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What were Christmas holidays like in Wilton 100 years ago?



Photo courtesy of Wilton Historical Society

Wilton town historian Carol Russell unearthed a diary entry written by a young Helen Elizabeth Sturges that gives us a glimpse of life in Wilton over a century ago. “Helen was the youngest child of five of John Burr Sturges and Helen Elizabeth Fitch—two very prominent Wilton families. Their homestead on Hurlbutt Street still stands today,” says Russell.

December 23, 1915:
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
“This has been a busy week but pleasant one because it was filled with Christmas work. It has been moonlight and I have had sleigh rides both morning and evening. My friend Dell came up on the train and it seemed like old times. She had been Christmas shopping and showed me a beautiful silk petticoat she had bought me—my first real silk one!

We had a lovely last day at school (in Norwalk)—regular work in the morning and a program and fun in the afternoon with candy and oranges. My teacher gave me a church calendar and we children exchanged handkerchiefs and aprons and candy.  

After school I did some shopping. My, but I had a lot of packages. Mr. Nolan helped me on the train back home or I don’t know how I could have ever gotten on. Mr. Epps met my train at Cannon Station and took me and my packages home.

December 24, 1915
Today has been such a busy day with my new rag carpet to lay, stove to put up, ducks to clean, tree to put up, etc., etc. I worked every minute till 9:30 when I crawled into bed—very sleepy.”

December 25, 1915: Christmas Day
A lovely day and everything passed off well. The dining room looked pretty and our family dinner was fine. Florry and James brought a roast pig at the last moment. Beside ducks, white and sweet potatoes, turnips, onions, cranberry sauce, currant jelly, grape conserve, pickled beets, coffee, nuts, candy, suet pudding, and fruit. I got lots of lovely presents—I never fared so well. Tomorrow we are going to visit Aunt Fanny.”

 

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