Monday, March 6, 2017

My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 13 June 2 - 13, 1920

This is a photograph from my Grandmother's album, probably taken a few years after the diary.  From left to right:  Gertrude,  her friend Bea, Skeet (her little sister Mildred), and the mysterious Bob.  The sheep in this photo are probably the sheep mentioned in the excerpt of the diary today.

This is the 10th 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.  The diary 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.

WED.  JUNE 2, 1920
Got up at 6.45 went
to school home 1.15 Rus
up to dinner home all the
afternoon layed down awful hot
Marion up after supper
rode around on my bike
went to bed at 10.15

Got up at 6.45 went to
school home at 1.15
Helen & baby all afternoon
Went to ride with Ella
after supper and to ride with
Brick went to bed at 10.30

Got up at 7.00 went to
school M?? singing club sang
home at 1.15 home all after
noon.  After supper went
down Marion came at 9
went to bed at 9.45

NOTE:   School is still in session.  She mentions her brother Russell, her married sister Helen, cousin Marion Hoogerzeil, and friends Ella and "Brick". 

My great grandmother with a lamb, Gertrude's Ma
Florence Etta Hoogerzeil (1871 - 1941)

SAT. JUNE 5, 1920
Got up at 7.45 had break
fast worked around the
house all day.  Hollis
came down thro the plastering
in the attic.  Took a bath
stayed home all evening.  Rain
hard all day went to bed at 10

Got up at 10 had break
fast Harold Hansen sheared our
sheep.  Stayed home all
afternoon Mr. Lowell came
over.  After supper was going to
walk with Ella but it rained.
Mrs. Butler, Mr. Lowell over bed at 10

Got up at 7.00 went to
school arith. exam.  Home at
1.15.  Went out in the afternoon
went a while after
supper.  Ma went to the
Legions went to bed at 10.15

NOTE:  It seems that her little brother Hollis fell through the attic floor, through the ceiling below.  Someone named Harold Hansen sheared their sheep (see the photos above).  The neighbor Mrs. Butler and the boarder Mr. Lowell are mentioned.  Ma went to "the Legions"?  Is this the Legion hall or association?  The American Legion was founded in 1919, so perhaps this organization was in Beverly in 1920?

TUES. JUNE 8, 1920
Got up at 7 went to
school home at 1.15 at
3.30 Eunice and I went
up to Ethel’s came home at
6.  After supper Marion
came up.  Harold over all
evening went to bed at 10.15

Got up at 7.15 went to
school had 3 exams
home at 1.15 stayed
around the house all
afternoon after supper
went out a while
came in at 9.15 bed at 9.30

Got up at 7.00 went to
school home at 1.15. Went
down to Warl. School with Marion
Helen, Baby & Ellsworth up.  Went
down Nana’s with Eunice.  Stayed
home all evening bed at 10.30

NOTE:  She mentions her sister Eunice, sister-in-law Ethel, cousin Marion and Harold, who might have been the handyman? (The same Harold who sheared the sheep last week?)  School must be ending soon for the summer because Gertrude had exams.  Helen is the married sister, her husband is Ellsworth and the Baby.  

FRI. JUNE 11, 1920
Got up at 7 went to school
home at 1.15 home all
afternoon at 3.45 went to Salem
for John Kin??? Home 5.15
Got supper  Ma & Pa down Helens
Rus & Ethel down these two stayed
home all evening bed at 10.45

Got up at 7.30 had break
fast worked home here all
morning Eunice went to N. B. [North Beverly?]
Mr. Lowell over to dinner
home all the afternoon
Went out after supper
came in at 9.45 bed at 10.15

Got up at 9.15 had breakfast
home all morning Ma, Millie
gone to Rus.  Pa gone on jury outing
Eunice & I home alone all day
Studied all evening went
To bed at 10.30

NOTE: Lots of visiting on this weekend.  I don't understand "jury outing" (perhaps I didn't read it correctly?)

Gertrude with a sheep (a closeup detail of the photo from the top of this page)
This photo must be a few years after the diary, since she was only 14 in 1920


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 13 June 2 - 13, 1920", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 6, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).


  1. This is a lot different than I thought it was going to be. I can't wait to talk to my grandparents and compare their daily routines of about the same time period. I was especially surprised (maybe because of t.v. shows) that she went to bed so late (or maybe it's just my schema that 10.15 is late for those days) and slept in til 9 on the weekends. Great read! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes! I was thinking the same thing. Teenagers haven't changed much in 100 years, have they? At least with the sleeping patterns.