Jervis McEntee Diaries: September 2, 1884

Tuesday, Sept 2, 1884 We had an early breakfast and I crossed the river by the 7.25 ferry boat and drove up to Clermont through Rhinebeck and along the old Albany post road arriving there about 11. I met John McEntee returning near Red Hook. Nannie, Mrs. Livingston, Sara and I walked down across the Livingston Creek and visited an interesting old house, the residence of two elderly ladies, Mrs. Johnson and her sister. It was an old stone house and the dining room was very picturesque with its low ceiling and the beams overhead. They had a quantity of old fashioned furniture and some very fine china which had been in the family (Livingstons) for generations. I did not see the ladies as one of them was not well. We dined at Mrs. Livingstons and came home stopping at the tavern at Clermont to feed the horse. I was told by the [?] that the house was kept by a widow and that her husband died about a year ago and just before the birth of her child. The barn burned down but her neighbors contributed towards building a new one. It seemed very doleful there. Some [?] looking men in the bar room. The landlady seemed a nice [?] woman and showed us some fancy penmanship by a man who came there yesterday, "a sort of a tramp" she said. The whole ride was through a charming country and the roads were perfection but living in these isolated places seemed to me melancholy unless with a large family and friends and constant occupation. They all have too many trees about their houses. They lack sunlight and are gloomy. The immaculate old house we visited, Mrs. Johnsons was surrounded by trees, and the blinds all closed and smelled damp and musty. We came home by the river road passing the country lots of the Delano's, Astors etc. Our own house seemed best when we reached here about 7.

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