A Farmer’s Life: Summer Snapshots

S1937-4-4-15Frederick Thomas Lailey, the son of William H. Lailey came from Winona to farm in Grantham Township (now St. Catharines) in 1899. He remained on his Grantham farm until 1926, when he moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake to continue his agricultural pursuits. Lailey started keeping a diary in 1899 and his writings provide wonderful insight into daily life on a St. Catharines farm in the early 20th century – and the wide variety of jobs Frederick had to complete! Our summer snapshots series looks back on this date in Lailey’s life in 1899, 1900 and 1901.

As far as possible, the diary has been reproduced just as it was written, complete with Lailey’s spelling, punctuation, shorthand notations and what may now appear to be outdated language.

Thursday, August 3, 1899

“Lawrence to tea. Visit with Miss Potter. Picking raspberries for preserving – Indian’s picking currants, plowed strawberry bed – hoed mangels and potatoes, went twice to town – once with Ben to see about pickers, cut weeds in strawberry bed.”

Friday August 3, 1900

“Picked tomatoes (2 baskets) and early peaches for first time. Hoed red currants. Went to town and White’s with Harry Major.”

Saturday, August 3, 1901 

“Town– currants – dry out black bushes – Blaikies [?] called.”

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