Friday, June 5, 2009

The 1874 Diary of Ypsilanti Teen Allie McCullough

Part of a year-long weekly series of excerpts from Ypsilanti teenager Allie McCullough's 1874 diary, from the last year of her life.

You may remember Allie had a busy week last week. She rode out to Spencer Woods with Carrie N., dug up some plants, and took them home and made a rock garden. She also sewed on her shirt waists, went to the circus, and worked on her essay for the Lyceum.

June 5 Fri. Intended to go to the Lyceum at the Normal [EMU] and it commenced to rain very hard and did not slack up enough so that we could, so that we could not go. It is perfectly terrible and Will is out in every bit of it. I pity him. Got a letter from Ida tonight.

June 6 Sat. Fixed my shirt waists [blouses] this morning and did several other things. Went up to Carrie N.'s and stayed all the afternoon. Went down to Jennie Carson's and her babe is lovely. Went up town all over and then went to Miss Coe's for Mary and then went up town for her.

June 7 Sun. Didn't go to church this morning. Had some splendid stories to read. Mary [Allie's older sister, twin to Marion] is sick, almost fainted away. Joe Whilock came down and I went to church for the first time in four weeks. It is very warm.

June 8 Mon. Had a jolly time in school today. Was getting ready for Public Lyceum at the Normal (for it was postponed) when Carrie N. came. Marion and I went up there with her. Durbin [apparently a relation of Carrie's] walked up there with me and sat with me. Had a very nice time and he exercises were splendid.

June 9 Tues. (Young Ducks) It rained fearful hard when school was out tonight and we had to stay. Never had a better time. Laughed too much for my own good. Started home and met Elmer [Allie's 11-year-old younger brother, who by 1901 was running the foundry] coming with rubbers, shawl, and umbrella. Did not get home until almost six o'clock. Jennie [Carson?] and her babe were here.

June 10 Wed. Am fearful mad at everything and everybody tonight. Went up to get my shoes, then I went to Carrie N.'s. Had a splendid time. It is turning cold. Stayed a little while in the Chapel tonight.

June 11 Thurs. Had a most elegant time today. Practiced my essay at noon in the chapel and all of the girls were there. We had a rousing time.

June 12 Fri. Went up to Carrie's tonight after school and had a real nice time. She was not at home and I waited for her with no one there but Durbin. Had just got home when she came and wanted me to go up to Lyceum with her. I went. J. J. S. was there and came over and talked with us. I went on a perfect strain [?] while he was there.

June 13 Sat. Carrie came down early and stayed to tea. We had a real nice time. When she went home I went up to the school house to practice. Was just opposite Joe's when I met [Alfred] Lucking*. He asked my company or rather that he would like to go if I would let him walk with me. Did not get home until about eleven. Had ever so much fun.

June 14 Sun. Went out riding this afternoon. Went up to the Burying Ground [likely the Old Catholic Cemetery, now part of EMU's campus, or Highland Cemetery--Prospect Park was no longer a cemetery in 1874] and then up to Jennie S., then home and up to Carrie N.'s. Took her a long ride and then came home. Wrote a letter to C. B. and commenced one to Ida. Went to the M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church. It was trimmed beautiful for the children [in 1868 the Methodist and Methodist Episcopal church decided to celebrate every 2nd Sunday in June as Children's Day].

*Born in 1856, Alfred Lucking earned his law degree from U-M 4 years after Allie's diary was written. He later became chairman of the Democratic National Convention, a Congressman, was nominated for the Senate, and became a timber magnate. Had Allie lived, and married him, she would have been a wealthy and prominent lady. A. L. Bio:

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