfilment of duties in others, and to bow before beauty of character, although shown under a profession widely differing from her own. A devoted wife, an excellent housekeeper, an admirable mother, where the motherhood was only legal, but transformed by that "love which is the fulfilling of the law" into a real and beautiful relationship,---her loss will be widely felt, but nowhere more deeply, nor her example better appreciated than in her immediate neighborhood. She was not destined to take the gracious farewell of us which would have been characteristic of her. The Providence which she had always trusted led her by steep and difficult steps down through the "valley of the shadow," throwing a merciful veil over her brain the while, so that, like one blindfold and helpless, she descended, only to awake in the "regions of the perfect day."---We shall hear her cheerful voice, see her fair womanly form moving on her active errands no more. How thick and fast come the calls for departure! Soon it will seem as if our familiar paths echoed only to stranger's footsteps, and our only consolation will be to dwell where the dear, and true and good have been; and none dearer, better or truer than our good neighbor,

Mrs. Caroline Williston.

Vermont Phoenix, August 28, 1872.



Railroad Depots In Vernon And Brattleboro



Williston House On Asylum Street


Nathan Birdseye Williston



First Railroad Station In Brattleboro
Built In Winter 1849

Detail From An Engraving By Thomas Chubbuck



Miss M M Williston
Care Revd P Williston


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