This diary was written in 1889 – fairly consistently throughout the year. The author is unknown, but clues exist within the entries, and it is my new obsession to figure out who wrote it. The location of the author is somewhere near Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. I know this because he (and I’m fairly certain it is a he) mentions frequent trips to Towanda. There was also a card for an Apothecary shop in Townada in the inside pocket of the diary.
Regardless of knowing who wrote this, it is an amazing look into the hard work of farm life in this time period. With the exception of Sunday’s spent at Sunday School and the “meeting” and two days at a local fair, the entirely of daily life is spent on physical labor. My kids should know how good they have it!
Because it was written in 1889, there is a particular challenge with finding the names referenced in the diary as there is little left of the 1890 census. The other challenge is that the young man is a phonetic speller and many of the names referenced may or may not be accurate. I have attempted to keep the grammar and spelling of all words and names as the author wrote them. With the small writing some things were hard to make out. In that case, I wrote what I could see and put a (?) next to the word.
GO TO The Diary – Online
1889 PA Diary – PDF download