23, 691 days recorded

On August 1, 1828, Tobias Walker of the Alewive neighborhood  just west of Kennebunk, Maine,  started a journal of his daily work.  He wrote every day until he died.

John Waterhouse was here building cellarway for outer cellar door.  
Jeremiah Lord was here finishing milk cellar and hanging doors.
Set out three fir trees at the end of the house. 
Mr. Waterhouse here, raised the building 
for to make dressing in, with the help of the hogs.
Moved the stove from the kitchen to the portch. (sic)
Bricked up the fireplace in the kitchen and sat up a Port stove.
Preparing the ground and getting in readiness .
Took down the old barn.
Digging for a cellar, ledgy and very hard digging, 
almost discouraging.
Finished painting the barn.  
Building a post and picket fence in front of the house.

His son Edwin kept the farm and the diary every day until he died.  And his grandson Daniel, too, until June 27, 1893 when he wrote:

Went to the village with butter.
Got 10 bushels of corn of Edm. Warren at 5-8 cts/bushel.
Got a rake and a scyth and ——— for haying.

He closed the book, set down the pen.   Daniel farmed thirty-three years more and never wrote again.


Days too much alike–
milk and stone and hay.
When all’s said and done,
they said all there was to say.

If they’re not farmers, why should they care?
and if they are,  they’ll know.
Meantime, there’s stock to feed,
meantime, there’s corn to grow.

Tobias Walker’s diary excerpts taken from Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn, by Thomas C. Hubka.

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