Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The 1919 Diary of Ypsilanti High School Teacher Carrie Hardy

Part of a year-long weekly serialization of Ypsilanti high school math teacher Carrie Hardy's diary.

You may recall that Carrie had just bought her brother an Overland [1919 model pictured] from Nye Motor Sales with $500 of her Liberty war bonds. She took a drive to Ann Arbor and visited Belle Isle in Detroit as well.

June 28 Sat. Came home this morning. Am trying to clean the house. Miss Carr from Williamston called. A good visit. Took bath. Went downtown for groceries.

June 29 Sun. Went to church. After dinner Miss Shultes and I drove to Ann Arbor, then to Willis. Catherine Webb and Miss Carr called in evening. Catherine is to attend summer Normal. [perhaps the Catherine that Carrie noted last week "did not pass in school"; a student of Carrie's? Or the child of a friend?]

June 30 Mon. Went up to Normal this A.M. [for commencement exercises?] Came home, washed, and ironed. Miss Laird came in for 1 min. Catherine came in after supper. She is very discontented. Wrote a testimonial for Susan Platt.

July 1 Tues. Met my classes at Normal. Some shifting is to be done. Susan Platt called. The Backers moved out. Mrs. Jennings moved in. Alley Festa opens today-trimming for it. [Alley Festa was a sort of DIY community carnival-festival]

July 2 Wed. Pd. Milk + paper bills [presumably Carrie had home milk delivery to her apartment at 223 River St.]. Taught at Normal. Classes changed again 7-8, 1-3, 3-4. All classes in #54. Cleaned car and painted screens. Finished cap. Lillian's letter came. Went to Martha [Washington Theater, now Deja Vu].

July 3 Class at 7 o'clock-8. Classes from 1-4. Darned 5 prs. blk stockings. Let down gingham dress [as opposed to buying new stockings or a new gingham dress; perhaps Carrie was either thrifty or not paid as well as she'd like, or the culture at the time was less of a throwaway culture] Alley Festa was good. 2 letters + a card from Lillian.

July 4 Fri. Took Mrs. Webb and May in car, down town to see the parade. In booth at Alley Festa from 12-3:30. In evening attended Alley Festa with Mrs. Fletcher.

July 5 Sat. Cleaned bathroom + kitchen. Moved ice box to back porch [why? Did these early refrigerators, which were cabinets containing blocks of ice in a top compartment, become too drippy in an un-air-conditioned house in the summer? Also, it is likely Carrie had home ice delivery service at 223 River, in addition to milk and paper delivery]. Slept, bathed, hoed garden. 5 gals. of gasoline. May telephoned that Rob would not come Sun.

July 6 Sun. Did not go to church-feel mighty blue without reason. Did some cleaning + sewing. Wrote to Lillian in St. Paul. Rode in car to cemetery [According to information from Carrie's Bible, recorded on her father's obit card, Carrie's father had died July 16 four years before and was buried in (Union)-Udell Cemetery at Huron River Dr. & Textile Rd.; perhaps she visited his grave. Carrie's mother had died in 1874, which is probably the year Carrie was born; she may have died in childbirth. At the time of this diary writing, Carrie is around 44 years old.]

Thanks for reading; tune in next Tuesday for the next series!


Anonymous said...

Carrie was born the year Allie died? Interesting!

Jennifer Redfern said...

Carrie Hardy was my Great-Great Aunt, her brother Rob was my great grandfather. My name is Jennifer Redfern, the Daughter of Martha Hardy. I am also the President of the South Lyon Paranormal Society. But enough of that. Carrie's diary was very intersting, when my mother was young her father would tell stories of Carrie, his aunt. He would say that Carrie was strict as a broad and "would slap the Gum out of your mouth" if you were chewing it in her class. So therfore with that story passing down, we always thought that carrie was uptight and too strict. However with this diary we find that she worries about her brother and is senitive to the needs of others. Totally change are thoughts about her. About the questions that you had in the writing: Cathrine was my grandfather's sister at least the one who didn't pass school was. She was 12 that year and had TB, so therefore probley was so sick she didn't go to school enough to pass. She died the year after...1920 at age 13.
Carrie's father died in 1915, after being hit by a train at the crossing of Cross St. and River St. He was layed to rest at Highland Cemetery. So i hope that answers some of your questions about Carrie's family.

Dusty D said...

Anon: Yes, interesting observation--Allie died (1875) at the same time Carrie was born (probably 1874).

Dusty D said...

Dear Ms. Redfern: WOW--thank you for this wonderful and fascinating information! I thought I remembered your name, from the kind visit of the South Lyon Paranormal Society to our Museum.

I just loved to read about your family's recollections about Carrie. You may remember that in the recent Yearbook post, the students poked a bit of fun at Carrie, sarcastically calling her "sweet and amiable"...so combined with your gum story, it appears she may indeed have been strict.

But as you say her diary reveals a different side, with her concerns about her brother and Catherine and her generosity to Rob.

I am sorry to hear that Catherine had TB as well, and died from it...apparently long after Allie's own death from TB the disease was still in the area.

Thank you also for the info about Carrie's father's death--how terrible. The trains were deadly to so many.

Your information is really invaluable, and thank you so much for sharing it!

Jennifer Redfern said...

Yes, I loved reading her diary, and learning all that I can about her.

Thank you for giving us this new information about our family. Also if you have anymore questions about our part of the Hardy Family, don't hesitate to ask, i would love to help.
Also, who is the Allie that you speak of? I mean I have heard his name, but do not have much information of him.

thank you.

Dusty D said...

Ms. Redfern: That is so wonderfully helpful of you to offer to answer any questions. Thank you for your generosity!

Allie is the name of a 16-year-old Ypsilanti girl whose diary I'm also serializing. She wrote the diary in 1874 in the last year of her life.

You can see it here:


Jennifer Redfern said...

Hey Dusty,

Well you are welcome. I see about Allie which is very intersting. I thought at first you where talking about Allie Hardy who's real name we believe to be Alfred. He was Carrie's other brother besides Robert. However we believe that he was the cause of Carrie's mother's death and he was taken to be care for by the Webbs. So I was a bit confused, but all good now.

Dusty D said...

Ms. Redfern: Oh my--that is very interesting about Alfred! I say so because he does not appear on the Archives' obituary card for Henry, Carrie's father. The card lists Carrie and Robert as the 2 children. I never knew about Alfred.

I hope you don't think it's too personal but I do have to ask: am I reading you correctly to say that Carrie's mother may have died in childbirth when giving birth to Alfred?

Jennifer Redfern said...

Hey it's cool, Yes we believe that there was another child that Cathirine and Henry had, by the name of Alfred or something along that lines of a name. They did go up north for a period of time, where we believe that Cathirine had a child and then died. Therefore yes we believe she died in child birth. Also we believe that her body is really up north where she died and her grave down here just has her name not her body.

Dusty D said...

Ms. Redfern: Oh, my goodness. That is so interesting. Thank you for that information--it's the kind of thing you'd never find out otherwise. It is so invaluable to have a relative of Carrie's adding so much information to our understanding of her. Thank you for your time and comments.

Jennifer Redfern said...

No problem. It's fun, i believe i am addicted to your blog.

Dusty D said...

Dear Ms. Redfern: That is especially nice coming from you as I understand you are on the board of the South Lyon Hist. Soc. I'm glad you're visiting!

Jennifer Redfern said...

No problem, Thank you.