The Daggett House
The whole point of this post is to get visitors of historic homes to look at these wonderful old structures that sit inside open-air museums with "new" eyes - in hopes that instead of just being an old home, it may now become seemingly alive - - -
|Welcome to the 1750 Daggett Farm House|
But there is so much more...
Since I've discovered the publication of actual journals and diaries originally written a hundred years ago, or a hundred and fifty years ago, or even two hundred-plus years ago, I no longer look at the old historic houses quite the same, for these writings tell tales of everyday life as the occurrences happened. And the menial tasks written all those years ago that meant very little at the time (and still means little to most modern day historians) are like gold to a social historian like me, especially when one understands the purpose behind these chores and tasks. I feel to fully grasp the times in which the diaries are taking place, reading and researching the details of everyday life in books that go beyond politics and wars are a must. This is why I look at a historic home very differently than most normal human beings.
Let's take the 18th century Daggett Farm House, for instance.
|From the back corner of the Daggett Farm House|
|The original location of Samuel Daggett's|
homestead that is now in Greenfield Village.
As you can see, he was right next to his
To help explain, let's do a little background history of this New England structure to familiarize ourselves with its story:
The Daggett house was built by Samuel Daggett in Coventry (now Andover), Connecticut around the year 1750, right about the time he married his wife, Anna Bushnell. Samuel and Anna had three children: daughters Asenath (b. 1755) and Talitha (possibly known as Tabitha, but Talitha is on most records), born 1757, and a son, Isaiah, who was the youngest and was born in 1759.
Samuel Daggett was a housewright by trade and built this particular home on a spot known as Shoddy Mill Road, atop 80 acres of land, half of which had been deeded to him by his father. Samuel also framed nearly every other house in the surrounding area, as his account book at the Connecticut Historical Society attests.
|Ceiling beams hand-hewn by Samuel Daggett himself back around 1750. |
How cool is that?
In fact, Samuel Daggett was quite the busy man. Again, according to his own notations in his account book, he...
sold flax seed
Yes, beer was a very popular and even
necessary beverage for colonials,
including the Daggetts.
The account book also refers to Samuel being paid in pounds, shillings and pence.
And here is a real treat: a page from Samuel Daggett's actual account book written with his own hand! (Imagine...this was probably written all those years ago right inside this house that now stands inside Greenfield Village!):
The home life and daily activities of Anna and the children were closely connected to the work that Samuel did. On farms in the colonial era, each family member played an important role in producing food, clothing and household goods for the family. Anna Daggett ran the home and cared for the family. She prepared and preserved food; spun yarn; made clothing, towels and sheets; gave the children their earliest lessons in reading and writing; and fed the animals including chickens and pigs.
|Asenath and Talitha|
Working in the garden: "I sowd parsnips and Carrot seed in the garden by the Barn."
Family health: "Mr. Ballard (Martha's husband) went to meeting. Dolly is unwell. Pukeing in the night."
Visiting with friends: "I went to see Mrs. Meloy. Find her Tolerable Comfortable. Old Lady Coutch there."
|The hustling, bustling farm of the Daggetts|
"I have been washing. Mr. Livemore, his wife and Cousin, & Mrs. Holdman took Tea. I feel more fatagued (fatigued) this Evening. I laid my Washing aside when my Company Came and finisht it after they went away Except rinsing."
Making extra money: "Mrs. Holdman here to have a gown made. Mrs. Benjamin to have a cloak cut."
The book goes on to say that Martha and her daughters bleached newly spun thread on the grass and hung laundry on such fences as they had, though there were risks in such a practice: "Hannah washt Daniels Blankett & our swine tore it into strips."
Then there were problems with the neighbor's animals: "Mr. Livermore's swine in our field a number of times. I went my self & informed him."
Excellent examples of daily life in colonial times.
|The War begins, and|
the Daggetts heard the
news as it happened.
Like other families in the colonial times, the Daggetts used, sold, or traded items they made for those they needed.
An interesting fact about Samuel Daggett that I discovered is that he helped to defend the Colony of Connecticut during the Revolutionary War, and was apparently stationed in the State House in New London. In 1774, during a town meeting in Coventry, citizens agreed to a non-importation agreement.
Mr. Daggett also paid for someone named Jacob Fox to take his son Isaiah's place in military duty so that the young 17-year-old could stay home and tend the farm. Coventry sent 116 men to Lexington at the start of the war. The community also sent clothing and supplies to aid the war effort.
|~The Daggetts in the 1790 census~|
(Census day was August 2, 1790)
Directly below Isiah's name we find Samuel (abbreviated to Sam'l - a very common abbreviation at that time) with only one "other free white persons," presumably his wife, Anna.
I will also suppose here that by this time the daughters of Samuel and Anna (Talitha and Asenath) are married and now live with their own husbands: Aseneth to Nathaniel Kingsbury (she died in 1823), and Talitha, who passed away in 1846, to Joseph Carver.
If and when I decide to take it to the next level and research the Daggett family further, I will post my findings here.
|The tombstone of Anna Daggett:|
Death: Jan. 28, 1832
relict of Samuel; age 98
(From "Find A Grave")
|The tombstone of Samuel Daggett:|
Death: Aug. 24, 1798
Rev. War Veteran. Age 75
(From "Find A Grave")
Samuel died in 1798 at the age of 75. His wife, Anna, lived to the ripe old age of 98 and stayed in this house until her death in 1832.
Both are buried in the Old Andover Cemetery.
In Samuel's will he mentions his cider mill situated near the home as well as his workshop. It's said that the original site location still has the remains of his extensive apple orchard.
In fact, here is a snippet of Samuel's actual will:
4 Feb 1799
"In the name of God amen...
I Samuel Daggett of Coventry...having weak in body, but of sound and perfect mind & memory...give and bequeath to my beloved wife Anna the use and improvement...described real estate during her life.
Beginning at the south side of the barr post standing on the west side of the road leading from my son Isaiah's, by my Cider Mill at the southeast of a piece of fallowed ground, these running westerly in the line of the fence to a pasture in the line of the fence to the cross fence on the north side of said pasture.
...I likewise bequeath (my wife) five bushels of wheat, twelve bushels of rye, twenty five bushels of corn, & two barrels of cyder...my old mare, and her colt, three cows (to wit, one called Old Blind, the great heifer), three of my youngest swine, the north half of my dwelling house, above and below; one half of the cellar, one half of my household furniture, the side saddle, west end of the barn together with the barn floor..."
|Daggett House plans:|
click to enlarge
The saltbox house (known as breakback-style during the 18th century) was a very popular architectural style in colonial Connecticut. I have read that this form gets its name from the similarity in shape to the small chests used for storing salt at that time. The most distinctive feature is the asymmetrical gable roof, which has a short roof plane in the front and a long roof plane in the rear, extending over a lean-to (see the various exterior photos). English settlers created this manner of engineering by adapting a medieval house form to meet the different needs and weather of northeast America. The design was perfect for the harsh New England climate.
When Mrs. Wells was told of the
dwelling as it sat in Andover in 1951, she had it disassembled and moved 35 miles to Union, Connecticut, where she had much of the '19th century updates' removed in her own restoration project and, in doing so, found the original facade. It was this 18th century design that prompted Mrs. Wells to actually purchase the house for herself. Once in its new location and restored, the structure served as Wells' home for the next 26 years, until she could no longer keep it in its pristine colonial condition.
It was then, in 1977, that Mrs. Wells decided to donate this wonderful representation of colonial New England America, complete with most of the colonial furnishings she collected, as well as an endowment fund to maintain it, to Greenfield Village.
With continuous labor, it was ready for public viewing by the 1978 season.
And now, with this wonderful New England addition in its new location situated near the other early American structures such as Plympton House, Giddings House, the Farris Windmill, and the English Cotswold Cottage & Forge, the colonial section of Greenfield Village was complete. And just down the road a piece is the 1780 log cabin birthplace of William Holmes McGuffey.
|Just before opening up for visitors inside the Village in 1978|
(photo courtesy of The Henry Ford)
|Preparing wool for spinning|
Donna Braden, Senior Curator and Curator of Public Life at The Henry Ford~
Employing living history, the docents who work inside Daggett are dressed in accurate period farm-style clothing of the mid-1700's, and they work the house seasonally as if they truly lived there 250 years ago. However, rather than present in a 1st person verbiage, such as Plimouth Plantation, the Daggett presenters remain in 3rd person while employing acts in a 1st person manner, and it's in this way they can verbally teach the visitor while showing the everyday life of our colonial ancestors. This includes the preparation and cooking over the hearth of daily meals, dyeing wool and spinning said wool into yarn by way of a great (or walking) spinning wheel, weaving, gardening, chopping wood, and more. And the knowledgeable historians who work inside and outside of this house are ready and willing to accept the patrons' many questions.
As you enter the front door you are greeted by a tight, steep winding staircase to access the upper rooms (or bed chambers) now used for storage. We will come back to this area momentarily.
If we turn left at the stairs we will enter the parlor, or "best" room. This was a more formal and private room reserved for the more formal entertaining of family, the preacher, and close friends. Due to the centrality of the chimney, it also has its own fireplace. You see, aside from the structure's unusual shape, another thing you may notice while visiting (or in the photographs here) is the single central chimney, allowing for a simple design of having a fireplace in each room on both floors.
In this video clip, a Daggett presenter gives us a tour of the parlor:
And here we have a side view of this beautiful home showing the outside wall of the parlor.
|Note the cut-a-way wall mentioned in the above clip.|
So, since there was a press bed there and I was a bit tired, and I was kind of a guest...sort of...I thought I'd take a little nap. How was I supposed to know I wasn't allowed to do that?
Boy! Was I wrong!
|Ha! Just kidding. It's just a little photo trickery.|
I hope you all know me better than to think I would actually do
this...but it sure does make for a fun picture, doesn't it?
|Here is a photograph of the parlor from the window looking |
toward the kitchen. Ahhh...there's the fireplace to help keep us
warm during the winter.
|The parlor from the opposite end.|
|Looking into the parlor from the kitchen. |
Note the colonial shoes under the bed.
Now, let us go to the right of the stairs where we will enter the main room of the house - the "great hall." Click the video clip to watch a short presentation about this room:
The way this room is presented in the Daggett home is as an all-purpose area with a large fireplace and hearth where most of the cooking, eating, and chore presentations occur. However, originally, the great hall would not be too far removed from our modern-day living room. Whereas the formal parlor was reserved for the closest of friends, the great hall would have been the room where family and friends of all kinds would congregate for visits, where crafts and tasks such as quilting, spinning, and weaving would occur, and, yes, even eating a meal could take place.
|A corner of the great hall...|
|A slight shift to the right and we can see |
the front door behind the wood box.
|And another slight shift to the right with the front door open|
|The great hall fireplace at night|
|...and the opposite corner of the great hall, looking toward the kitchen|
|And the fourth corner of the great hall - that's the kitchen entry to the left.|
|Relaxing on a winter's eve in the great hall|
From the great hall we step into the kitchen. This elongated room in the Daggett home was built along the back wall under the lean-to, and, like the other main rooms, also includes a large fireplace. Besides a kitchen, this rear room could be divided up into a pantry, buttery, and sometimes an additional bedroom.
As presented in Greenfield Village, to the immediate right, is the buttery. The buttery was similar to our modern pantry (or larder), storing food and other provisions, wines & liquor, and utensils needed for cooking and eating.
|In the buttery|
To the left of the entrance way we see the kitchen itself.
|Anna Daggett in the kitchen|
|At the kitchen hearth in the evening.|
At the far end of the kitchen we see another small room separated by a doorway. This may have been an additional bedroom, though, according to the floor plans, this little room is called the borning room.
|~The far end of the kitchen~|
The "borning room" is through the doorway you see,
and the parlor is to the left.
I suspect it may have even been Isiah's bedroom.
Would you like to check out "above stairs" in the Daggett house? You would?
Well then this next section is for you - what you will see here are some rare images of the bed chambers on the 2nd floor.
Here is a short video clip explaining what you will see at the top of the stairs:
So, now, let's head to the 2nd floor of the Daggett home:
|Won't you come along with me? |
Be careful - the winding staircase is narrow.
|Up the stairs we go. The room we see directly in front of us is the |
parlor chamber, directly above the parlor.
A parlor chamber was considered the master bedroom and would keep the most elegant bedroom furniture. You'll notice, however, in the floor plan that the parlor chamber is smaller than the hall chamber. This is because, as mentioned in the video clip about the 1st floor parlor, when the house was being restored it was found to have irreparable rotting wood in that particular area and, therefore, the side wall had to be resized and rebuilt to smaller dimensions than the way it was originally.
|At the top of the stairs and into the parlor chamber. |
Yes, that's me looking out the window.
Note the hand-hewn ceiling beams by
Samuel Daggett himself directly above me.
|Parlor Chamber - directly above the parlor - now used mainly for storage.|
|The parlor chamber fireplace - connected to the central chimney.|
Bring on the winter - we have a fireplace!
The other large bedroom was called the Hall Chamber. This would have been for Samuel & Anna and maybe their children as infants.
|On the opposite side of the room in the hall chamber we see |
another fireplace meant for warming during winter nights.
|The hall that connects the two bed chambers - |
from the hall chamber to the parlor chamber.
The stairs to go down to the first floor are
along the orange barrier.
|Heading back "below stairs"|
Maybe one day...
Let's take a step out the kitchen door and head to the magnificent garden behind the house.
Heirloom plants are grown back here and used for cooking and presenting purposes. If you catch the presenters on a slower day, don't be afraid to ask for a tour of the garden, for this is where one can see the extent that Greenfield Village goes for that extra mile in its authenticity.
|~The Daggett garden~|
I do apologize for not having photos of the plants themselves.
I will rectify that situation this coming season.
|Gardening: springtime preparation|
After the long, cold winter, it's time to get the ground prepared for planting
Gardening: springtime planting
Along with the more common vegetables and herbs known in our modern times, this garden is filled with such a variety of heirloom plants as such one never sees or hears about unless in a historic situation.
|Gardening: fall harvest|
By early October, much of the garden was nearly ready for harvesting
|Gardening: fall harvest |
And by early November we will see one of the Daggett daughters
bringing in the remaining necessities for food and health purposes.
Now...how does one water the garden during a dry spell when little or no rain falls?
From the well, for sure, but how to get the water from the well is the question.
Colonial farmers were known to use well sweeps.
For those who have visited the Daggett house in person, have you noticed that long wooden pole coming up from the ground with rope and a bucket tied to the end that sits just outside the kitchen/buttery door? That's a well sweep. Largely used in colonial America and on the frontier, well sweeps were vital simple machines used to gather water deep in the ground in a time before the more well-known "wishing well" style wells became popular.
|Notice the well sweep to the right.|
According to Early American Life Magazine (June 2018), few survive today, so we are very lucky to have one within our midst at Greenfield Village.
And for scenic purposes, here are a few winter pictures of the Daggett home:
|As beautiful in the winter as any other season. |
Maybe even more so!
|Asenath sweeps the snow from the porch|
|In a world all its own...the beauty of winter at Daggett|
|The Daggett homestead from a distance...a time long ago...|
I mean, if the Daggett house walls had ears, they most certainly would have heard at least some talk about these great events.
|I can only imagine…|
Asenath awoke, startled. Had she overslept and not heeded her father's call? She jumped out of bed on to the strip of rag carpet laid on the cold floor. The sun was just rising and a cool, northwest breeze was blowing on this May morning. The well-sweep creaked in the breeze, and a whiff of the smoke of the kitchen fire, pouring out of the chimney, blew up the stairway. The past week of housecleaning had been a busy one, for she and her younger sister, Talitha, had cleaned the dooryard and the entry as well as the back room and the loft bedroom.
Their mother, Anna, was ill and the housework was up to the two girls.
“Daughter,” called Samuel, her father, from the foot of the stairs, “the day comes on apace, and it promises a clear sky for your cleaning. Grandmother is tending your mother, and Isiah and I will need the porridge hot when we come back from foddering.”
In the kitchen, a glowing bed of red-hot coals burned on the hearth, streaks of sunlight glanced through the windows and touched the course cloth on the dinner table. Soft reflections shone from the porringers hanging on the dresser; a sunbeam flecked with bright light the brass candlesticks which were set on the mantel over the hearth.
All winter the family had gathered in the kitchen and, in its warm coziness, Azenath had spun on the spinning wheel, darned mittens, and knitted stockings. Being in the kitchen was a reminder of that cozy time.
The simple but nourishing breakfast was soon over. Samuel spoke occasionally to his son, Isiah, about the work of the day. “The flax patch must be harrowed and sowed and the sods turned for the corn,” he said.
“This is likely a drying day, Isiah; the wind and sun will draw the dampness from the earth, and take the dust from your rages, too, Daughter,” he added as he rose and picked up his broad, soft hat.
After breakfast, Samuel had set the churn near the hearth and the cream was warm enough to beat. The brick-oven was well-heated, and Asenath could bake apple pies, using the last of the dried apples. Isiah should take down the few strings of apples which were left hanging on the kitchen rafters, and Talitha should wash them at the well. It would not take long for Talitha to clear away the dishes and fold the table cloth and napkins. The family had few dishes and most of those were pewter bowls and porringers.
Grandmother slipped briskly to her large wool spinning wheel. She was white-haired and full of years, dignified and graceful in carriage, but still she plied her task of spinning energetically and skillfully. For many years of her life she had walked back and forth at her wheel, lightly poised and alert. She lifted her spinning wheel, and with awkward help from Talitha, carried it into Anna’s room.
“I must need to be out of your way, Asenath, and will spin in your mother’s room today.”
And the daily activities of the Daggett household continued on...
(This was a slightly modified story taken from the book A Day In A Colonial Home by Della R. Prescott. I added my own feel to it to fit the Daggett House)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~Epilogue (sort of) - - - or---What Happened to the Descendants of Samuel & Anna?~
|Isaiah Daggett purchased land for a house from his father, |
Samuel Daggett, in 1793. According to a Daggett family diary,
Isaiah built the white house you see above at 233 Route 6 in
Andover in 1805. Isaiah had been born in his father’s old saltbox
house, which is now part of Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford
Museum in Michigan.
Now, this 1805 home was owned by Daggett family members
until the 1960s, and then by the Goodman family.
Though I must admit, if I were a descendant I would have done everything in my power to keep the house in the family - - -)
Isaiah died in August of 1835 in Connecticut.
Well, I decided to do the same project again, though with another historic house inside the Village, the Daggett Farmhouse, built around 1750.
So first let's take a peak into the life - the background - of Samuel Daggett by looking into his background and the environment in which he lived:
|The sun rises on another day in the 18th century|
(this wonderful photo was taken as a favor to me
by Tom Kemper)
|Although built in the mid-18th century, the Daggett House retains a 17th century, |
post-medieval pattern of construction and interior layout. This style of construction continued to be popular in rural New England even after home styles changed into
a more contemporary feel, incorporating spacious central-hall plans, for an example.
The Great Hall:
This was the general gathering spot for the family, not unlike our modern living room. It was used for sitting, family eating, prayers, sometimes for sleeping (perhaps during the cold winters when all other rooms may have been shut off to preserve the heat),
reading (mostly the Bible), sewing, spinning, and other textile work.
The kitchen was mainly used to prepare and preserve food, though additional chores may have also taken place here, including dairying, laundry, candle-making (when done indoors), and, like the great hall, it could also had been used for spinning, sewing, and other textile work as well.
This was a formal space and would have been used for special occasions, including dining, observing social rituals, entertaining outside guests - possibly the preacher - and it would have the most expensive and best household furnishings.
The Above Stairs Chambers:
The 2nd floor rooms were likely used for semi-private sleeping quarters, though if
this house was built before the 18th century, which it was not, these chambers
may had been used primarily for storage space for textiles and grain rather than for sleeping. The above photo shows one of the fireplaces in one of the rooms, which
helped to keep the room somewhat warmer.
Today the rooms on Daggett's second floor are, once again, used as storage, though they now store items used for the house presentation programs offered
at Greenfield Village rather than grain, as see in the photo below.
|Coventry, Connecticut landowners|
at the time of Samuel Daggett
|Aside from the house itself, to my knowledge there are no actual|
samples of Samuel Daggett's wood work known to still exist, so the
furnishings you see in these photos are well-researched similar examples,
and we can assume their design would have been familiar to Samuel & Anna.
|I see Anna, Asenath, and Samuel...|
but where is Talitha and Isaih?
|Samuel Daggett: In His Own Write~|
Yes, this is an actual page from Samuel's own account book.
Just imagine...he wrote what you see here while living in this house that now sits
inside Greenfield Village.
Pretty cool, eh?
This picture was taken soon after a mid-January snowstorm.
One can just imagine...
Even with the cold and snow, Samuel & Anna Daggett, with their children, kept
themselves busy; Anna in the kitchen preparing and cooking a meal in the hearth
while the children did their assigned chores as well.
Husband, Samuel, possibly out doing odd jobs and making more money or
bartering for needed goods.
Once their son, Isaiah, was old enough, he, too, would have his chores, for there
was plenty of wood to be chopped and stored for hearth and home, and perhaps
learning his father's wood and housewright trade.
18th century life.
January 20, 1750: Jacob Gill, debeter, for looking for timber for his fraim (frame)
January 15, 1760: Samuel Blackman, Debtor, for mending of a foot wheel
more to making of a yoak (yoke) – trimming of it
January 18, 1760: wid. (widow) Sarah Loomis, debtor, to mending of a wheel
January 1766: Joseph Clark, debtor, a pair of fliers to a little wheel
|And here is a bright sunny February afternoon to let us know that, as assuredly|
as the sun will rise in the morning, springtime is nigh.
Although it is still wintertime, the planning of planting the fields come
springtime will take place by farmers.
The dried apples from last October certainly taste good!
February 6 yr. 1749: Peres Sprague, debtor, for two chears (chairs)
more to making of a slead (sled)
more to hanging a lithe (sythe? laithe?)
more to cradeling of oats / more to bail
February 23, 1750: Peres Sprague debeter for a half a booshil (bushel)
of pertators (potatoes)
more to a seed plow and to a whorl
more to a peck of pertators and 4 pounds of tobacco
more to creadling (cradling) of two akors (acres) and 1/2 of an akor
more to hanging of a lithe (sythe? laithe?) and making a cain (cane)
Capt Obediah Nucomb, debter, for a cart and wheels
(a worl is a flywheel or pulley, as for a spindle)
February 9, 1761: Abraham Blackman, debtor, for making of a spoll (spool)
and fliers (flyers) to a (spinning) wheel.
February 24, 1764: Ephraim Shalfer's widow, Debtor, for mending of a wheel
~(more than likely a spinning wheel)
|It is now March - very early in the spring - and we can still see the last remnants|
of the winter snow melting. This would be the time of year when the colonial
farmer might be repairing his farm tools to work his fields
for plowing and planting.
March 3, 1757: Jacob Sherwine, debtor, for ceeping of seven cattel 5 weeks
and three days : 1 three year old 4 two year olds 2 one year old
more to one booshil (bushel) of ots (oats): allso for my oxen one day to plow
more to my oxen to plow one day and more to my oxen to plow two days
more to my oxen to dray* apels (apples) half a day
March 1, 1758: John Sherwine, debtor to flaxseed half a booshil
March 11, 1760: Capt Obediah Newcomb debtor for mending of 8 chairs and a wheel.
March 13, 1760: Joseph Crooker debtor for eleven booshil of heyseed at seven pence cash pr. booshil.
*A dray is a low, strong cart without fixed sides, for carrying heavy loads.
|Plowing, harrowing, and planting may also be on Sam Daggett's mind at this time, especially as the sun gradually warms the ground.|
Caring for the pregnant farm animals was also a top priority, for this would
ensure continued generations of cattle, pigs, sheep, and horses.
Aprail 7, 1749: Reverend Samuel Lockwood, debeter, for two days work hewing timber
Aprail 4, 1750: more for fraiming of (Jacob Gill's) house fraim 14 days 3/4 of a day
Aprail 16, 1750: Rebeckah Gibbs, debeter, to a woolen wheel
Aprail 2, 1751: Mary Woodworth, debeter, to a plow
more to a spindel
April first (1763): more to 3 days 2 hours fraiming (of the school house)
more to timber for one thousand 4 hundred and seventy of shingels / more to draining of the shingels
more to 2 days of work about the school house
April 25, 1767: Samuel Sprague, debtor, for 65 booshils (bushels) of hayseed
5 pence per booshil, cash price
April 6, 1769: Abraham Burnap (father of Daniel Burnap, clockmaker), debtor,
for work about a pair of wheels and axletree
April 15, 1774: Samuel House, debtor, for 4 hundred (pounds?) of hay at 2 shillings 3 pence pr hundred cash proce
|'Tis the month of May - mid-May to be exact - and the ground is mostly prepared|
for planting, which can commence at any time.
This was also time for washing & shearing sheep and scouring & carding wool.
May 30, 1749: one day work digging of stones
May 10, 1758: Daniel Nucomb, debtor, for a coffain (coffin)
May 22, 1758: Credet to John Stedman in cash
May 6, 1765: Benjamin Buel, Debtor, for one booshil (bushel) and two
half quarts of seed corn
May 11, 1765: Thomas Bishop, Debtor, for one booshil & half of rie cash price
May 21, 1765: more to 7 days work framing of his (Thomas Bishop) barn
more to 7 days woork of Thomas in framing
more to six quarts of barly and eight --?-- of flaxseed
May 5, 1770: Mary Lutchins, debtor, for one bushil of wheat and one bushil of rye
more to 2 pigs, 5 weeks old and a half of a peck of corn
~(It looks like by 1770 Samuel Daggett learned how to spell "bushil" correctly!)
This picture was taken on June 21st - the first day of summer, and that means
summer's here and the time is right for caring for the farm crop and kitchen garden.
And still more planting to do.
June 16, 1749: Jonathan Merait, debeter, for eight days work of
hewing and framing
June 21, 1749: Thomas Perceins debeter for a coffain (coffin)
June 11, 1763: Nath(el) junior , Debtor, for a pair of cartwheels
more to drawing of 2 tooth and mending a cartwheel
more to 14 pound of veal and half 1 pney hapenny pr. pound
|For the colonial farmer, it was usually in July that made for haying. |
Summer produce is ready for harvesting.
One can almost feel the heat on this humid July 15th day.
This was also time for weaving wool on the loom, which would continue for pretty much the rest of the year, or until the weather was severely cold
July 11 ye 1749: Thomas Wisse, debeter, for cradelings*
more to cradeling two acor and 3/4 of otes
July 13, 1749: Josiah Bumpus, debter, for one days work of reaping
July 25, 1763: Solomon Saveary, debtor for a coffain (coffin)
*The way wheat & oats were cut years ago was by 'cradeling' (cradling).
That is, using a tool known as a cradle.
|Feel the heat:|
June 21st may be the longest stretch of daylight, but the hottest days usually take
place in July & August.
Even though it was August 16 when I took this picture, one can see and feel the
season begin to change ever-so-slightly.Farm work continues both inside and outside the house.
August 31, 1753: Samuel House debter to a plow
August 1764: Joseph Griswold, debtor, for a coffan (coffin) for his child
August 27, 1765: (added to Joseph Griswold's account)
more to twelve pounds of leather
more to one quarter of lamb mutton
more to one calfskin tand (tanned)
more to two shillings worth of leather
|I snapped this shot on September 9, and it is easy to see the shadows of the sun grow longer. Hints of summer past and autumn future are in the air...harvest time is nigh.|
September 12, 1751: Sam Benet, debtor, for two days and half of work about mill
and a pound of tobacco
September 17, 1757: Rufus Rude, debtor, for 11 pounds of p-barke and for
one pound of butter
more to one pound of butter
more to my oxen to draw a load of bords
September 21, 1757: Elisha Bill, debtor, for two days work about his cyder mill
We are nearing the end of the month - October 22.The housewife's universe spiraled out from hearth and barnyard to tending a
kitchen garden and perhaps a large vegetable garden, both now in full harvest.
October 25 ye 1748: Nathaneal House, debter, to work about his barn fraim (frame)
October 1756: David Carber, debtor, for 17 yards of flaniel (flannel) at
2 shillings pr. yard
more to 64 pounds of cheese at 3 shillings per pound
October 1757: Joseph Crocker, debtor, 2 B (bushels) of wheat
On October 23, 1767, Samuel Daggett noted in his account book that he had sold:
4 1/2 (pounds) of pork
10 quartz of cyder
15 quartz of cyder
5 quartz of cyder
2 quartz of seed corn
19 gallons of cyder by the barrel
Picture taken November 11
The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold...
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall
(English lyrics by Johnny Mercer)Late fall harvest keeps the farm family busy, as does winter preparations.
November 3 ye 1748: William Peters, debeter, to work about his cool house
November 16 ye 1748: Credit to Nathanael House for making of cyder
and toward other work
November 23, 1749: Aaron Phelps, debtor, for work about his mill
more to drawing of teeth for his wife
November 25, 1749: Thomas Lymon, debter, for work about his house
more to worl
more to mending his cart
(a worl is a flywheel or pulley, as for a spindle)
November 4, 1755: Cr debtor to forty five pounds-three fourths of butter at
five shillings pr pound
more to four yards of plaincloath at two pounds eight shillings pr yard
November 9, 1757: Beriah Loomis, debtor, 14 yards flannel cloth and half at 2 1/2 pr. Yard
November 15, 1757: John Stedman, debtor for a coffain (coffin) for the
more for a coffain for his child
more to drawing of a tooth
November 30, 1762: Doc John Crocker debtor for 276 wait (weight) of porke at
three pence pr pound
more to going and drawing of a tooth
more to three fourths of a days work
more to one pound and a half of tobacco
November 7, 1764: John Crocker, debtor, for one hundred and 72 pounds of poarke at 24 shillings pr hundred money price
more poarke - wait (weight) of it 322 pounds - price 2 pence hapenny pr pound
November 22, 1764: Joseph Griswold had two hundred and 49 pounds of beef
and thirty five pounds of tallor (tallow?)
more to a tap and facet and four quartz of cyder
more to one booshil of ingain corn
more to going and draw a tooth
more to two booshils of indun corn cash price
more to half a booshil of seed corn cash price
more to one peck of seed corn cash price
more to half a booshil of common seed corn
more to five gallon of vinegar
more to half a days work of oxen to draw wood
more to one third part of a cord of bark
The harvest, for the most part, is ended, and only a few very late vegetables await.
Maybe some cabbages, brussels sprouts, lettuce, beets, potatoes, and possibly a few late carrots are all that's left to pick.
December 31, 1756: Nathan Ingrham, debter, for a half a peck of corn
more to 2 booshils (bushels) of corn
There are a few undated notes that Daggett left in his account book where he cites various other jobs:
The tombstone of
Death: Jan. 28, 1832
relict of Samuel; age 98
The tombstone of
Talitha Ann Daggett Carver
Birth: Aug 5, 1757
Death: Aug 28, 1846
The tombstone of
Asenath Daggett Kingsbury
(and her husband)
Birth: Jan 25, 1755
Death: Sept 26, 1823 (aged 68)
The tombstone of
Death: Aug 24, 1835
So there we have a little information on the home, the family, and the lives may have lived of the Daggett Family. I hope this little excursion to the past helps you during your visit to their restored home.
Special thanks to Sharon, Larissa, and Beckie for their help in assisting me in finding answers to my many questions, and to Cindy and Larissa for their wonderfully informative videos.
Also, everyone willing to pose for me!
And, of course, the helpful people at the Benson Ford Research Center.