Friday, December 18, 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.

Last week, you may remember that Allie celebrated Thanksgiving, finished sewing on her hat and sack [sacque], and had her picture taken as a Christmas present for her mom.

Dec. 11 Fri. Talked almost all the afternoon with J. S. Had a gay time. Snowed some. Had a headache so I thought it would be better to stay at home tonight and not go to either Lyceum. Seemed rather strange.

Dec. 12 Sat. Went up to Carrie's and stayed until almost time to go to dancing school. Came home and got ready in a hurry. Enjoyed myself more tonight than I have before. Danced with two Ann Arbor fellows. Got a letter from E. [Emma Stone] and an invitation to the masquerade ball.

Dec. 13 Sun. Has been raining, is very icy. Went to Church and to S. S. Cousins N. and B. were here to dinner. Wrote a letter in the afternoon to Anna and one to Joe, who is sick of teaching in a country school. Read some old letters this afternoon from persons almost forgotten.

Dec. 14 Mon. Carrie N. was down here tonight for a little while. It is perfectly lovely, wish it was sleighing so that I could take a ride. Had a jolly time in school today, but missed the last part of the lesson in History, the first time this term.

Dec. 15 Tue. Had a magnificent time all day. The girls went up and got a beautiful castor [a beaver hat, or a sugar shaker? dunno -ed.] for Ma's Christmas present. They are whispering a good deal and it almost sets me crazy. Will have to study very hard all the rest of the term.

Dec. 16 Wed. Will went up to the Fireman's Ball tonight. He wanted me to go, but I could not although I wanted to bad enough, when he commenced to get ready. Studied till after ten o'clock.

Dec. 17 Thurs. Jennie S. and I ran away from school the last hour this forenoon and stayed out the rest of the day. We had a good time. Went to get my picture. Good, but a little crack at the top. Let me have it, but wil print another. Gave it to Carrie. had a grand time there.

Dec. 18 Fri. Have passed examinations after all the fuss. 9.9 in History and 10 in Philosophy. After school we went into the laboratory and took electric shocks. Had a good time in general. Pinned Lane's overcoat pockets and sleeves up. There were many happy New Years and we gave three cheers and parted. A happy set of girls. Went up to the Normal Public. Had an elegant time.

Thanks for reading; tune in this coming Friday for another chapter!.


Christy said...

I guess life back then was more exciting than I imagined - give your friends electrical shocks and receive them as well - a good time had by all!

Dusty D said...

Yes, that is charming and sweet I think. Ooh, electrical shocks! It would be about a decade before the first electric arc lights went on in Ypsi--and Allie never lived to see them. Unlike her surviving family members, she lived and died in a gaslight and kerosene light age.

Lisele said...

Hope they were mild shocks. I love reading this series. I am so interested as always in what Allie finds most important to mention. She seems so near. I wonder if this portrait was the one you published in the Dusty Diary. I bet it's the same portrait, because her age seems appropriate. Do you know where the portrait studio was in Ypsi, DD?