The Jervis McEntee Diaries - August 31, 1885

Diary Entry:

Monday, Aug 31, 1885 Girard and I went to the Head of the Rondout on Saturday. Leaving here at 5 oclock in the morning we drove to Shokan where we breakfasted and fed our horse. We went through the Gulf past Wards & Mrs. Wentworths cabins and up the hill to Hills Mill. On the way we encountered traces of the freshet of three weeks ago in washed out roads and bridges carried away. We were obliged to go through the Gulf because the bridge at Hills mill was gone. We had heard that [Mr.?] Hill had gone off and Mrs. Hill seemed rather unwilling to keep us as she was alone. We arrived there about 2 oclock. Barnes a neighbor happened to be there and he knew me. He was a soldier of the 20th Regiment in [?] Co. and I was at his house when we all camped at the Head of the Rondout in 1876. He went in and talked with Mrs. Hill who consented to keep us, giving each of us a separate little room with clean beds and perfectly comfortable. We went out and fished in the afternoon George Hornbeck, Hills sawyer going with us, the mill being so damaged by the freshet that it cannot run, and caught enough trout for our supper. It rained in the night and next morning but showed signs of clearing about 10 oclock when we all three started up stream again in our India rubber coats, and went by the log road up to where the stream forks and fished down catching about fifty each, mostly quite small which we cleaned and put in separate pieces of newspaper and packed in our baskets to bring home. We were very hungry at supper and ate heartily and went to bed early very tired. It rained violently in the night with thunder and lightning, interfering with sleep. We would have staid another day but there was no feed for Toby and we left for home at 9 oclock. The sun was shining but the streams were pouring down from all sides and we feared we would be troubled to get home. We had to ford the creek below the falls and it was very high and rapid, and in the Gulf in one place we went through the water so deep that it came into the wagon box. The road near Shokan was torn away and under water and we were glad enough to reach Shokan with no mishaps arriving there about noon. Here we fed Toby who had been on short allowance and drove home arriving about 5 oclock, with our trout in perfect condition. The day has been fine and the mountains were very enticing. I learned up at Hills that old Mrs. Griswold died last fall. It must have been shortly after I saw her. Poor Mrs. Hill excited my sympathy. We heard her husband was a drinking man and had probably gone off on a spree, leaving her to keep herself and his mill in a ruined condition. She had a patient, sad look, but never complained or hinted her troubles to us but George Hornbeck told us something about them. When I came to pay her for our entertainment which was really excellent she only charged us 25 cents for each meal, and nothing for the rooms and nothing for the horse. I paid her however five dollars, one dollar of which as a gratuity in consideration of her trouble. Last night in the middle of the night Hornbecks father-in-law arrived there. How he reached there over those roads in the darkness and storm I dont know. He came for George to go to Chichesters where he had employment for him and they started at 6 this morning to catch the train. They were at Shokan when we arrived there. I left a dollar for George with Mrs. Hill who had been very kind and gave us all the fish he caught. Now those two women, Mrs. Hill and Georges wife are alone up in that wild place, and poor Mrs. Hill with her troubles for companions. One does not have to travel far for tragedies. Found Calvert and Cousin Rachel here when I reached home.

< Previous Entry | Next Entry >