Guide to the Sadie Alley Diary, 1909

Collection number: MS 306
Size: (1 item) (0.01 cu.ft.)

About Sadie M. Alley

Sadie M. Alley (1886-1910) was the eldest daughter of Fernald "Frank" P. Alley and Rebecca (Clark) Alley, both born in St. George, Maine. Frank came to Vinalhaven as a stonecutter but had taken a job as a steward on the island boat by 1909. Sadie's younger siblings were Minnie G. (b. ca. 1887), Nettie E. (b. ca. 1897), and Willis W. (b. ca. 1899). She died of tuberculosis just after her 24th birthday.

About Sadie's diary

Sadie Alley's diary, kept from February to July 1909, describes her daily chores, mail, leasure, family, and friends in great detail. Her daily life involves housework, church, handiwork such as quilting and crocheting lace, cooking cod and clams, helping her father on the boat, and taking trips by sleigh and boat to Rockland, Camden, and neighboring islands such as Hurricane and Granite. She walked to the post office every day, and used a neighbor's telephone when she needed to call across the island (e.g. seeking work at the Vinalhaven Net Factory).

Her leisure time is described in great detail - dances at the Grange Hall and Knights of Pythias, singing and sewing circles, town meeting, plays and lantern shows, church, "drawing pigs with our eyes closed," and lectures. The latter included several commemorating Abraham Lincoln's 100th birthday; a copy of a photograph of Lincoln is slipped into the last pages. The diary breaks off midsentence on 17th July 1909, two days after Sadie makes the journey to Port Clyde to work as a housekeeper for a Mrs. Bartlett.

Surnames mentioned include: Bartlett, Barton, Clark, Conway, Donahue, Dyer, Gardner, Hutchins, Hart, Ingerson, Mertie, Philbrook, Raymond, Shield, Smith, Vinal, Wooster, William, and Young.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

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Preferred Citation

Sadie Alley Diary, 1909, MS 306, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchase, 2020

Collection Arrangement