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May Dewey’s Diary, Part VIII, March 1889

Thousand Islands Life presents Part VIII of Kristen Pinkney's research Thousand Islands Summers - Manhattan Winters: May Dewey's Diary, beginning July 1888 and culminating in August 1889.

PLEASE NOTE:  Part IX will appear in November 2009.

Part I December 2008 Issue     Part II January 2009 Issue   Part III February 2009 Issue  

Part IV March 2009 Issue   Part V April 2009 Issue        Part VI May 2009 Issue  Part VII September 2009 Issue

Description of how the diary was discovered and researched 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.

No spelling, punctuation or editorial changes have been made to the diary.


Part VIII, Buckingham Hotel, New York City, March 1889

Friday 1 Saw Pansy this am. Took a walk and talked over the affair last night. Did not have our hats on.

Saturday 2 Miss Hastings1 and Miss Whiton have found the mission today. Ella and I walked down town and back.

Tuesday 5 I saw Pansy this morning and as it is Lent Ella and I thought it would be a good excuse to be out so we went out this evening. Mr. Reed from Philadelphia was here. Walter Bound called. He goes south Friday. Mr. Gedney came and brought his friend. Uncle Robert2 came home from Chicago this evening.

Wednesday 6 Ella and I went to Brooklyn this morning. Saw Flora this afternoon. Also Pansy. Flora is getting up a taboganning party to go out to Orange3. She asked us it will be such fun if we can only go Friday.

Thursday 7 We can’t go to Orange as they have herd anthrax. I am so sorry but it is fortunate I did not ask anyone to go.

Saturday 9 Went in to see Pansy this morning. Ella and I had our habits fitted this evening at Delury’s4.

Monday 11 This morning I saw Flora. We arranged to go to Dickel’s5 to see the Monday evening class ride so I sent a note to Ed Delanoy. He went with me. Ella went also. We went up to Flora’s where we met Mr. Grey who went with us. Ed was lovely. I never knew him so very pleasant before. He was so attentive and full of fun. Mr. Arthur Taylor, Will Browning, Fletcher Dimick and Ed Gould6 all ride that they rode so well. When I got home I found Mr. Strong’s card and I was rather glad I was not at home to receive him as I am getting tired of him already. At Therese Dimick’s in June he said such funny things to me. We all think he is engaged to Mamie Brown and he spoke of a fellow getting tired of a girl he was engaged to and asked me what I thought a fellow ought to do. I told him we had a long talk over it.

Made several calls this aft. Ed Delanoy walked up with me. He is always so pleasant. Mr. Howard & Mr. Nichols called this evening. Lovely call from both. They are going to join our Lent affair which meets every Tuesday during Lent.

Wednesday 13 This morning Ella and I went up to Kings Bridge and staid to lunch at Helen’s. Had a very pleasant call. She wants us to go to Dickel’s Thursday to see her ride. The sewing class met here. I left and went to call on Mrs. Baldwin with Therese, then came home and went to church with Pansy. Ed found me. Charlie Hastings joined Pansy but not until I felt uncomfortable for I was on the inside and Ed staid by me. We walked about a block so then Pansy was joined by Charlie Hastings.

Thursday 14 I asked Arthur Taylor if he could go to Dickel’s this evening and forgot he could not go as it was drill night at the 7th Regiment7 but I will never ask him again. I also asked Harry Nichols and he couldn’t go so Pansy & Ed Delanoy came over.

I would not go at first for 8 girls with one fellow. I did not like. Ed seemed most anxious for me to go. He asked if the reason I wouldn’t go was that I had gone with him Monday and hoped I wouldn’t think of staying home on that account. The Delanoys and ourselves have been reported to be engaged and I think he knows I know it but fortunately Joe Taylor and Mr. Driggs cards came up so we took them and passed a very pleasant evening together. This class does not ride nearly as well as the Monday evening class.


Friday 15 The Messrs. Burnside and Mr. Hodgman called this evening. Uncle Robert leaves for Chicago tomorrow evening.

Saturday 16 This morning Pansy and I after mission school went down town and secured seats for the Princeton Glee Club concert. We went to inquire about Fletcher Dimick who is very ill with pneumonia. We saw Therese Dimick who says he is just the same. I do hope he will get better. Saw Pansy at 23rd this afternoon. We went in to see the paintings at the Union League8. They were not very good. We then went down and took seats at the Madison Square for Captain Swift. Got in at the conservatory scene we enjoyed it so much. It was quite a lark. We went to the Glee Club but it wasn’t much good. Saw lots of handsome fellows.

Tuesday 19 Pansy and I have been out all this morning buying prizes for the evening. We had twelve here which made three tables. We had Pigs in clover at one, Jack Straws at another and Loto at the last. They all seemed to have great fun. After supper we all sang collidge songs. Arthur Taylor called so I gave him my place at the table. He said he didn’t know what he had struck when he came in but I said we wouldn’t have sent for him if we had not wanted to see him. They left about 12:30. I asked Barclay McCarty to call. I wonder if he will.

Wednesday 20 Will McCormack called this evening. He talked incessantly about his brother “Fred” who is the one that Pansy and I met so often and always have to laugh at. He has such a funny little face, but very good looking. He also talked about Mr. Page. I like Will McCormack very much. I think he is very pleasant.

Thursday 21 It has been raining hard all day. This evening the Messrs. Powers called and Louis P. brought some photos for us to see – two of Helen Reed and Mr. Rodgers. Very funny pictures, he had one of Stuart Wyeth that I did want so badly but of course couldn’t ask for and they did not have it.

Friday 22 Arthur Taylor sent me tickets for the Seventh Regiment Armory9 for Wednesday eve. It is very kind of him.

Saturday 23 Will Ellis called this evening. Had a delightful call. Did not forget to ask him to call again. Fortunately asked Ed Delanoy to go with me to see Armory.

Sunday 24 While coming home from church saw Arthur Page on the opposite side and it “broke me up” for the rest of the day. Mamma and I went to Brooklyn to see Aunt Mary.

Monday 25 Mott Hartshorne called this afternoon. How I hate calls in the afternoon, who should meet in the other parlor but Will Ellis. Then in walked Ed Delanoy to say he would be glad to go with me Wednesday evening. He said it in undertone but Mr. Hartshorne must have heard it. This evening we all went over to the mission as the children were going to have an entertainment and I was so disappointed when I got home and I found Arthur Page’s cards. I was so mad I did want to see him so badly for he has just returned from Bermuda and then we had such a lovely time together at the Windsor Assemblies. Nothing but a flirtation but still great fun. I did not like him at all when Flora brought him to call. But I must have most decidedly changed my opinion of him. He is such a nice fellow.

Tuesday 26 This evening our “Lent” club at Pansy’s. I had quite a good time although was feeling very quiet. Louis Brown, Mr. Howard and Will Ellis came home with us. Found the Baldwins cards when I got home.


Wednesday 27 This morning Ella was feeling miserably so went to bed before Ed Delanoy came for us to go to the Armory. We went up to the Seventh and I had a lovely time. Arthur Taylor came up and staid with us a short time. Later he took us through the building. Saw a great many fellows and I knew Ed was so lovely especially after we got home he staid for quite a time with me. He can be so entertaining if he wants to be.

Thursday 28 Ella is not up today. The doctor came in to see her. Also gave me some medicine.

Friday 29 Dr. Fowler10 came today and told us Ella had the Scarlet Fever but in its mildest form but I can’t see anyone until I have taken a walk or they have had the feaver. Ella doesn’t seem to suffer at all. I saw Pansy this afternoon as we were walking up who should I meet but “Teddie” Holland. I was so surprised. He started to stop and looked at Pansy and not knowing her walked on. He doesn’t know where we live so I probably will not see him again. He is a very fascinating fellow.

Saturday 30 Saw Pansy three times today. Flora came to ask after Ella. Helen Reed and Mr. Traphagen called this evening. While I was walking up this afternoon Charlie Hastings found me. He is a very funny fellow one of the greatest flirts in the city and worth about 2 million.

Sunday 31 Was at Pansy’s this afternoon. Saw Will McCormack. Just missed Arthur Page.

Reference photographs: King's Handbook of New York City by Moses King, 1892, reprinted by Barnes and Noble. 

Researched and compiled by Kristen Pinkney

© Copyright Kristen Pinkney 2008, All Rights Reserved



Charlie Hastings had a sister, Lizzie M. Hastings, about age 16 at this time, 51 West 47th Street.



Robert Boyd, born July 15, 1841 in Albany, NY, married his second wife, Helen Pitcher of Martinsburg, NY in 1876. They had one child, Alexander. Helen Pitcher (Aunt Nellie) is Frances Dewey’s sister. Robert was the manager of Fidelity Safe Deposit Company in Chicago.



Orange, NJ where there was a popular toboggan slide and an active organization, called the Essex County Toboggan Club. NY Times archive.



Delury’s was located at 6th Avenue, between 14th and 15th Streets and catered to the wealthy. “A new – cut riding waist is especially recommended” New York Times archive, October 3, 1888.



Dickel’s riding academy was located near Central Park at 124 West 56th Street, with lessons in jumping, ring and road riding and riding to music. King p. 268.



Edwin Gould, second son of Jay Gould, the famous American financier and owner of railroads, a newspaper and Western Union. Edwin married Sarah Lantine Shrady on October 26, 1892. New York Times archive.



Seventh Regiment, known for its service in the Astor-Place Riot in 1849, the Civil War, the Orange Riots of 1871 and the Railroad strike of 1877. King p. 492.



Union League, located at northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 39th Street, was organized in 1863 and had a membership of 1500 gentlemen, Edward W. Dewey was a member. King p. 504.



Indoor Parade of ceremony held at the Seventh Regiment Armory, located at 66th and 67th Streets, Park and Lexington Avenues. King p. 493.



Dr. George B. Fowler, resided at 23 West 45th Street.


Posted in: History, People
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Jill Jellett
Comment by: Jill Jellett ( )
Left at: 9:24 PM Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thanks so much for printing May's diary. I have enjoyed reading the life style of the times. And also the insights into May's day to day life. Certainly a privileged one!