Zadoc Long's Journal, 1853-54
Source: Alfred Cole and Charles F. Whitman, A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine (Buckfield, Me.: [s.n.], 1915).
[p. 500]1853.Feb. 9—We never know so warm and broken a winter.
Feb. 23—There have been brought into the village this winter 125 tons of dried apples.
Feb. 25—F. O. J. Smith is here making contracts to grade the extension of the R. R. to Canton.
Feb. 28—Last day of the shortest and mildest winter I ever experienced. I have this day written for counsel touching my R. R. liabilities. The R. R. has cost the people here much money and trouble.
Mar. 3—Buckfield Sewing Circle held its annual fair this eve at Cresey's Hall. A Mr. Nicholson, an interant phrenologist, has been in the village a week humbugging old and young. He has 50cts. for chart of head. I believe there has been no necessity this winter for breaking roads—an unheard of instance in this climate.
Mar. 7—Annual town meeting. The people divided into two parties upon the Maine Liquor Law—denominated Ramrods and Rummies. The Rummies carry the day and elect all their candidates by a majority of 30 or 40.
Mar. 9—Free Soil people hold a meeting to-day and to-morrow at Union Chapel.
Mar. 18—America Farrar raising up his house for a tavern.
Mar. 27, Sunday—No meeting. Mr. Small is absent and talks of leaving the place.
Apr. 3—Grandfather Long, 83 years old, walked up 2 miles to see us—as spry and smart as a lad of 12.
Apr. 9—My field broken into this week for the extension of the R. R. Men are making a culvert in the swale. A gentleman named Woodbury, overseeing the work, lost his pocketbook a few days ago, containing in cash $400 and as much in drafts and notes. Yesterday I set out a snow-ball tree on the north side of my front yard path—also a small elm and 2 peonies, 1 high cranberry bush, all taken from Mr. Farrar's front garden, which Mr. Samuel F. Brown planted there, when he owned the place. It is sad to see the shubbery Mr. Brown took so much pains with, rooted up.
May 1—Mr. Small preaches. We have a seraphine in the church, hired of the Baptist Society in Norway.
May 3—F. O. J. Smith moved with his family into the village Sat. last. Boards at Mr. Cresey's tavern.
May 5—Mr. Small who attended the examination at Hebron Academy tells me that John Davis is the best Greek scholar there.[p. 501]May 30—A young Irishman who worked on the R. R. was drowned here last evening. He went into the river on horseback—fell off his horse and was drowned before he could get help.
June 24—America Farrar furnishing his tavern to be opened next week under the care of John Taylor as landlord.
July 5, Mr. Farrar's new hotel opened to-day.
July 21—John Davis returned to-day from Cambridge with his certificate of admission at Harvard.
July 27—A day to be remembered as the day of my own mother's death—77 years of age.
Aug. 4—Ball at Farrar's hotel last night. Cost of music $50—costly supper. Mr. Clifford of Portland, Robinson of Hartford, Ruel Washburn of Livermore, Seth May of Winthrop, Belcher of Farmington and Ludden of Turner, referees and counsel in a law case of A. G. Cole. vs. Wm. Bridgham staid at our house last night. Zadoc went into trade with Carroll Loring at his father's store. I let Zadoc have $1500 in cash and Carroll has $1500. Carroll's father works all the time for them and has 1-3 of the profits. The firm name is Loring & Long.
Dec. 1—No snow on the ground. Cattle feeding in the field. The weather is delightful.
Dec. 11, Sunday—Mr. Small baptized Col. Ichabod Bonney, D. Swett and wife, E. Ricker and wife and Mr. Noah Prince yesterday in the river near A. G. Cole's dam and gave them the right hand of fellowship and welcomed them into the Paris Church of which he is a member.1854.Jan. 24—The Buckfield Sewing Circle has its annual levee at Taylor's Hall to-day.
Jan. 25—Josiah Whitten leaves my house to-day and moves on to the Capt. Record place. This is one of the old-fashioned winters, weather cold, snow deep.
Feb. 5—Very cold. Thermometer 24 degrees below zero. Funeral of Elizabeth Rice, a pauper at Union Chapel. She and her widowed mother, who is about 80 years old, lately went to the poor house after years and years of struggling against poverty with heroic courage, suffering and severe destitution, rather than become a public charge.
Feb. 12—Mrs. Valentine Ripley buried to-day.
Feb. 15—The Whigs by a split in the Democratic party in this state have a Governor, Speaker of the House, etc. Price of provisions: Best flour, $12; hay, $15 and other things in proportion.
Feb. 23—Snow storm. The earth is buried deep. The people are uneasy. Many talk of finding a warmer latitude. Some have already started for California. The traders and merchants suffer most. Their business in a great measure is stopped.
Apr. 7—9 bbls. of liquor destroyed here this afternoon. A great crowd around the sheriff as he knocked open the barrels and spilled "the critter."—Ramrods and Rummies—some cross, some making sport—some ready to fight, some catching the liquor in their caps from under the[p. 502]sheriff's axe and drinking freely of it and then passing it to others, some pushing, some pushed, some laughing, some swearing, one man pounded in the face and searching furiously with doubled fists for him who did it. Rummies who seized a barrel of liquor and rolled it away were chased by Ramrods who retook it and guarded it as they would a condemned murderer till he undergoes the sentence of the law. A disgraceful row de row.
May 14—Last night we had a fearful fire in the village. Mr. Battles' public house and all the stables and shed connected together with Bridgham's store were entirely consumed. The fire broke out about midnight. Loss estimated at $4000. Insurance, $2400.
June 16—Ezra Bisbee buried.
July 4—No celebration here. The American Flag is waving from the sign pole of Farrar's hotel.
July 26—Mr. Leonard from Boston has fixed our old clock so that it strikes the hours correctly. It has been running for half a century and was bequeathed by grandmother Nelson to Zadoc. It was valued highly by her. Its original cost was $80. She kept it in her sleeping room and its ticking and striking was company for her especially when at the late house of the night she could not sleep. For several years the striking part has been out of order. It is pleasant to hear it again, though it awakens sad memories. It seems like the knell of departed friends and departed enjoyments.
Aug. 1—Persis Seaver is married to Percival W. Bartlett of Boston and takes leave of us. Ceremony performed by Rev. A. K. P. Small.
Aug. 4—Political secret associations are being formed all over the country whose members are called Know Nothings.
Aug. 7—News of cholera in the city of Portland.
Aug. 8—Business in the village very dull. Nothing being done on the extension of the R. R.
Sept. 11—The drouth has caused a panic throughout the country that operates unfavorably to buyers of produce. Arrangements are being made to build a Calvinist Baptist church in Buckfield village. Two-thirds of the pews already sold. The house is being erected by Mr. Small who started the enterprise and is doing much towards its completion.
Sept. 13—New Baptist church organized to-day under the pastorate of Mr. Small—chiefly of ladies.
Oct. 27—This morning at 4½ o'clock there was an unusual appearance in the heavens. First broke into my room a flash of soft and beautiful light with the suddenness of lightning. I beheld southeastward from my window a line of meteoric light like a long string of brilliant stars—first dazzling to the sight, then changing—the lower end turning up so as to form the resemblance to a horse shoe. In 15 minutes it had disappeared.
Nov. 2—Mr. David Swett, one of our most valuable citizens and neighbors, died to-day about noon, typhoid fever.
Nov. 9—Singing school commenced under the instruction of Mr. Cushman of Hebron.