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May Dewey's Diary, Part III September 1888

"Ella & I did nothing much today. Edgewood has closed & everything is on the decline. I received a letter from Louis Brown asking for the plate when he is playing tennis & also another picture of myself which I will have to send him."

Part I & Part II

Thousand Islands Life is honored to present Kristen Pinkney's research Thousand Islands Summers - Manhattan Winters: May Dewey's Diary, beginning July 1888 and culminating in August 1889.

Part I can be found in the December 2008 issue.  Part 11 is published in the January 2009 issue. A description of how the diary was discovered and researched is explained in the Contributors in December 2008 article of Thousand Islands Life.

Kris' work goes beyond the text by providing hundreds of footnotes for readers to learn more about the life and times in the Thousand Islands.  There are more than forty footnotes distributed throughout the diary in Part II.  Simply move the cursor over the highlighted text and the footnote will appear.  Click "close" and the footnote will disappear.  Also note that clicking on an image will enlarge it.

Part III September 1888

Saturday 1 Alexandria Bay Ella & I did nothing much today. Edgewood has closed & everything is on the decline. I received a letter from Louis Brown asking for the plate when he is playing tennis & also another picture of myself which I will have to send him. Walter Edsall left this evening with his mother Mrs. Spencer. We all waved to them from the island.

Sunday 2 Alexandria Bay Today they all went to church except Ella & I. I read nearly all the day for there was nothing else to do. It hardly seems like Sunday for we haven’t seen Mr. Wyeth. He used to come Sunday afternoon.

Monday 3 Alexandria Bay This morning Dick Anthony came over with his mother & sister. He brought the apples as he said he would & also brought some pictures of groups which Mr. Powers took of us all. He is going to send them to us. I hope that he will not forget it. Then later Mr. Clark came with a large party. Then Walter Clark came in he is going back tonight also Dick Anthony. They will have a jolly time for about 10 fellows & girls are going down1 this afternoon. Walter Clark, Ella & I took a boat & went down to the cove in Heart’s Island & laid there all the afternoon. We also took a picture of Walter Clark dressed in sheets & one of our reflections in the lawn ball which is quite good. We went over to see him off & there met Dick Anthony again. Also Mr. Lee from the Crossmon & May French & saw all the other fellows & girls. I envy them going down together. We expect to visit Pansy the third week of this month. She asked in her last letter which one of us Mr. Jones was attentive to. I should like to know what he has been telling her.

Tuesday 4 Alexandria Bay Ella took a picture of me as an old lady & I of Ella as a milk maid. They are very good. Then I spent a good deal of time in mending our flags which was not very exciting.

Wednesday 5 Alexandria Bay Mamma & Mrs. Judd went out fishing & we all (excepting Ella) took dinner with them & when we returned home & soon after Joe Taylor & Mr. Conklin came. Mr. Taylor leaves tonight, I like Mr. Conklin very much indeed. He is very homely but very nice. I sent the plate2to Mr. Brown also the picture, by Joe Taylor who said he would see him the next day. We had a very pleasant time with them. I wish that I knew Mr. Conklin better for I think that I should like him very much indeed.

Thursday 6 Alexandria Bay The morning passed very pleasantly but lazy this afternoon. Mrs. Singer (who is a lovely lady) & Mrs. Marsh called & while they were here Mr. & Mrs. Reed3 (from Phila.) & their children came. They are a very musical family. This evening was spent in listening to some music. Wills who is 16 played the violin & Gertrude plays the piano beautifully for a girl of 12 years.

Friday 7 Alexandria Bay This afternoon Mrs. Marsh came with the “Lotus Seeker”4 the fastest boat on the river & took us all out for a sail. It sped along it goes 22 miles an hour. We are going to give a musical tomorrow night. I hope that it will be a success. This evening as it was chilly out we had a roaring fire in the hall & all sat around it & then listened to some play & singing from the Reed family which was very enjoyable.

Saturday 8 Alexandria Bay It poured this morning but cleared up before noon & we then took the “Jessie H” & went to Clayton, she is such a comfortable boat. I then rowed Papa over to Mrs. Conklin’s5 to ask them over tonight. I saw Mr. Conklin he was on the dock and also one of the loveliest little kittens that I ever saw. The musical passed off very nicely. There were about 50 here. Mr. Conklin made himself very agreeable. It is wonderful how the children played for they are all so young.

Sunday 9 Alexandria Bay Nothing of any consequence has happened today. I spent all the afternoon on the lawn or in the hammock writing & reading. The minister came to dinner. Mr. & Mrs. Reed & their children left this evening. Only Wills Reed is going to stay a week longer with us.

Monday 10 Alexandria Bay This morning Ella & I took “Frolic” & rowed over to “Bonnie Castle” to see Miss May. We spent a very pleasant morning. It was quite rough and the boat bounced along lively. The rest of the day we fished or at least part of it. Papa left this eve. I took some photos of Wills this morning.


Tuesday 11 Alexandria Bay This morning who should walk up the walk for of course I was in my oldest dress, but Teddie Holland with the rest of the family & then Mrs. Conklin & her son came. We had a very pleasant time. Teddie played on both of the instruments banjo & guitar. They all leave tonight also the Conklins. We will be left all alone soon, although we expect more friends. Then this afternoon we spent or at least I, in the hammock.

Wednesday 12 Alexandria Bay At last I have written that letter to Mr. Brown. I have been trying to do it for the past two weeks. Then we have also spent the afternoon in taking a few pictures, one of Wills & his violin & of Ella & Wills. Aunt Louise6 has come at last we were all so glad to see her.

Thursday 13 Alexandria Bay I have taken quite a long row this morning. First Ella & I went over to call on Mrs. Marsh. We had a very pleasant call. Then we rowed all the way up the creek & there caught a little mud turtle & on our return home we found all of the Clarks & that reminds me I haven’t called there since the night of the “German”. It is very rude of me. This evening we listened to Mr. King. He read several selections from the different authors while all of the rest of us sewed. It was a very pleasant evening.

Friday 14 Alexandria Bay Today Wills Reed went out fishing. He spent the day and only caught two fish. It was a perfect shame. This afternoon the Miss Lewises called they are very sweet girls. I like them so much. They are great friends of Hattie King’s. Then a few minutes later Miss Brown came over from St. Elmo. She has been up here all summer but leaves tonight.

Saturday 15 Alexandria Bay This morning I spent mending & fixing my dresses to go to visit Pansy for we go the 24th of this month. She says that Mr. Jones is going to manage to be there when we are.

Monday 17 Alexandria Bay I spent the day in mending my dresses & that is about all except I had a very good visit with Aunt Louise.

Wednesday 19 Alexandria Bay Today Wills & I went fishing & caught 69 fish mostly perch which are very good to eat.

Thursday 20 Alexandria Bay Today we all went out fishing. Mrs. Marsh found us we had a very pleasant party but the fishing was miserable. I can’t understand it for it seemed like a splendid fishing day. When we got home we found that the Messrs. Rose had called. I was so sorry to have missed them.

Friday 21 Alexandria Bay Papa came today & is going down with us Monday. Poor Mamma will feel lonesome I know.

Saturday 22 Alexandria Bay Aunt Martha7 came today. I guess she is going to spend several days here. I like her so much but I do so dislike Dewey8, her son. I took a picture of 5 little kittens which we have also one of Mamma, Aunt Mary & Aunt Louise.

Sunday 23 Alexandria Bay We spent as usual as it has been a delightful day. I tried to be with Mamma as we leave tommorrow.

Monday 24 Alexandria Bay We left the Bay today at 3 o’clock & we get to Larchmont Tuesday morning.

Tuesday 25 Larchmont, NY Well, here we are at Pansy’s. We got in the city around 7 o’clock. Took our breakfast with Papa at the Bristol9. We then took the 9 o’clock train for Larchmont & reached there about 10. I am so glad to see Pansy for it is a long time since I saw her last. They have a pretty house10. This afternoon she took us down to the rocks. We sat there a long time & I enjoyed it for one for I love the salt air. Herbert Dean11 called this evening.

Wednesday 26 Larchmont, NY This morning when we woke it was quite warm for it has been very chilly. This morning a young lady who is one of Pansy’s neighbors, Clara Davison12, came to lunch. She is very homely but seems to be quite nice. I took a picture of the group on the front steps & later when we went down to the rocks & Ella took another picture of Pansy, myself and the dog “Hill.” I hope that it will be good.

Thursday 27 Larchmont, NY This afternoon we went over to the Larchmont Club & took our luncheon as it is Ladies day. It is a very pretty building & they have such a lovely view no wonder that the men all like the club & then to see all the yachts anchored in the bay. It is a very pretty sight. This evening we all went around to Pansy’s sister, Mrs. Morford13 to spend the evening. She is a lovely person. I also like Mr. Morford very much. We had a very pleasant time.

Friday 28 Larchmont, NY We went out to the City this morning on one of the early trains. Ella & Pansy had their pictures taken & we then went to Delmonico’s14 for lunch & of course got to laughing. We went to see Therese Dimick15 & asked of her to come up to spend the night . Since I have been here Pansy has told me about several of the men. One is Jared Dimick16 he is a very fast fellow. He is the kind that has the privilege of being a married man & is not. He goes with fast women & it seems that he has gotten into some pretty bad scrapes with them & I guess has had to pay a pretty big sum to get out & to think that his friend Dr. Pinkney17  led him into all of it. It is a perfect shame he ought to hang for it. He is very fond of Therese, that is “Jerey” & she has let him in at 6 o’clock in the morning & still his family don’t know anything about it. Then I also heard that Sam Shaw is one of the same kind, also Sidney Hartshorne18. I wonder if there are any nice fellows it is a shame that the fellows act so. Therese spent the night & we spent it very pleasantly. She is going tomorrow.

Sunday 29 Larchmont, NY Therese left his morning before she went I took a picture of the three girls in a fallen hammock that fell last night & we had a great time of it. I do hope that it will be a good picture. Walter Clark came about 4 o’clock & also Mr. Jones & Pansy sent us four out to walk for she had to do some things before Harry Nichols came. I of course had to have Walter & he did act so queer. Well, I enjoyed my walk anyway. When we returned we found Harry Nichols19 he is such a handsome fellow although he is small. This evening Pansy had some friends come in, her sister & her husband (Mr. & Mrs. Morford) Harry Snider, Clara Davison, Mr. Jones, Mr. Clark, H. Nichols & one other fellow. We played hearts & then some games all together, we spent a very pleasant evening.

Sunday 30 Larchmont, NY I was very cold this morning so after breakfast we took a walk or rather a run then walked to church with Pansy for she teaches a class. Then later when Pansy returned we all took a walk. We met Mr. Jones on the rocks he joined us. I was with Walter Clark and he was talking love all the time until I was thoroughly sick of him. I don’t know what got into him. He wanted me to sit away from the others but I knew only too well what the consequences would be so I said no he was mad then & would not say a word so I let him alone. But it did no good for he was the same way going back. Mr. Jones stayed to dinner & after we all took a long walk. Fortunately I had Harry Nichols. I do feel so sorry for him. He lost his mother only three months ago. He was devoted to her. We walked along the shore for a long distance then sat on the sand each couple separate from the other. Harry Nichols was so nice coming home. We went up a very romantic road; it was narrow & the weeds had grown up all along on the side. They were above our heads. We then crossed potato fields also through corn & then came up to a wire fence which we had to walk around. When we left it was about 2 o’clock & we returned a short time before tea. I found Mr. Snider there. I took some pictures which was not very nice on Sunday. One was a group on the steps & the other Mr.Clark & Harry Nichols lighting their segars. We spent the evening very quietly. Mr. Clark went to the Club a short time with Herbert Dean20 & I told him it wasn’t showing respect to Pansy.

Researched and compiled by Kristen Pinkney

© Copyright Kristen Pinkney 2009, All Rights Reserved


Taking the train from Clayton to New York City

2 plate or glass negative
3 Mr. & Mrs. Warren G. Reed resided at 53 Harvey Street, Germantown, 1890 Philadelphia City Directory
4 “Lotus Seeker”, owned by E.R. Holden, of Thousand Island Park, the first “Lotus Seeker” which was built by Herreshoff , Hull #139, a 48 foot launch, delivered in June 1887. The second “Lotus Seeker” was a 73 foot yacht, Hull #171, delivered in November 1891.
5 Florence Island
6 Louise Pitcher, sister of Frances Dewey, married Mortimer Smith and resided in Temple, Texas. Lowville Journal & Republican,
7 Aunt Martha, Martha Phebe Dewey, born February 17, 1834 at Turin, New York, sister of Edward W. Dewey. She married Otis Sterling Graves and had a son, Dewey Sterling, born October 6, 1876. Courtesy of Janice Danhour on
8 May and Ella’s cousin
9 Bristol Hotel is listed as one of the better class, located at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Moses King, King’s Handbook of New York City 1892, (reprinted by Barnes & Noble, 2001) p. 139 & 211.
10 This house was a water front rental house, courtesy Larchmont Historical Society.
11 Herbert Dean, married Pansy Brush on February 10, 1896 at Grace Church, 804 Broadway. Pansy’s first marriage took place on June 30, 1891 to John H. Avery. He died in 1892. May was the maid of honor and Ella was a bridesmaid. Herbert H. Dean is the great grandfather of Howard Dean, past governor of Vermont and former Democratic Presidential candidate. Courtesy of Robert Dean Felch, great grandson of Herbert and Pansy and cousin to Howard Dean.
12 Clara Davison, resided at 7 Larchmont Avenue, daughter of William M. and Martha Davison of Philadelphia. Never married and was active in social, charitable and civic organizations in Larchmont. Courtesy of Larchmont Historical Society.
13 Alice B. Morford, Pansy’s sister, married to Denton Morford. Robert Dean Felch


14 Delmonico’s, located at Broadway, 26th Street and Fifth Avenue. King page 213
15 Therese Dimick, daughter of Jeremiah W. Dimick and Theresa Fletcher Dimick. Residence at 31 Madison Avenue, NYC. Therese married William Hull Browning, son of William C. Browning and Adelaide Scott Browning on January 5, 1891.
16 Jared Dimick is the brother of Therese Dimick, his correct name is Jeremiah Wood Dimick Jr.
17 Dr. William H. Pinkney, married Susie Burchell on February 8, 1888. His best man was Jeremiah Dimick Jr. New York Times archives.


18 Sidney G. Hartshorne, broker at 18 Wall Street. Residence is at 28 West 51st Street. NYC Directory 1890
19 Harry Nichols, son of James R. Nichols, broker, & Harriet Nichols of 57 East 77th Street, US Federal Census,
20 Herbert H. Dean, his occupation was insurance, 120 Broadway, residence is at 2048 Seventh Avenue. NYC Directory 1890,


Researched and compiled by Kristen Pinkney

© Copyright Kristen Pinkney 2008, All Rights Reserved. 

Watch for Part IV in the March 2009 issue of Thousand Islands Life Magazine.

Posted in: People
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