Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Diary of Abba Owen

Newest chapter in an ongoing serialization of the 1888 diary of Abba Owen, daughter of Ypsilanti mineral water baron Tubal Cain Owen and Anna (Stowe Foote) Owen. The Owens lived in a now-vanished house near the current day Roosevelt School building on EMU, where Tubal also had his magical and very profitable well.

Friday Sept. 7th: I did not feel well to-day and did not go to school, had the Doctor this afternoon he did not want me to go to school this year but I think I shall. Mrs. Wheat and Mrs. Van Tyle of Detroit called on Mama this morning. Miss Post also called this morning; she has just returned from a visit in Detroit and she attended the funeral of Bishop Harris. Eber sleeps down to Grandpa's since Grandma has been gone. Grandpa received a postal from Grandma saying that she arrived safely at five o'clock. Cousin Will Cooke was at the train to meet her and she found Aunt Libbie better than she supposed her to be.

Saturday Sept. 8th: To-day has been a very pleasant day and quite warm. Mama has been sick all day with the neuralgia. The boys went up to-day to the track to have a race with their colts (Robin and Jissie) and Robin which is Rickey's horse won the race.

Sunday Sept. 9th: To-day we were all kind of on the sick list so we did not go to church. Richard hitched his horse on our best phaeton and took me for a ride and I think his horse is just lovely. He also took Mama and Grandpa for a little ride. It has been a lovely warm day. The grapes are just getting ripe so that we have commenced eating them.

Monday Sept. 10th: To-day has been pleasant. Mama went up to see Mrs. Post who has been sick. We have decided that I had better not go to school any way for the first term. Mama has not been feeling well and had the doctor this evening. I made my first button bag to-day.

Tuesday Sept. 11th: This has been a very pleasant and warm day. We received a letter from Grandma saying that she was having a lovely time. Eber put the saddle on Grandpa's horse to-day and Grandpa was very much pleased to find that she singlefoots nicely but slowly. Grandpa was up to our house to tea. The doctor was up to see mama this evening and thinks she is better.

Wensday Sept. 12th: This has been a pleasant day.

Thursday Sept. 13th: Papa, Grandpa, and the boys have made up their minds to go to Plymouth to-morrow to see some riding horses. Last night we had a [post].

Friday Sept. 14th: Papa, Grandpa, and the boys started early this morning for Plymouth and arrived homem at six o'clock. It has been quite cool to-day and very [?] it very nice for their journey. They saw three saddle horses but none suited them. They also visited fish hatchery at Northfield and all together they had a very nice time. They rode about 50 miles by the time they got home.

Thanks for reading! Tune in next Tuesday for another week of Abba's diary!


jml said...

Everybody's sick - sounds like the Owens were drinking their own mineral water...

Jennifer Redfern said...

How old was she when she wrote this diary?

Dusty D said...

jml: Yes, I remember reading one description of it that characterized it as "murky" and fragrant. Sounded delightful.

Dusty D said...

Jennifer: Abba was 16 this year. She's pretty self-possessed and sensible for a teenager, don't you think? Although the concept of "teenager" did not exist in her day...not till after WWII.