The Jervis McEntee Diaries - September 15, 1885

Diary Entry:

Tuesday, Sept 15, 1885 I returned this afternoon from a most interesting and satisfactory visit to Clinton and its vicinity. I left on Saturday with the 10.45 W. S. train and reached Clarks Mills about 3 where I found Tom waiting for me with his horse & buggy. In the station were his wifes sister and mother to whom he introduced me. They live in Clinton in the house with Susan Chamberlin nee Hutchins and I told them I should call to see her before I returned. Arrived at the house Sara handed me a letter from Janette telling me she would certainly expect Thomas and me to dine with them at 2 on Sunday and we made our plans to that end. Sunday was bright and pleasant. Tom washed his wagon and did all his "chores" and at ten we started for the Hubbards, going through the northern edge of Clinton by a road laid out since I was there, up the "Willow road" to Paris Hill. It was a pleasant day with not too strong a south wind, but the country looked charmingly and was alive with hop pickers in the midst of the hop harvest. We reached Janettes & Emilys leaving a little after noon. Mrs. Barber and her daughter were staying with them. We had a most pleasant visit, dined about 2 and after dinner looked about the place where I had not been since just before Gertrude and I were married, when we were there together. We went up into Janettes studio in the garret where she had painted some flowers quite creditably and some where near 4 o'clock left for our return going through Waterville where I had never been before. We drove through Dran[?] and reached Clinton in the twilight and got back to Thomas with the sense of satisfaction one always feels after meeting with old and sincere friends. Monday, a most glorious day we drove over to Clinton in the forenoon, past the old Institute, now a sort of tenement house and stopped at the Hutchins house where we saw Sarahs sister, Miss Fuller, who had arranged to have us dine there with them and Susan and Wm. Hutchins. Meanwhile we drove up through the village, stopped and saw Augustus Fake, a boy when I was there, now a grey haired, oldish man. Then we went up the street towards the seminary which Miss Barker built and where I came to see Gertrude the summer she was there and along the street laid out since that time to the cemetery to see the monument Miss Barkers pupils erected to her memory. Mary and Gussie were largely instrumental in accomplishing this most fitting and graceful tribute to their beloved teacher and I had never seen it. It was designed by Calvert and is in a beautiful place and in good preservation. I regret I did not copy the beautiful inscription. Against it lay the little stone which had marked her grave, loosened from its stone socket. The old cemetery keeper came up while we were there and I paid him a trifle to have it replaced firmly. From here we drove beyond Franklin to call on Jane Barker whom we found at her aunts, Mrs. Landies. Jane came to the door but I did not recognise her at first she had grown so old. I hear she is very poor and dependent and really has no home. It saddened me to see her and to realize that she was so unfortunate and I wished I had it in my power to make her old age comfortable and free from care. We saw her aunt and her daughter Miss Landers who showed us some of her pictures. She teaches painting in one of the seminaries. I think Jane was greatly gratified that I took the trouble to find her and call upon her for from what I heard she is a homeless woman in the place where she was once a leader in society. We drove back to Miss Fullers by agreement and saw Susan Hutchins and William. Susan was very little changed from my remembrance of her forty years ago to my great delight. William is an invalid but looked just as he used to. We all dined together and talked of the Past and the changes of forty years. After dinner we sat in the parlor and talked of all the [people?] we once knew in our school days, and Susan brought me a little Daugerreotype of Maurice taken about the time he was there at school with me when he was perhaps eight or ten years old. As I looked upon his pretty innocent childish face all the sad history of his after life rushed before me and I could not control the tears and gave way to a wave of recollection which completely unmanned me. I thought if his mother could have seen this image of his innocent childhood how it would have touched her tender, loving heart. Susan gave it to me and I have brought it home with me but I told her I would have it copied and send it back to her. We had to make our visit all too short and left on [?] lived when I used to visit her. The situation of the college is most charming. I have not been there since I was a boy. The day was a perfect one and we looked over the wide landscape above which stretched a sky full of magnificent clouds. We went into the little cemetery where old Schenando lies by the side of Dr. Kirkland and returning down along the foot of the hills to Hampton, now Westmoreland and called on Arthur[,] Daniel McEntees son who is in business there with his brother-in-law and then went home to Toms. As we drove out in the morning we met old Mr. Ladd. "Shube Ladd" past 86 years old, a hale hearty old man who seemed glad to meet me a son of one of his early friends. This morning Thomas went over to his fathers old place to help Mr. Ladd who lives there with his threshing, the straw machine being there. Then I saw Arthur Douglass and took a walk over Uncle Philips farm where as children we spent many happy days. Thomas' adopted son Willie came home in the night from Mt. McGregor where he has been at work all summer. I bade Tom good bye and Willie drove me to the 11.19 train and I came home reaching here before 5, feeling that I have had a most eventful experience. Sara had gone to Tivoli on a professional visit but Mary and my father were here and I told them all I had done. Sara returned early in the evening. Edwin J. Stebbins, Uncle Joe Stebbins' son was born in Clinton on Sunday. This notice of the death of Mrs. Van Derliss I saw in the Tribune on my way home today. What a loss to poor Van Derliss!

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