A Farmer’s Life: Summer Snaphots

Sized Brock TomatoesFrederick 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just as it was written, complete with Lailey’s spelling, punctuation, shorthand notations and what may now appear to be outdated language.

Tuesday August 29, 1899

“Tomatoes all day…mending crates, all crates filled. Plowing for wheat. Bush under the weather after dinner. Went to library in eve. Only J. Scott and Robt. [?] turn up to meeting (and 3 boys).”

Wednesday August 29, 1900

“Finished picking last of Japanese plums. Picked H. Rivers peaches – K & Madge hunted cow in a.m. – shipped peaches in town and went to Port with Madge in eve.”

Thursday August 29, 1901

“Tomatoes and peaches and pears shipped, tomatoes picked for factory.”

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