Jervis McEntee Diaries

Saturday November 2, 1878

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Saturday, November 2, 1878, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

The twenty fourth anniversary of our marriage. I thought I must go home so as to be there at least a part of the day but Calvert seemed to want to stay and finally it seemed to me that it would be a great satisfaction on this day to take some of the walks which were so familiar to and so much enjoyed by her. It was a warm still day most rare for this season. After breakfast about 9 we started for the Mountain House intending to make the circuit of South Mountain. We stopped at Scribners and saw the old lady who seemed not to have changed a particle unless for the better. Little Annie grown to be a pretty, shy girl of fifteen was at work in the kitchen cleaning a griddle. She was very pretty and interested me exceedingly. I thought of how Gertrude and I wanted to adopt her when we first saw her when she was only four or five years old and almost regretted we had not been able to. She wiped her hands and shook hands with us and said she remembered us but went on busily with her work. It was most interesting to me to see her again just as she was attaining womanhood. We walked through the familiar pasture fields and the favorite wood path towards the Mountain House where Gertrude so often walked, and with which she seemed so intimately identified and where I could so plainly recall her in her wood dress that the whole place was hallowed by her presence. We did not stop at the Mountain House but passed on down the road intending to go by way of "Moses Rock" but we missed it getting however upon a pleasant path below the mountain House which we followed out to the cliffs above Palenville, then up to the top of South Mountain to Fairy Spring. All along the way on the Mountain House path and from the Fairy Spring back I gathered ferns and wood plants to set out in our cemetery lot, it seemed pleasant to have them from these places. When we came along by Scribners Annie (or Caroline as they call her) was up on a chair or table on the porch cleaning the windows. Schutt says she does most of the work. After we got back we went out to Sunset Rock. The whole day had been connected to thoughts of Gertrude so that I do not know how more satisfactorily or appropriately I could have observed it.

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