Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The 1890 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.

Saturday Feb. 15: A very pleasant day. Papa and Rick returned from Chicago last night, brought me three large gold fish and a female canary and brought himself a beautiful singer. They had a lovely time. John whiting and his roommate Mr. St. Clair came from A.A. this morning. mama went to the Opera house to have the dress rehearsal to-night.

Sunday Feb. 16: A pleasant and warm [day]. John + Mr. St. Clair stayed until 9:30 this evening.

Monday Feb. 17: Rick + I went over to M. G. to get weed for fish a.m. Mama and I went down town all the afternoon attending to District School business and coming home we got caught in a shower which was just like a spring shower. John Whiting and Mr. St. Clair came down on the six o'clock train so as to go to-night. The Opera House was full and a great many could not get in so they are going to repeat it tomorrow night. It was splendid and we all enjoyed it. Mama was behind the scenes and as we all went down early John and I went behind the scenes and viewed things before they commenced. John and Mr. St. Clair went home at twelve.

Tuesday Feb. 18th: It is a good deal colder to-day. I had a cold + did not go to the Sappho but mama did. Eber came down from A.A. this eve so as to go to the District School. I went down with Mama and stayed behind the scenes with her. Mr. & Mrs. Syman of Chicago are visiting this forenoon and Mr. Syman to part in the D.S. and her husband did not know anything about it until last Saturday night he went with Mrs. Towner to the dress rehearsal and saw his wife come on to the stage in short dress and pantelettes as all the rest were and of course it was a great surprise to him and Mr. Park also took part and his wife thought he looked dreadful so to-night Mrs. Park + Mr. Syman blacked up as darkies and came out and sang "Way down upon the Swanee River" and "Git away from that window" and danced and no one knew that they were going to do it. Mrs. Syman and Mr. Peck were completely surprised. All the seats were taken down stairs and a good many in the gallery.

Wensday Feb. 19: I wrote last Monday for an aquarium for the fish papa brought one and it came to-day and I have my fish in it, and it is very pretty.

Thursday Feb. 20: The thermometer is below freezing to-day. mama made out her report to-day and found that they cleared $81o.95 more than has ever [been] made before by one entertainment. Mama went to Society this afternoon read her report and they were very much pleased. Mr. Suderer came to-night instead of last Monday.

Friday Feb. 21: It has been quite cold. mama and I went down to Grandma's and spent the afternoon and the men folks came down to tea. Eber came home this morning. Received a letter from A. P.

Saturday Feb. 22: It has been very pleasant. Washington's Birthday and the Light Guards were out on parade. Mr. Joe Sanders the Clothier dropped dead as he reached his store door after dinner of heart disease.

Tune in next Tuesday for another look at Abba's doings.

2 comments :

Fritz said...

Goldfish? Cool! I never imagined goldfish in 1888 homes.

In fact, I just realized how much I think of that time in the faded browns of old pictures... And suddenly there's a bright orange fish in a bowl, sitting on the lace tablecloth. Fun!

Dusty D said...

Yeah, if our only lens is sepia-tinted, of course there's an inclination to think of things that way. Thought this was a fun part too.