A Farmer’s Life: Summer Snapshots

S1939-43-8-2Frederick 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just as it was written, complete with Lailey’s spelling, punctuation, shorthand notations and what may now appear to be outdated language.

Friday August 11, 1899

“Whit comes – tomatoes – 41 baskets – got 35 from J. Curry – we all helped pick and pack and so did they – hoed (started) old strawberries – started to pick plums – Whit comes by afternoon boat.”

Saturday August 11, 1900

“Very bad day – still hot – Kelson got off for Grimsby (after some trouble) Will P. picked peaches all day. Took load to Port at 7. One to Welland Sta. and one last load to cold storage at 9:45 pm. “Kelson” got sick on way. Left him in town could hardly get there – got soaking wet and walked home at 12:30.”

Sunday August 11, 1901

“Home and quiet all day.”

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