Archives

Diary of Marshall Fairbanks — October 28, 1878

From the years 1878 until 1888, if not longer, Marshall Fairbanks kept a daily account of life on his farm in Evans (Erie County), New York, including his accounts of the weather, money coming in and out, and any other events of interest. He wrote about driving into Buffalo to sell crops and about laborers that came to the farm to work for a few months at a time. According to the census in 1875, Marshall’s farm had expanded to 126 acres.

OCTOBER 28.
Cool and clowdy with a west wind rained and snowed some last night. I helped Jennie wash and chored around Frank cribed 54 bushels of corn and plowed part of the day Webster went to Buffalo To cash paid for preaching at the Corners $1.00 Webster came home
To cash received for five bushels of wheat $5.00

Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – April 17, 1878

From the years 1878 until 1888, if not longer, Marshall Fairbanks kept a daily account of life on his farm in Evans (Erie County), New York, including his accounts of the weather, money coming in and out, and any other events of interest. He wrote about driving into Buffalo to sell crops and about laborers that came to the farm to work for a few months at a time. According to the census in 1875, Marshall’s farm had expanded to 126 acres.

APRIL 17.
Mild and pleasant with a south and nort wind fine time to sow grain Wet dragged in oats and plowed some I helped Jennie make soap and Albert and I worked fixing a room up stairs in the west end of the home for Albert room

Churning Butter

During the nineteenth century, the woman of the household was usually responsible for making butter and cheese. She would use cream, skimmed from milk, to make butter in a butter churn.

Cheese Press

Making cheese involved several steps. First, milk was separated into liquid whey and chunky curds. The whey was drained off to leave the curds. A cheese press squeezed out the last bit of liquid, and the blocks of cheese were rubbed with lard or butter to keep out air while the cheese aged.

Butter Churn

In cool weather, cream rose to the top of the milk pan. Cream was skimmed from the top, placed in a butter churn, and stirred energetically until it became solid butter. This work was done mostly by women.