Monday, February 27, 2017

My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 12 May 21 - June 1, 1920

1915 Postcard of Salem Willows Bathing Beach
Salem, Massachusetts

This is the 12th installment of my grandmother's diary from 1920.  Her name was Gertrude Hitchings (1905 - 2001), and she was living on Elliott Street in Beverly, Massachusetts.  Gertrude was a 14 year old school girl when she kept this diary.  The book is a tiny 3", and every Monday I publish a new section, with transcriptions of the tiny handwriting.  You can read the first installment HERE.  I'll post more of this diary every week for Amanuensis Monday.

FRI.  MAY 21, 1920
Lots better not hardly
any pain now.  Nana
came up.  Marion came up and
mom brought my class pin.  Helen
and baby and Ellsworth up
sit up in afternoon.

Quite a lot better today
Set up all day
rained hard all day
Russell and Ethel
Came down stayed all night

I got up and dressed
this morning.  stayed
home all day Mr. Lowell
over. Cora & family
over.  Pa not feeling good
went to bed 9.00

NOTE: In my last blog post Gertrude was terribly ill.  The doctor thought it was a kidney infection.  I don't know how she recovered without antibiotics, but fortunately she did! She appears to have missed a lot of school, and her mother was able to get her class pin.  I wonder what that pin looked like!  Mr. Lowell was the boarder, who appears to only stay at the house occasionally.  Helen is Gertrude's sister, married to Ellsworth Robson.  Russell is her brother, who married Ethel a few months earlier. 

MON. MAY 24, 1920
Got up at 7.45
stayed home all morning
went to walk a little way
After dinner went out
a little while on my bike
Gladys over after supper
Went to bed at 9.45

Got up at 7.30 Went
up to the store and stayed
home rest of the morning
stayed around home all after-
noon at 3.30 Eunice and I
took a ride up Ethel’s came
home at 6 home all evening bed 9.45

Got up at 6.45 had
breakfast Went to school
home at 1.15.  Marion and I
went up to the wood got some flow-
ers.  Stayed around the
house all afternoon  bed at 9.30

NOTE:  Gertrude underlined that she was back in school, so she must have been happy to have recovered enough to go back to classes.  She mentions lots of friends here (Gladys and Ethel, and her cousin Marion Hoogerzeil, and her sister Eunice.  

THURS. MAY 27, 1920
Got up at 6.45 went
to school at 7.45 home
at 1.14. Stayed home all
afternoon rode my bike after
supper  Ethel and I went for a
little ride.  Mr. Lowell
over.  Went to bed at 10.00

Got up at 6.45 went to
school had an assembly home
at 1.15.  Home all afternoon
Helen had baby up.  Ellsworth
to supper.  Went out after
supper stayed around the house
walked down with Helen bed at 10

Got up at 7.30 worked
around the house all the
morning and all afternoon
Bob came down.  Mr. Lowell over to
Dinner.  After supper went down Ellen
Mrs Ethel & Wilkie down.  Bed at 10.30

NOTE:   Things appear to be back to normal. Gertrude is back at school.  Relatives and friends are visiting - including the mysterious "Bob" whose name she usually underlines.  Maybe she was sweet on Bob?

SUN. MAY 30, 1920
Got up at 8.45 stayed
around home all morn
ing.  Mr. Lowell stayed all night
After dinner Eunice and Rozella
?? & I went to ride up to
Idlewood lake come home
At 6 stayed home all evening bed 9.30

Got up at 7.15 went to ride with Bob
after breakfast Eunice and I
went down to Helen’s.  Pa & Ma
went to Russell’s after dinner. Eunice
Rozella Alice Elizabeth & I went to
ride to Salem Willows.  After supper
M. L. ?? & I played cards bed 10.30

Got up at 6.30 went to
school home 1.15 stayed home
all afternoon awful hot stayed
around the house all
the evening and
went to bed at 10.15

NOTE:  Idlewood Park was described in a previous blog post. It was a park at a lake in Wenham now known as Pleasant Pond.

Salem Willows opened as a public park in 1858, and the amusement park there began in 1877.  There is also a waterfront pier, a beach, picnic areas and "restaurant row".  Many of the amusement rides and the ballroom are no longer there.  There is still a merry-go-round, Hobb's Popcorn (since the 1880s), and Lowe's chop suey sandwiches since the 1920s.  It was a busier place in the 1920s than today, but Gertrude would recognize Salem Willows today.

I've blogged about Salem Willows several times.  You can see Beverly across the water from this park, and Gertrude's grandmother ("Nana" mentioned in the diary) lived on Bartlett Street which is almost visible from Salem Willows.  Her grandfather, Peter Hoogerzeil, once invented an amusement park ride in 1907, but I don't think it was ever built at Salem Willows.  You can see this patent for the amusement park ride at this link:

Another blog post about Salem Willows:

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Chop Suey Sandwiches ~ Unique New England Foods", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 22, 2015

An old Salem Willows postcard, circa 1920

The Merry-Go-Round at Salem Willows, 2015 


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 12 May 21 - June 1, 1920", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 27, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).

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