Monday, April 24, 2017

My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 20, August 31 - September 11, 1920

Gertrude's brother, Arthur Russell Hitchings ( 1897 - 1967),
married Ethel Elizabeth Coleman in 1920.  He served
in Germany during World War 1, just a few
years before these diary entries were written. 

This is the 20th installment of my grandmother's diary from 1920.  Her name was Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (1905 - 2001) and she lived on Elliott Street in Beverly, Massachusetts.  I'm transcribing small sections of this tiny 3" diary, with its minuscule handwriting, and posting it at my blog every Monday.  You can read the first installment of the diary HERE.

TUES. AUG 31, 1920
Got up at 7.30 stayed
Home all morning. Ma
Sick.  After dinner went
up Bradstreet home at 5
After supper Eunice, Gladys
and I went to Russell’s.
Went to bed at 9.30

Got up at 7.30 at 10
Went downtown with
Eunice.  After dinner went
down to Marion’s.  Went
to the lawn party. After
supper up Busby’s Point
came home at 9.30  Bed at 10.30

Got up at 7.30 stayed home
until 10.30 then went to the
store.  After dinner went down
Helen’s took baby out all afternoon
stayed to supper came home at 8
Rus & Ethel down.  Bed at 9.45

NOTE:   Gertrude visited her married brother Russell with her sister Eunice and friend Gladys.  She also visited her first cousin Marion Hoogerzeil and went to a law party.  I don't know where "Busby's Point" is in Beverly.  Does anyone have a clue about this?  The next day she visited her married sister Helen and watched her baby nephew, Clemont. 

FRI. SEPT 3, 1920
Got up at 7.30 worked
around the house all morn-
ing.  Helen, Baby & Nana
came up.  Stayed home all
afternoon and read. 
After supper went to ride with
Eunice & Alice.  Bed at 9.30

Got up at 7.15 worked around
the house all morning and
afternoon.  Mr. Lowell came
over at 2.15.  Took a walk up
the store after supper.
Went to bed at 10.15.

Got up at 9.15  Mrs. Butler’s
cat got killed.  Home all morn-
ing.  After dinner went to walk
with Eunice & Ella.  Mr. Lowell
over.  Home all evening reading
Went to bed at 9.30.

NOTE:   Another visit with relatives (sister Helen, baby nephew Clemont, and her "Nana", Florence Hoogerzeil.  Riding with her sister Eunice and friend Alice.  Mr. Lowell the occasional boarder is back for the next two days. 

MON. SEPT. 6, 1920
Up at 8.45 home all the
morning, after dinner
Eunice & I went up to Ethel’s
Pa went to Haverhill.  Ellsworth &
Helen up to supper.  They went to Salem.
Eunice & I took baby home.  Came
Home at 11.  Bed at 11.45

Up at 9 had breakfast
at 9.15 stayed around the
house all morning.
After dinner went down Nana’s
had my dress fitted came
home at five.  Home all evening
sewing.  Bed at 8.45

Got up at 6:30 went to
school came home at 12.45
After dinner Eunice & I went
down Nana’s came home
got supper.  Home all the
evening. Bed at 10.

NOTE:   Gertrude and her sister Eunice went to visit their newly married sister-in-law, Ethel (married to Russell).  Pa went to Haverhill, where he did drafting work for the US Shoe Corporation of Beverly.  Gertrude's married sister, Helen, and husband, Ellsworth visited with their baby.  Gertrude finished her new dress just in time on Tuesday night, because school started up the next morning!  

THURS. SEPT. 9, 1920
Up at 6.30 went to
school home at 1.15
stayed home all afternoon
studying.  After supper
went to ride with
Rozella, came home at 8.30
Went to bed at 9.30

Up at 6.45 went to school
at 7.45 went up to Helen’s
to dinner stayed all afternoon
came home at 5. Stayed
at home all evening and
studied.  Ma & Pa over
Butlers.  Bed at 9

Up at 7.00 had breakfast
Stayed home all morning & afternoon
Working.  After supper Eunice, Ida
& I went downtown shopping then
Went to Danvers with Frank
Came home at 9.45 bed at 10.30

NOTE:   Gertrude went riding (bikes? trolleys?) with her friend Rozella.  She visited her married sister Helen.  On Saturday she went shopping with her sister Eunice and friend Ida.  Who is Frank (and she underlined this name)?  A new boyfriend?


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "My Grandmother's Diary ~ Part 20, August 31 - September 11, 1920", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 24, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).


  1. Heather, I love the way you excerpt from this diary on a regular basis. Feels like time-travel when I read what your grandma was doing in such detail. Have you indexed who's mentioned in which diary entries?

  2. I love how she notes things that might seem inconsequential, but obviously mattered to her, like about Mrs. Butler's cat or going to Danvers. The way she writes seems very mature for her age and I wonder if young ladies were more mature then, than they are now. Probably, considering it was a very different culture! This is such an interesting look at a 15-year-old's life in 1920.