Monday, April 10, 2017

My Grandmother’s Diary ~ Part 18, August 1 – 12, 1920

Gertrude Hitchings
This is the 18th installment of my grandmother’s diary from 1920.  Her name was Gertrude Hitchings (1905 – 2001) and she lived on Elliott Street in Beverly, Massachusetts. This tiny 3” diary with its minuscule handwriting is being transcribed in small sections and posted at my blog every Monday.  You can read the first installment HERE

My birthday 15 yrs old.
SUN. AUG. 1, 1920
Got up at 9.  Stayed home
all morning went over Butlers
a little while.  Ma & Pa up to
Russells.  After dinner Brick
and I went to Idlewood.  After
lunch Bob, Brick and Ella up.
Went to bed at 10.30

Got up at 8.00 Went
Over Butlers stayed until
2.  Home all the afternoon
After supper went up to
Fred’s with Brick and got
the pictures. Came home
At 9.30 went to bed at 10.15

Got up at 7.30 Went over
Mrs. Butlers until 10.  Helen,
Ells, baby, Ethel & Rus over.  After
dinner went down playground.
After supper went to ride. Bed
At 10.00

NOTE:  My grandmother, Gertrude Matilda Hitchings, was born 1 August 1905 in Beverly, Massachusetts to her parents, Arthur Treadwell Hitchings and Florence Etta Hoogerzeil.  She was the sixth of their eight children.    Gertrude turned 15 years old the day she wrote this diary entry.  She mentions her friends Brick, Bob, Ella and Fred, and her siblings Helen and Russell, with his wife, Ethel.  Coincidentally, my first grandchild was born on August 1st, too! 

WED. AUG. 4, 1920
Got up at 7.30 Worked
Over Butlers until 10.30
Stayed home the rest of the morn
Ing.  After dinner went to Danvers
Played tennis with Russell
Came home at 6.  Home all
Evening bed at 10.

Got up at 7.30 Went
over Mrs. Butler’s went down
town at 8.45.  After dinner
went up Danvers played tennis
with Brick.  Went to ride
after supper.  Mr. Lowell over
Went to bed at 10.30

Got up at 7.30 Worked
most of the morning over
Butlers.  Home all afternoon
After supper went to ride
up Danvers.  Bed at 10.15
NOTE:  Gertrude mentions working at Mrs. Butler’s again (housework?) and more tennis with her brother Russell and her friend Brick.  Mr. Lowell, the occasional border, is back again.

SAT.  AUG.  7, 1920
Got up at 7:30.  Went over to
Mrs. Butlers until 10.15.  Stayed
home all morning.  Bea came
down at 2.45 after supper we
went down to the beach & down the
merry-go-rounds came home at 8.45
Went to bed at 10.45

Got up at 9.15 stayed at
home all morning.  After dinner
went down to the beach with Bea.
Ethel & Russell came back, went up
to Russell’s had lunch
went to bed at 10.30.

Got up at 7.30 went
down the store.  After dinner
rode over to North Beverly
after supper went to ride
with Bea & Brick up Danvers.
Home at bed at 10.

NOTE:  On the 7th Gertrude mentions going, with her friend Bea, to the beach and the merry-go-round, and the only beach I know of that would have a merry-go-round is at Salem Willows, and that carousel is still there.  Perhaps there was another beach with a merry-go-round in 1920?

TUES. AUG. 10, 1920
Got up at 5.15 went blue-
berrying with Bea, Pa & Brick.
Stayed home all afternoon.
after supper Bea, Brick,
Bob & I played tennis then
went to ride came home at
9.15. Went to bed at 10.00

Got up at 8.15. Went
down Marion’s at 11 came
home went down the store
stayed home all afternoon
after supper went to the
pictures with Eunice at home
at 10.15  bed at 10.30

Not feeling good today
Got up at 10.30 layed
down all morning and
afternoon and evening
went to bed at 8.35. 

NOTE:  More tennis and berrying.  It is interesting to note that Gertrude woke up at all different times during her summer vacation, from 5:45am to as late as 9:30am.  Sundays seemed to be the day she slept in the latest.  She mentions her friends Bea, Bob, and Brick, her cousin Marion, and her sister Eunice.  In the last entry, Gertrude is sick again.  In the next few days Gertrude and her siblings Mildred, Gordon and Eunice all become sick, too.


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “My Grandmother’s Diary ~ Part 18, August 1 – 12, 1920”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 10, 2017 ( accessed [access date]).  


  1. Your grandmother's diary reminds me of one my uncle Henry kept his first year in college. He lived at home and has little cryptic entries like these.
    Finding Eliza

    1. It must be a teen age thing. Even 100 years ago, or today, kids keep diaries and journals the same way!