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 - - - 

Every-so-often I like to spotlight a specific structure inside historic Greenfield Village in Dearborn,  Michigan.  Past postings of this nature have included Dr.  Howard's Office,  Firestone Farm,  the Richart Carriage Shop,  the Ackley Covered Bridge,  and the home of Noah Webster.
But I try not to write about the buildings as if I'm a tour guide reciting lines from a script.  Like many of Greenfield Village's own presenters,  I like to go the extra mile when I write and bring out the building's past in such a way that when you visit it you will look at it with a different mindset...with a different set of eyes that will bring it to life.
I'm hoping for the same for this week's post about the Daggett Farmhouse
Welcome to the 1750 Daggett Farm House
Many of us visit museums - specifically open-air museums - quite often.  And we love to enter the historic homes and just simply take it all in,  don't we?  We enjoy watching the living historian interpreters as they go about the daily activities that emulate and teach visitors about the past:  preparing meals  "the old-fashioned way,"  cooking over a hearth or wood-burning stove,  laundry,  cleaning,  and maybe even some out-of-doors labor.  Many visitors at such places have at least a minimal interest in history,  therefore probably know the basics of life  "back then,"  and are enthralled with the general information often given.
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 
father's property.
I have been in this building hundreds of times and always seem to learn or discover something new with each visit.  But it wasn't until I began to read journals and diaries of those who lived in the 1770s and 1780s that I fully understood and appreciated what this house actually represented.
To help explain,  let's do a little background history of this New England structure to familiarize ourselves with its story:  
ThDaggett 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
Making beer.
Yes, beer was a very popular and even
necessary beverage for colonials,
including the Daggetts. 

cradling oats,  bale
digging stones
making cider
reaping and mowing
looking for timber for a house
keeping cattle
digging stones for a school house
had a loom and selling flannel cloth by 1756
use of his oxen and mare
mending carts,  wheels,  and making yokes
built a road along his house to his neighbor’s farm
grew and sold tobacco
built and sold coffins
sold bushels and pecks of oats,  wheat,  corn,  and flax
sold cart and wheel
ploughing fields for neighbors
work about a meeting house
drawing  (pulling)  teeth learned from his father John
eight days work of hewing and framing,  reaping and mowing
lent oxen to William Jones October 1756 to go to Haddown with a load of cheese
One would think that would be enough to keep the man plenty busy,  but in order to provide for his family,  Daggett had his hand in additional sources of income,  including making furniture such as chairs,  as well as spinning wheels,  and even,  as mentioned,  coffins.
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!):
In the case you have trouble reading what Daggett wrote,  here are a few of the lines deciphered:
Taken from another place in this book dated June 11 1763
Nathel house junor  (junior)  Debtor for a pair of cartwheels 1-2-6-0
more to drawing of 2 toth  (teeth?)  and mending a cartwheel 0-1-6-0
more to 14 pound of veal and half 1 pney hapenny pr.  Pd  0-1-9-3

February 14 – 1754 Credet to Nathel  hous ju cash 0-75-0-00
more to ox work of two days and cash 5 shillings 0-06-3-0
more to 2 quarts and a pint of rome 5 shillings pr. ? 3-10-2

January 15 = 1760 Samuel Blackman Debtor for mending of a foot wheel 0-2-8-0
more to making of a yoak – trimming of it 0-1-0-0
Credet in full for the above acomp in cash of Blackman
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
The three Daggett children were prominent in helping out in household duties:  Asenath and Talitha would have learned the skills of  "housewifery"  from their mother.  They would have prepared yarn by carding and spinning;  made clothing,  soap and candles;  tended the garden;  and prepared food.  The following diary entries gives us a hint of an idea of what life may have been like for Mrs.  Daggett.  Though the notations presented here were not written by Anna Daggett herself  (they were written by one of her contemporaries,  Martha Ballard),  the writings do show a glimpse of everyday life as lived through the eyes of one who was there and can easily be assimilated into the Daggett Home:
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
Chores and friendly visits:  "My daughter Pollard and Mrs.  Dingley here,  helpt me do my work,  washt my kitchen.  I brewed also.  Daughter Lambert came before I had finisht.  She assistd me."
"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.
Isaiah may have also helped his mother and sisters with some of the chores around the house,  but more than likelspent most of his time learning farming and other skills from his father. 
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.

Below you will find our Daggetts as they were listed in the 1790 census - the first year for the United States to do this count.
This first census began more than a year after the inauguration of President Washington and shortly before the second session of the first Congress ended.  Congress assigned responsibility to collecting the data for the 1790 census to the marshals of the U.S.  judicial districts.  The law required that every household be visited,  that completed census schedules be posted in  "two of the most public places within  [each jurisdiction],  there to remain for the inspection of all concerned..."
Here is an explanation for the data collected below:
1st column - Name of Head of Household
2nd column - Number of free white males 16 and older
3rd column - Number of free white males under 16
4th column - Number of all other free white persons
~The Daggetts in the 1790 census~
(Census day was August 2,  1790)
In studying the data here we can see that by this time both Isiah and Samuel were listed as heads of household,  and can safely assume that Isiah,  Samuel's son,  was married with a family and living in his own nearby home,  for,  besides himself he had five other  "white males"  living with him and two  "other free white persons."  I have not done research on Isiah but I will take an educated guess that this could be a wife,  daughter,  and five sons.
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:
Birth:  1734
Death:  Jan. 28,  1832
relict of Samuel;  age 98
(From "Find A Grave")
The tombstone of Samuel Daggett:
Birth: 1723
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 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
Now  little about the house itself:
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. 
How long the house you see in this posting remained in the Daggett family is unclear.  By the time antiquarian Mary Dana Wells discovered and eventually purchased it in the early 1950s,  the structure was referred to as the  'Jack Hunt House.'  The old home was originally brought to Mrs.  Wells' attention by a Mr.  George Watson,  an employee/architect of  Old Sturbridge Village,  located in Massachusetts.  That open-air museum could not use a 1750 saltbox due to it not being appropriate to their 1790 to 1840 span of collections and turned it down.

The 1977/78 dismantling of the the 
Daggett House to bring to Greenfield Village.
You can make out the fireplace and the beehive 
(or bake)  oven on the 1st floor, and the 
hall chamber fireplace on the 2nd floor.

And how it now looks inside Greenfield 
Village.  It was rebuilt using hand 
construction methods. 
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.  
Restoration specialists Watson and Donald Graham watched carefully as the Greenfield Village crew painstakingly dismantled the house and diligently reconstructed the numbered pieces at the far-end of the Village.  The only change made was on the outside wall of the parlor where they found a portion of the house was rotting.  The workers cut in the room a bit and were able to make it work,  though it was now slightly smaller in width. 
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
"...our research revealed that a family named the Daggetts had lived there during the 1760s,  the period of our interpretation.  From Samuel Daggett's rare account book,  we could reconstruct what the Daggett family did at their farm during that time."
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.
As this room is known as the parlor,  was somewhat surprised to find a bed there.  But upon asking the  "experts,"  I've come to learn that this  'press bed'  would have been acceptable in this  'best room,'  and would have been used when guests traveled through the area and had no other place to stay,  or even for the mother when she was in labor.

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?

And just to show the dedication of the presenters who work in Daggett House:
This the underside of the  'whole cloth quilt'  that’s on the press 
bed in the parlor  (see in the picture below).  
"We wove and dyed and quilted it.  It’s the initials of all the
employees who worked on it."

And here is the quilt on the press bed:
Isn't it amazing?

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 tthe 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
This is where most of the food is prepared by the presenters.  In Anna Daggett's time,  however,  she would have also cooked over the kitchen hearth,  but since this room is so elongated,  it would be difficult to get very many visitors to comfortably witness colonial hearth cooking.   
At the kitchen hearth in the evening.
This is why,  thankfully,  all hearth cooking takes place in the fireplace located in the great hall where everyone can watch and learn,  especially the little ones.
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.
"Just what the heck is a  'borning room'?"  I asked myself.  So I put the call out to my historical friends and have been told that this would be where a woman would give birth,  though there is no proof that this space inside Daggett was actually a  'borning'  room.
I suspect it may have even been Isiah's bedroom. 
The kitchen from the opposite end

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.
The general public is not allowed access to this part of the home for it is used mainly for storage,  therefore the pictures are only glimpses.  However,  seeing past the boxes and other items,  it is a fascinating look at the upper bedrooms of a18th century saltbox house.
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.
The hall chamber (directly above the great hall).
Anyhow, again we see more storage.
Now used for storage,  this could have been the room where Tabitha and Asenath slept.  (Maybe the borning room off the kitchen could have been Isaiah's room?)
It's here where the furniture of Mrs. Wells is kept, numbered and wrapped. 
I was told it was specified by her that her furniture was 
to remain in the house as
part of the deal.  Since it was not all 
correct to the period in which Greenfield Village wanted to represent,  they held up their end of the deal and kept the furniture 
inside the home,  even though it's not displayed downstairs.

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"
I would love to one day see Greenfield Village set the 2nd floor up in the way it might have been nearly 300 years ago and keep it for viewing on special occasions.
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.
Seasonal Daggett - - - - 
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: summer care
Besides the varieties of squash,   beans,  lettuce,  asparagus,  and other vegetables used to help sustain the family,  Anna Daggett would have also grown plants for medical purposes as well,   including wormwood,  which was a purgative for stomach issues or worms,  tansy was used to stop bleeding and bruising,  and chamomile,  which was used,  same as it is today,  to make a calming tea.
Gardening: Summer care
By later June the garden is in full bloom...

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. 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.
What our ancestors were able to do to survive is simply amazing.  Folks like Samuel and Anna Daggett were every bit as smart as people today,  they just lived in a different time.

And for scenic purposes,  here are a few winter pictures of the Daggett home:
Morning has broken at the Daggett House
Pic by Tom Kemper

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
And there you have it,  a visit to one of my very favorite - if not my actual  favorite - houses inside Greenfield Village  (yes,  I do love the others there as well).
The Daggett homestead from a distance...a time long ago...
Now let's take this history just a bit further...just imagine...the Daggetts,  who lived in this house,  were once living human beings and not just characters in a book.  They had feelings the same as we do:  they felt happiness,  sadness,  anger,  pain,  concern,  and contentment.  They celebrated the coming of spring and of  the harvest time.  They enjoyed church picnics and weddings,  and certainly mourned when loved ones,  whether friends or family,  had passed away.  They spoke of their crops,  the weather,  told stories,  and studied the Bible.  One can only imagine the discussions and probably even debates they had of the news of the day - how wonderful it would be to be able to hear conversations and opinions about Paul Revere's famous ride  (for it actually did make the papers/broadsides of the time),  of the Revolutionary War itself,  their thoughts on the Declaration of Independence,  the forming of the new nation with its own Constitution,  and hearing of George Washington becoming our first president  as it was happening!
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…
Yes,  let's do imagine life in this old break-back house as it may have been in,  say,  1770:

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?~
The following information came from Find A Grave - - 
We'll begin with the eldest child, Asenath:
Asenath was born in her parent's home in January of 1755.  She married a man named in 1778 named Nathaniel Kingsbury and they had two children:  Asenath and Allen.  Asenath Daggett Kingsbury passed away in September of 1823 in Cazenovia,  New York.
Something interesting upon further digging;  it seems her daughter was known as Cena,  for I found:  DIED.—At Hebron,  Miss Cena Kingsbury,  aged 22.” — (The Connecticut Courant  Hartford,  Connecticut,  Wednesday,  July 6,  1808, p. 3, col. 4.)
Could Asenath  'the elder'  have gone by the name Cena as well?

Next we have Talitha Ann,  Samuel & Anna's second child,  who was born right there in the Daggett house in August of 1757.  Talitha married Joseph Carver,  though I cannot find a year.  As far as I can tell,  the couple had no children.  She passed away in August of 1846 in Connecticut.

As for the youngest of Samuel & Anna's brood,  Isaiah,  who was born in 1759.   He married Esther English  (no year listed)  and they had two children:  Chester and Isaiah.
(This photo below and the information with it came directly from  The Historic Buildings of Connecticut  website):
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.
(How very cool!
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.

Don't you just love how an idea will just  *pop*  into your head,  and then something you are simply  
"okay with"  all of a sudden becomes exciting?
That is exactly how I feel about today's posting.  I've written about Samuel Daggett and his family  (and house)  numerous times before,  but not quite in this manner;  I believe this is as close as one can come to sort of meeting the man who once lived in that wonderful house with the long-slanted roof at the far-end of Greenfield Village.  It is my hope that after reading this,  visitors to the Daggett House will see it with new eyes...with an engulfing awareness,  and will look at this historic 18th century building with a more discerning and intimate mindset;  to see beyond the walls and presenters and feel the spirits - not ghosts,  mind you - of those who once lived within the walls during the time of the good old colony days.
Ahhh...if only walls could talk indeed!
And yet,  they do. 


A number of years back I did a posting called Four Seasons at Firestone Farm,  where I spent over a year photographing the old farmstead from the same location as it sits inside historic Greenfield Village.  Every month I would snap a shot from the same angle in order to see the natural changes in the seasons that occur within a year's time.
Well,  I decided to do the same project again,  though with another historic house inside the Village,  the Daggett Farmhouse,  built around 1750.
Though it took me nearly two years to get them all,  seeing the seasonal changes over the course of a calendar year is,  to me,  quite interesting.  But it became so much more...for this post I did something a little different than the Firestone post:  not only did I include a bit of  historical seasonal information beneath each picture,  I also included notations taken from the actual account book of Samuel Daggett himself,  which you will see italicized beneath each photo.  
Now,  when reading the accounts of Samuel Daggett,  pay close attention,  for all the extra labor he was involved in was quite varied.  And it gives us a good idea as to some of the activities that went on in and around this home and his community during the period from about 1750 to the 1770s.  I think you'll agree after reading them that Mr.  Daggett was an amazing man.  I mean,  with all of the extra work he did,  when did he have time to farm,  much less eat and sleep?  
The spelling is mostly as it originally appears in his own write,  by the way,  lest you think I am a poor speller myself  (lol).
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)
Daggett built this particular house 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 Ann,  born 1757,  and a son,  Isaiah,  who was the youngest and was born in 1759.
Daggett was a housewright by trade and built his 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 and barn in the surrounding area,  as his account book at the Connecticut Historical Society attests.  In order to provide for his family,  Daggett had his hand in additional sources of income,  including making furniture such as chairs,  making coffins,  as well as making and repairing spinning wheels and even cart wheels.
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 use of living spaces in the Daggett house represents a sort of transitional period that incorporates both earlier modes of living,  where room functions overlapped and there was little concept of personal privacy,  to a move toward greater room specialization and a growing appreciation for privacy.
Note the following photos and descriptions of functions for each room to have a better idea of the living situation inside the walls of this 270+ year old home.
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 great hall fireplace with the beehive oven

The Kitchen:
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.

The Parlor:
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.  
Here are a few of the items in storage above stairs.
By the way,  according to the folks at Colonial Williamsburg,  "above stairs"  
and  "below stairs"  were the common terms used for upstairs and downstairs.  
Was this a Virginia/southern thing,  or were these terms commonplace 
throughout the colonies?
I'm working to find out.

By the mid-18th century,  even common homes came to be filled with objects of usefulness and display,  in number,  in kind,  and in variety previously reserved only for the very well-to-do.  The typical dwelling of 1750 had three times as many furnishings of a house with owners of the same social status from 100 years before.  It is assumed the Daggetts were no different.
It also should be understood that no farm could be called self-sufficient---all,  at some time during the year,  had to call on the outside world for material goods of one sort or another.
The Daggett house would have been furnished according to room use as described in the photos above,  and included would have been Anna's  "marriage portion,"  which would have consisted of furniture,  domestic textiles,  domestic equipment  (pots,  pans,  and other cooking utensils,  among them),  and possibly tableware like ceramic and glass that Anna's parents would have given to her when she and Samuel married.  These would have been purchased by her parents or taken from their own furnishings.
Then there were the additional furnishings made by her husband Samuel.  From the account book we know that he made chairs,  chests,  bedsteads,  and spinning wheels.  Because of this we can assume that he was also handy at fashioning smaller wooden items such as storage boxes and kitchen utensils.
Other necessary commodities  (like wrought iron and perhaps leathered goods,  coopered items,  redware,  pewter,  hardware,  cast iron,  and pewter)  would have been produced by local artisans.
Besides the locally made products,  farmers might travel on horseback to the nearest market town to make small purchases as needed for themselves and perhaps for others/neighbors to bring back.  
Coventry,  Connecticut landowners
at the time of  Samuel Daggett
Occasionally,  peddlers with small-wheeled carts would exchange needed products for farm produce or even ashes that could be made into potash for soap.
So let's visit Coventry,  where the Daggett's lived,  to help give us a clearer look at Daggett's environment:  
(click the picture to the left to get a better idea of Samuel  &  Anna's community)----in laying out the town of Coventry,  the traditional Puritan plan of settlement  (with village green,  commercial center,  small home lots,  and common land)  was abandoned in favor of large,  individual farm lots scattered across the countryside  (78 in all).  But people were far from isolated.  They felt a strong sense of community,  cemented by networks of trade,  by frequent visits between neighbors,  and by the ways neighbors helped each other out.
Coventry,  like other scattered farm communities,  did not have a town center,  but it did contain artisans  (Daggett,  of course,  was one),  mills,  and probably one or more retail shops  (possibly out of a farmer's home).  Taverns,  in addition to feeding and housing travelers,  were important social centers for local men to converse about politics,  trade,  and agriculture.  In 1774,  Coventry had no less than seven taverns!  But one must remember:  taverns were the pulse of 18th century life,  and their importance to the local community cannot be overstated,  for with most communication being by word of mouth,  they were also the  main source of information for the locals. 

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.

Oftentimes we hear from the presenters inside the Daggett home that he and his family were Congregationalists in their religious beliefs.  However,  what is a Congregationalist in comparison to a Presbyterian,  Methodist,  or even Catholic? 
Congregationalism in the United States consisted of Protestant churches that had a congregational form of church government and trace their origins mainly to Puritan settlers of colonial New England.  Their churches have had an important impact on the religious,  political,  and cultural history of the United States,  for their practices concerning church governance influenced the early development of democratic institutions in New England.  Congregationalists were also known for their interest in an educated clergy.  For that reason they founded Harvard College.  Later,  colleges such as Dartmouth,  Olivet,  and Oberlin were organized by their efforts.
The American Congregational community was a part of the Great Awakening,  a widespread religious revival movement that began in 1734 under the influence of Jonathan Edwards.  The Awakening,  however,  revealed the differences emerging between two wings of Congregationalism.  On one side were those who maintained the Calvinist tradition with a greater emphasis on the affective elements in religion.  On the other was a rapidly growing Unitarianism,  which paralleled a similar movement in England.  With the exception of the churches in Connecticut  (where the Daggetts lived)  where Congregationalism had taken root and remained the established church from the 18th century into the 19th century.
One thing we are told at Christmastime is that Congregationalists did not celebrate Christmas.  However,  did they celebrate Easter or any other holidays/holy days?
I see Anna,  Asenath,  and Samuel...
but where is Talitha and Isaih?
Though Congregationalists did celebrate Thanksgiving,  I have found nothing either way if the Daggetts celebrated Easter,  though from what I can gather,  most Congregationalists did not.  They viewed it much in the same manner as they viewed Christmas,  thus the Holiday being another Papist  (Catholic) Holiday,  of which they despised,  and the date not being biblically based.
The Daggetts came from strong Puritan stock,  and Puritans,  from whence Congregationalists came,  valued order over other social virtues,  reasoning that men required rules to guide them and bind them to their good behavior.  Authority dominated people's lives,  beginning with the highest authority of God,  then the authority of religious leaders,  and finally the authority of the male head of the household.  
Now,  in the 1760s,  though changes were on the horizon,  many of these attitudes would have still described rural New England families.  They still perceived themselves as deeply religious people.  They observed the hand of God in everyday occurrences.  They believed in order,  hard work,  and maintaining high moral standards. 
And this could definitely apply to the Daggetts.

So...are you ready to go back and visit with Samuel,  Anna,  and the other Daggetts?
Well,  then,  let's begin with...
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
s 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  
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  
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
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  
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 
making therof
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:
I suspect this is from 1770 - 
In the year 1763 I made 21 barils of Cyder
in 1764  07 barils
in 1765  16 barils
in 1766  08 barils
in 1767  10 barils
in 1768  20 barils
in 1769  19 barils

And then,  also listed with no dates,  Samuel wrote:
Jacob Lyman,  debtor,  for setting a worsted comb
more to two spindils
more to four days fraiming his house
more to two spindils

John Pain,  debtor,  work about his fulling mill*

*A fulling mill was a water operated mill with big wooden hammers that pounded the cloth as it was being washed.  Fuller's earth was used to help the cleansing process.  The finished fabric was shrunken into a tighter,  tougher cloth.  It was similar to today's boiled wool.


I don't know about you,  but to me,  seeing and reading the actual words of Samuel Daggett just...I don't know...makes him real.  Yes,  I know Samuel and his family were actual people,  but because I've heard his name and story so often - for I have visited his home so often - it almost makes him mythological...just a story to tell the story rather than a real actual human being that once lived.  But he and his family did live...and had feelings the same as we do:  they felt happiness,  sadness,  anger,  pain,  concern,  and contentment.  
The tombstone of 
Samuel Daggett:
Birth: 1723
Death:  Aug. 24,  1798
Rev. War Veteran.  Age 75
The tombstone of 
Anna Daggett:
Birth:  1734
Death:  Jan. 28,  1832
relict of Samuel;  age 98
They celebrated the coming of spring and of  the harvest time.  They enjoyed church picnics and weddings,  and certainly mourned when loved ones,  whether friends or family,  had passed away  - I wonder how Samuel felt making coffins for those in his community,  for those he knew?  
They spoke of their crops,  the weather,  told stories,  and studied the Bible.  One can only imagine the discussions and probably even debates they had of the news of the day - how wonderful it would be to be able to hear conversations and opinions about Paul Revere's famous ride  (for it actually did make the papers/broadsides of the time),  and the battles of Lexington & Concord that followed...and of the Revolutionary War itself,  for  research has shown that Mr. Daggett 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.  This was not an uncommon practice of the day.  I also see on Samuel's tombstone that it states he was a Revolutionary War veteran,  though I have found nothing stating he was in the military.  He did,  however,  play a vital citizen's role in agreeing  to a formal collective decision made by the local merchants and traders not to import or export items to Britain in 1774.
The tombstone of
Talitha Ann Daggett Carver
Birth:  Aug 5,  1757
Death:  Aug 28,  1846 
(aged 89)
The tombstone of
Asenath Daggett Kingsbury
(and her husband)
Birth:  Jan 25,  1755
Death:  Sept 26,  1823 (aged 68)
I wonder of Samuel's thoughts on the Declaration of Independence,  the forming of the new nation with its own Constitution,  and hearing of George Washington becoming our first president  as it was happening!
I mean,  if the Daggett house walls had ears,  they most certainly would have heard at least some talk about these great events. 
One more note of interest:  I have recently read that spinning wheels and the like were not used nearly as much as has been previously stated in history books.  
The tombstone of 
Isaiah Daggett
Birth:  1759
Death:  Aug 24, 1835 
(aged 75–76)
Well,  through my own research I have found just the opposite - I have seen that the omnipresence of spinning in people's lives is evidenced by the many references to spinning wheels and spinning wheel parts and repairs noted in not only Daggett's account books,  but in numerous other writings,  such as the journal of Martha Ballard.
And along those lines it was in Samuel's own will that he bequeathed  "the loom"  to his wife.  It has to be assumed this was a large item for him to mention it here specifically.  Though it is not known when this was acquired or used by the family,  but he was selling flannel cloth,  probably woven on the loom,  by 1756.
See how history  - how the past - can be brought to life through research?
I beg people to please stop passing along so-called historical information found on memes and the like as fact until it can be proven or have a strong researched-based probability.

I hope you enjoyed this seasonal excursion into the past,  and I hope the writings of Samuel Daggett,  along with my additional researched farm chores,  helped to bring the man,  his family,  his community,  and even, to an extent,  his house to life.
If these walls could talk...they kinda do...

Until next time,  see you in time.

~I write often about the Daggett Home.  There is simply something that pulls me to it like no other.  And it always has,  ever since I saw it for the first time back in 1983.  And now I always make sure to stop in for a visit every time I am at Greenfield Village,  even if it is just a quick walk through,  from the front door through the great hall into the kitchen and out the back door into the kitchen garden.  And while the Village is closed during the winter months,  I will drive on the road that runs alongside the Village,  just so I can see and somewhat enjoy it from my car.
The man you see to the left is about as close to seeing Samuel Daggett  (without the beard,  however)  as we may ever get:  it is a late 19th or early 20th century photograph of Samuel & Anna's great grandson,  John Kingsbury  (1817 - 1913)  (grandchild of  Asenath Daggett).  John Kingsbury was 15 years old when his great-grandma Anna Daggett died,  though it is hard to say if they ever met,  for by the time John was born,  his parents and grandparents had moved roughly about 250 miles northwest to Cazenovia, New York  (near Syracuse),  while great grandmother Anna remained in Andover,  Connecticut.
Now sitting as pristine as it did over 250 years ago inside the walls of Greenfield Village in Dearborn,  Michigan,  the Daggett house,  and those who once lived in it are,  to me,  like old friends---really old friends...and there are still stories it can tell us~

My sources for today's posting comes mainly from 
~The Collections of the Henry Ford  (Benson Ford Research Center)
~Our Own Snug Fireside by Jane C.  Nylander
~Find-A-Grave  (for the tombstone pictures and information)
~Everyday Life in Early America by David Freeman Hawke

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.
Bringing historic homes to life indeed!

Until next time, see you in time.

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.

~   ~   ~


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