Monday, March 13, 2017

My Grandmother’s Diary ~ Part 14, June 14 – 25, 1920

My Grandmother’s Diary ~ Part 14, June 14 – 25, 1920

My grandmother (the girl on the left with the tennis raquet) and her tennis friends
Beverly, Massachusetts circa 1920.  Does anyone know the other faces in this photo? 

This is the 14th 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.

MON. JUNE 14, 1920
Got up at 7.00 went to
school home 1.15 Marion
up after dinner.  Went to
Ella’s at 4. After supper went
up Danvers played tennis with
Bob.  Mr. Lowell over. Eunice’s
Birthday went to bed at 10.15

Got up at 7.00 went to
school home 1.15 Stayed
home all afternoon it
rained.  Pa went up to
Russell’s.  Went out a
little while after supper
Came in 8.45 bed at 10.45

Got up at 7.00 went to
school had an assembly home
at 1.15.  Home all afternoon
After supper Marion up.
Went to walk with Ethel up
Danvers. Went to bed at 10.00

NOTE:   The end of the school year is coming, and Gertrude had an assembly at school.  She mentions her first cousin Marion, and friends Ella and Bob.  Mr. Lowell was their boarder, who appears to come and go (traveling salesman?).   Pa visited Russell, the eldest son who was married to Ethel.   To “walk up [to] Danvers” was not far since they lived on Elliott Street, near the Danvers line.

THURS.  JUNE 17, 1920
Got up at 9.00 had break
fast stayed home all
the morning as it
rained.  Home all after
noon, Eunice down to Helen’s
After supper Gordon & I went
to movies home 10.15 bed at 10.45

Got up at 7.15 went to
school.  Last day.  Got
home 1.15 stayed at
home all the after
noon.  Rained all day.
Home all evening tatting
Went to bed at 10.00

Got up at 7.45 worked
around the house all
morning.  Home all after
noon.  After supper went down
to the beach (Fireman’s Day)  Came
home 10.15 bed at 10.30

NOTE:   School is out for the summer.    Gertrude mentions her sisters Eunice and Helen (who was married and lived nearby), and her brother Gordon.   Fireman’s Day was a day with a parade and drills by the city fire department, as well as a fundraiser.   It must have been held at one of the local beaches, but Gertrude didn’t mention which one she visited that day.

SUN. JUNE 20, 1920
Got up at 9.15 had
breakfast went over
golf links after strawberries
with Pa.  After dinner went to
walk with Ella.  Helen, Ellsworth,
Rus, Ethel & Mr. Lowell over home
all evening went to bed at 10.15

Got up at 7.45 had
breakfast at 8 stayed home
all morning tatting and
home all afternoon before
supper went to the store.  Went
out after supper came in
at 9.15 went to bed at 10.

Got up at 7.30 had break
fast.  Home all morning went
to the store before dinner.
Home all afternoon had a thun-
der shower.  Home all evening
reading went to bed at 10

NOTE:  Gertrude mentions picking strawberries at the “golf links” with Pa.  They lived very close to what is now the Beverly Country Club, but in 1920 it was the United Shoe Golf Course.  Her Pa worked at the “The Shoe” as a draftsman.   She mentions her friend Ella, her sister Helen (married to Ellsworth), and brother Russell (married to Ethel), and the boarder Mr. Lowell. 

WED.  JUNE 23, 1920
Got up at 6.45 went
back to school got my points
came home 9.15 went to the
store.  Went up Ethel’s after dinner
After supper the whole family
went to Rus. (his birthday) came
home 10.45 went to bed at 11.15

Got up at 8.00 had break
fast stayed home all
the morning.  Went out
after dinner around the town.
After supper went riding
with Gladys and Brick
went to bed at 10.30

Got up at 7.15 had break
fast worked over to
Mrs. Butler’s all morning
& afternoon.  Before supper
picked strawberries.  After supper played
tennis with Bob went to bed at 10.15

NOTE:   Although school was closed for the summer, Gertrude went back to get her “points” (grades).  I wish I had a copy of that report card!  She mentions the whole family was a Russell’s house for his birthday.  She went riding (bicycles? Trolley car?) with friend’s Gladys and Brick.  More strawberries, and more tennis with Bob.  Was he one of her boyfriends? 

I don't have a report card from Gertrude, but my aunt found this
certificate tucked inside the little diary.  She graduated in 1923.
What was grade 13?


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother’s Diary ~ Part 14, June 14 – 25, 1920", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 13, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. I love this glimpse into her day to day life. I'm sure you cherish this heirloom.

  2. I love the fact that you managed to find your grandmother's diary. This is an amazing thing to have and cherish. Thank you for sharing...

  3. Accidentally deleted a comment from Janice Brown of the "Cow Hampshire" blog.
    "Grade 13 (post high school grade 12) is the one after 12, qualifies you for teaching school, prep school or college university ."