Jervis McEntee Diaries

Monday July 21, 1884

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, July 21, 1884, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Monday, July 21, 1884 John McEntee and I drove to David Smiths on the Rondout Friday 18th. We had breakfast here and left about half past 5 in the morning. We got a second breakfast at Shokan and drove up Watson Hollow and through the Notch. The road through the Notch is nothing but rocks for two miles and is about as bad as a road can be. At the lower end of the lake opposite Wards cabin a lady was sketching the lodge from the middle of the road. A gentleman seeing us come down from the cabin and crossed over in a boat to assist her out of our way. It proved to be Ward who was greatly surprised to see me. He introduced the lady to me as Mrs. Wentworth. Immediately she wanted me to give her some hints about the picture which I found it difficult to do. However I gave her some suggestions. Ward wanted us to stop to lunch but we excused ourselves as we were anxious to get to Smiths early as we had never been there, and promised to stop on our return. We drove on down the valley which has changed but little since I was there last in 1876 and reached David Smiths about 3 oclock 8 miles from Wards cabin and two miles below the East branch at Sundown. Found it a very comfortable place and no visitors there. A club had leased the stream and they made this their head-quarters. Mr. Smith was away from home superintending the building a club house at Balsam lake. We had our dinner late and spent the afternoon fishing catching enough for dinner. Saturday we drove up to Sun down and sent the horse and wagon back by a man and fished the East branch a short distance and the main stream back to Smiths catching 25 each mostly small ones. We had a thunder shower which we passed under the Sundown bridge and learned after getting back to Smiths that a cow and calf had been killed by lightning on the hill just above the house. Sunday we spent walking up along the stream to nearly a mile above Sundown. I liked it most up in that vicinity. We called at the house of W. S. Fuller and I asked him if he would take me to board for August if I wanted to come which he and his wife were willing to do although I made no positive agreement, but am to write to them. We walked back by the main road. Some people had arrived from Pokeepsie friends of the Smiths. We left there for home this morning at 7. Stopped to see Griswold and his wife and found her much better than we expected as we had heard she was ill. They knew us at once and seemed glad to see us. They had a nice looking young girl apparently to help them. We drove up to the lake. Ward met us and we went to the cabin where were Mr & Mrs & Miss D[?] and D[?]s brother besides Mr & Mrs Wentworth. Mr. W. having gone out some where. Ward showed us the cabin which is very comfortable, the stable, ice house etc. and took us up into the gorge of the Falls. He pressed us to stay to lunch but it was early and we were anxious to go on, so he opened a bottle of champagne and after a chat with the ladies his man drove our horse to the upper end of the lake while he and D[?] rowed us up in a boat. We parted there and we came on. Met a gentleman and lady in a buggy a short distance from there and still further on a tram. Had to unhitch our horse to get by. It was cold when we left this morning and the wind blew from N. W. We drove to West Hurley where we dined and reached home about 6 oclock. The weather has been remarkably cool all this time. Few people are at the mountain resorts and every body is remarking upon the unusually cool weather. A heavy hail storm occurred here on Saturday. The guilder rose tree or "Snowball" as we usually call it near my mothers flower garden was blown down for the second time this season, and so badly split that I was obliged to saw it off. I was sorry to do it as in my mind it was associated with my dear mother. I found letters from Joe Tomkins, from Phil Johnson replying to a note I wrote him regarding Maurices share in the Farragut prize money, from Eastman who is still in N. Y. and from Lucy. A melancholy feeling comes over me when I return home. I suppose it is because I think of those who have gone and partly it arises from our peculiar position here, so small a family, so much to be looked after and cared for, so much more than we need and which is a burden and a care with our limited means. With all the sacred associations of this home, sometimes I half fancy we would be happier if we could leave it and start anew and more modestly in some other place. But I suppose sorrow is not to be avoided any where on this earth. I have thought so much of dear Gertrude all evening and sighed over my remembrance of her.

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