January 2- Saw a great light in the sky at 3 in the morning. The boys and I went down and found the farmers store burning and 5 others-a sad sight-this store 3 times robbed and now burned-we will lose by it-Robert did not get home until 9.
January 3- The boys helped get the safe out of the Farmers store-Insurance $10,000 on $15,000 goods.
4 bags of Clover seed from Thrashing-maybe 5 bushels and more than we expected.
January 8- Went to Ann Arbor to the meeting of Washtenaw Mutual Insurance Company and saw part of the new Court House-Boys sold Pork.
January 15- Paid Rexford $5.50 for Church seat rental-middle of winter and living on buckwheat cakes and pork-Robert's old black sheep died.
January 17- Wife and I to Pittsfield and met John Campbell and his bride and a party of intelligent friends-a double feast-took Mrs. A. Campbell home and left wife to take care of sick Mrs. Wm. Campbell. Gave Julia Camp an order on Wm. Campbell for $40.
January 19- Farmers store to get $11,000. insurance.
January 25- Follett decamped with $1,900.
January 31- More snow and the last of January and near zero.
February 1- Snow very deep-Paid Goodspeed $20 for teaching.
February 9- Went to Farmers store meeting and it was decided to close the store and settle accounts in 90 days.
February 14- Wm. Campbell paid L.H. Graves interest etc. $46.33 was glad to get it-I had doubts I would ever get it.
February 16- Paid Frank Smith $2.40 for the Interior and $1.40 for the Tribune.
February 18- Frank, Jerome and T. Casey killed 4 swine-Frank sold 4 hogs-902 lbs at 12 ½ = $37.20-He got his wages and I got 10¢ for my share.
February 22- Frank does not come home at night. Robert rode thru rain, snow and sleet and got the papers.
February 23- Frank got back not finding a better place than home-Walked to town with 7 dozen eggs the old way.
February 26- Got our checks on the Farmers store marked by Lawyer Crane-At Depot saw some ill looking ponies from Texas.
March 3- Sacrament-wet and muddy-only 3 new members and Jannett Waterbury one of them. Our old friend John Geddes failed to appear. Wm. Campbell took his place passing the Bread and Wine.
March 6- Went to Pioneer Meeting in Baptist Church-read a paper before full house.
March 8- Mary and I went to Pittsfield-found Mrs. L still lame and using crutch. Mr. & Mrs. Wm. Campbell came at night from Mr. Auld's funeral and we heard of the death of Mr. Loveder(?) age 91.
March 9- Stayed over night at Mr. Clarke's until near noon looking over his beautiful home-his well kept farm and fine flocks and herds.
Called on Mr. Sanders-the poor fellow will have a sad time lying on his back 3 months till his broken leg gets well.
March 11- Robert's birthday-15 years-May blessing and felicity ever hang around his pathway.
March 15- Went to see old friend Casey-Paid Elizabeth $10 I owed her. Sold butter and eggs to Roberts old store. Mr. Campbell gave Mary a note on Mr. A. Campbell for $62.
March 23- Sold eggs for 7 cents-bought Timothy Seed $1.75. Paid Goodspeed $16 for teaching.
March 27- Took 4 bags feed and 1 of wheat to the Mill. Paid Frank $10-I seem to do the savings-he the spending. Wife and I went down for the Grist-
April 1st- Bell, Robert, the big Dictionary and school bell, 3 of T. Casey's children, 2 of Mr. Fletcher's with books and dinner pails started for Bell's summer school. Frank went to a Town Meeting.
April 3- Wife and I had tea with Brother-a cold reception-Bell has 16 scholars.
April 5- 39 years since we left the old stone house in Strathavens and came to America-Got $20 from Wm. Campbell-R. Campbell came and got trees.
April 7- At Church, A. Campbell's class discussing the Catholic question.
April 10- Too wet to plow-Walter Campbell came.
April 12- Elizabeth to Pittsfield to her School, Mrs. L and Robert going with her.
April 13- Mr. Campbell came. Wife and Mary went with him, Mary to her School.
April 15- My Birthday-57 years of my life past-3 girls teaching, I learning-Frank at the Oak to see sister Isabell-Robert and I had dinner alone. Bell has 20 scholars.
April 22- Now have 9 lambs-Paid $1.50 for cleaning school-$2 for improvements-Robert and I spreading manure and filling woodchuck holes.
April 27- Fields green and wet. Frank fishing-Jones helped dig big stones. Robert and Hiram Camp fishing.
April 30- Went to visit old friends Mr. & Mrs. Voorhees, visited Bell's School and found her doing her duty as usual-Walked around past the old Moon farm where the band that sailed and suffered and rejoiced together first pitched their tent in the wilderness in the woods and wilds of great America.
May 1st- Boys plowing and shooting Woodchucks. Mr. & Mrs. Clarke came with their new team-24 lambs.
May 4- Went to the meeting to close the Farmers store after getting 20 percent for 6 years we now get 45 percent of what we paid in.
May 5- Walked to Church-John Geddes son dead, age 35-John left.
May 8- Heavy shower. The boys caught two big strings of fish-Got two bags of wheat ground for bread and 2 for feed-39 lambs.
May 11- Have “Rural Notes” in the Tribune-Received $30 out of the bank.
May 15- Wife and I to Augusta-pleasant visit with old friends-Frost-Walked with Mary to her School. Came home at noon.
May 16- Cut lambs tails-38 in all-19 Ewes-19 Rams. Rats cut a hole in our cake safe.
Boys were displeased because I would not buy a new wagon-have little wheat or oats to sell-Market low-The old wagon is stronger than my purse.
May 20- Went to Detroit-Called on Mr. Inglis (David?) took dinner with brother Frank-Called on Mother in Windsor-was not well treated-stayed over night with my friend David Inglis.
May 21- Went out to Rogers(?) Station and was kindly treated by my old friend John Camman-looked over his farm.
The boys washed the sheep in my absence.
Mr. Camman and I drove 10 miles to sister Isabell-pleasant memories of pleasant former days-Mr. C drove me to Detroitmet old friends and brother Frank and James and heard distressing news about John-returned home.
May 24- Sold butter for 11¢ lb and eggs 10¢ a dozen.
May 28- The boys and I went to Mr. Tifleys(?) raising-the biggest I ever saw being 36 × 100.
May 30- Drove the sow over to R. Fletchers. John Campbell and wife came.-Walked to Church at night to hear—on education. Anna among the Graduates-Last of May-worked on the road-Paid Frank $10.
June 1st- Robert has 15 ducks-John Gilbert paid $30 for our 6 shares in Farmers store.
June 12- Corn has to contend with cold, grass, chipmunks and worms. Roberts bought Frank's watch.
Letter from brother Frank about John's sad failure-Wife, Anna and Robert went to Mr. Campbells.
June 21- Robert and Anna went to Pittsfield for the closing of Elizabeth's School.
June 26- Robert and I working in the corn-he rode the mower for the first time-looks like an iron chariot. Have “How to keep the Boys on the Farm” in the Tribune-Bell's School closed-Jerome paid $3.50 for 1 1/4 lb wool on the 10 sheep-Paid him $15. for painting and fixing the wagon-he helped rake and cock the hay Robert cut.
June 30- John Miller helped and we got in 7 loads of hay-hard work and great heat.
Wife's Birthday-Ben Voorhees came looking for Fred who had run away-95 degrees in the shade.
July 1st- Hope to get in all the Hay-Dan Miller helping with 10 loads-Rain at night-up to 98 at noon.
Frank sent a Postal from Burlington, Iowa where he is harvesting.
July 3- Cleaned up 10 bags of wheat-Kept the cows in the stable, they vex us breaking the fences.
July 4- Wife sick in the night-Robert went to town to see the celebration-had new potatoes and peas for dinner.
Mrs. L and Elizabeth went to Augusta late.
July 5- Mary and Elizabeth came home at 10-Robert mowing with machine in Clover Field and Dan mowed with the synthe-Sold 21 bushels Wheat for $21-Was up at 5 and worked 17 hours.
July 6- Dan, Robert and I built a hay stack-the barn was about full of hay. Paid Dan $5.
July 10- Clark and I bought a cradle for $2.75-Colored man and Robert hoed and I set up around new apple trees. Sold the wool-481 lbs-1/3 off on the Rams fleeces and 10 heavy fleece at 22¢-whole amount $135.36–30¢ lb for 370 lbs. Two men in the barn to work but too wet. Paid Clar $2.
July 12- Fearful thunderstorm last night and the Brook running in the cornfield and on the Oats. It seems Nature was waring against the farmer. Many willing to eat but not to work.
Pumray and Eban worked-Paid each 50¢ and later $1 and $5 for all the harvesting.
July 15- Wheat looks good-Harry's sheep trampled and hurt the Wheat-Too heavy to enjoy the Harvest.
July 17-Hot again-102 in the shade.
Pumray cut last of Wheat and broke the old cradle-Drew in Wheat all day-Paid Faithful August $5 and Pomray $2. Anna had a letter from Mr. Stafford about the School.
Robert, Lizzy, Bell and I got in all the Wheat-Pomray sick, August helping Voorhees-Hear Mr. Chidester's son drowned.
July 22- Much cooler-56 degrees-Got in all the rakings cleaned Wheat and drew Manure-Days getting shorter-Robert and Pomray helped Voorhees thrash. He paid about 16 men and a steam thrasher-had a pleasant visit with brother Robert.
July 25- Sold 18 bushels of old Wheat for 956 and 46 bushels of Oats to D. Wise for 26¢ per bushel-very cheap Oats.
July 27- $13.60 for Oats. Saw the Show come in on the railroad-Robert and Pomray went to see the Show.
Had 2 colored men harvesting-paid them $1.50.
Visit from D. LaFurge.
July 29- Frank came home before daylight from harvesting in Iowa-A wet cloudy day and Eclipse not seen.
July 31- Hauling Manure-Wife and I went to Belleville to Ann Campbell's funeral-A great display of grandeur in the house of the widow and fatherless-It must be difficult for them to meet expenses-
Called on I. Phillips and sister.
August 1- Wife and I to Mr. Clarke's-he is not well-Very pleasant to wake up in Mr. Clarke's fine home.
Robert and I bound Oats-Paid Pomray $2.
August 5- Willie and Frank built an Oatstack before barn-Mowing machine working well-Frank cut all oats machines could not. Began to plow again for winter wheat.
Elizabeth and Mary brought up brother Robert's horse and Wagon.
August 8- Robert raked the Oats with T. Casey's wheelrake.
We stacked all the Oats.
Thrashers came at 10-got 84 bushels of Oats and 160 of Wheat.
August 12- Heard of death of Mr. Swift-Finished thrashing had 247 bushels-expected 300-Some had twice as much to the acre and did not work their land any more carefully-Anna went to Manchester-Wife taking care of Fletcher's sick child-Eclipse on the Moon.
August 13- Wife and I went to Mr. Swift's funeral.
Paid Pomray $2 and he left. The Fletcher child died in the night.
August 18- Drew $100 out of Bank-Went to Fletcher's little boys funeral.
August 24- Boys drew sand from Fifeleys-Bell and I went to town and thru the new Normal building.
August 28- Robert sprained his ankle and now uses a crutch. Took Anna and her trunk to the Depot-she is going to teach in Manchester.
September 2- Frank and the Mason working on the wall of the barn. Robert drawing stones. Built fire to try to crack big rocks.
Went to School meeting-very few attended-Voted $40 for incidentals.
The Mason brought a jackscrew to raise the barn.
September 3- Gabriel Campbell came and stayed over night he seems to be one of the lights of the world.
Finished the barn wall.
5 of us went for a grand picnic party under Wm. Campbell's apple trees. it was like Eden and Paradise restored.
September 8- Willie Campbell helped dig potatoes-went in town to Farmers picnic on the Fair grounds-
September 11- The Jones Boy helped Robert and I cut corn-Frank getting a field ready for wheat-he sowed 12 bushels-
September 13- Wife and I went to the closing of Bell's school-her little pupils acquited themselves very well.
September 16- Got 440 from Wm. Campbell.
September 17- Wife, Robert and I went to the State Fair in Detroit-Great crowds of strange faces, stayed over night at Agnes' beautiful home-
Robert and I went over the Blue water of the Detroit river to see Mother, and 2 sisters vexed me. James was not manly I had no reason to be proud of Canada. Had pleasant dinner with brother Robert in Frank's home-called on David Inglis and saw the babe.
September 23- Had Ague-sick and sad hearted-
Very weak and could not accept brother Roberts dinner invitation.
Dr. Ashley Came to see me-the first time a Dr. has come to help restore my health since I was a wee boy.
September 27- Rested andd took 11 pills before bed time. Old Mrs. Voorhees was buried without my being able to pay last respects.
September 30- Some better and could eat breakfast.
October 2- Sold 3 barrells of Pippens for 75¢ per barrell-
October 7- Picked Russet and bellflower apples. W. Smith helped in the afternoon.
October 10- Apples plentiful and cheap. receive $36.85 for them from Ainsworth-54 barrells.
Sent 5 barrells to sister Agnes.
October 14- Pomray husking-Frank drew lumber from the Dentons. Sold 40 bushels cider apples to Burt $4.
Sent a barrell of apples to Anna in Manchester.
October 17- Brother Robert brought sister Agnes and her son James, his wife and her Mother.
We went to Roberts for fine dinner. Agnes and James came comforted communing with them.
Frank brought all the framing timbers for the barn addition from Dentons.
October 19- Agnes and I walked to the old farm.
October 21- Sold 32 bushels cider apples at 10¢ paid Denton $33.50 for framing timbers.
Gathered some nice Baldwins-Frank helping D. Wilber to thrash-Two Pomrays and Robert husking.
October 24- Received a fine letter from Kate Inglis.
Corn a good crop.
October 26- Owe Frank $24.39-He received $50 from Wm. Campbell. Sick again-Food won't digest.
October 28- Mrs. L and I both sick but improving.
Paid B. Thompson $4 for fixing two wheels on the buggy.
October 30- Sold 7 sheep (culls) to B. Voorhees for $10 and two calves for $18-Killed a sheep for Mutton.
November 1st- Had some of the neighbors help lay the barn sills and sleepers-heavy work.
Paid Dr. Ashley 5 for coming to see me 3 times he did little good-too much medicine-for payhe offered to take 2 swarms of bees-one was enough. Paid Pomray $4-Frank and Carpenter and Dr. all to pay.
November 4- Robert and I went to Rawsonville with 7 bushels Wheat and got a grist-Old Sally the horse I plowed with 25 years died. We buried the old willing beast in the orchard beside her mate-I got her from Father when she was a foal.
November 7- About 20 men came to raise addition to the Barn. The Carpenter Frank hired made a botch of my nice lumber and we had to cut the top of a post after it was raised-The rafters another blunder-16 men for supper who were friendly.
November 8- After hard work we got the rafters in order and the plates bolted and part of the building boarded up Samson sold us 33 lbs nails for $1.00-Republican victories in the elections-Frank got $75 of Marys Money from Wm. Campbell.
November 11- Article in the commercial about the new railroad-Settled with Frank-Owe him $10.
November 15- Wife and I went to her Fathers-Mr. & Mrs. Clarke came to dinner at the old Campbell Home-made each other glad.
November 16- 29 years since we married-how fast time rolls on.
November 21- Mr. & Mrs. Clarke came have been down to the trial of Mr. Murry, the minister-a bad woman accusing him of immoral conduct.
November 26- Frank, Dan and I took the hay out of the old barn an tore it down.
Rain came right after we got the stalks and Hay in the new barn.
Paid Frank $31 for wages and shingles-all I owe except to owe Dan Miller $7.50 for work.
November 28- Thanksgiving-Wife and I went to Clarkes for fine dinner and pleasant party gathering-
The Glasgow Bank Failure and the Murry scandal threw a shade of sorrow over our Thanksgiving and Scotch feelings-
Wife came with Wm. Campbell to J. Tailers child's funeral-
Ann and Elizabeth came home with me.
November 30- Paid Dan Miller $5.50-Mrs. L and Robert going to see Mrs. Camp-Anna to her School in manchester.
December 2- Robert and Elizabeth started at daylight for her School in Pittsfield-
Set up stanchions under new barn and got the cows stabled-
December 3- Walked to town-letter from Isabel from the Oak.
December 4- Heard the sad tidings that our good friend Mrs. John Clarke died suddenly last night. Mrs. L went with her brother Robert Campbell to sympathize the afflicted over in the beautiful desolate home.
December 5- Frank and I drove over the rough road to the Stoney Creek church.
December 7- Paid $1.80 doe Insurance.
December 10- Killed 3 spring pigs-pork 42.75 cwt-Food abundant-Bell to the Normal again.
December 13- Anna's Birthday-our home is not so poor and desolate as when she was born-Went to old Mrs. Hamilton's funeral.
Frank paid our taxes $26-heavy Taxes and low Markets
December 20- Wife and I went to Pittsfield-found Mr. Clarke dejected-had pleasant visit with the Robert Campbell's.
Eliza and I went to the Saline Junction to meet Anna but she did not come-
Mr. Clarke did not ask us to stay and we came home after dark.
(Mrs. Clarke was Elizabeth Campbell, sister of Mary Campbell Lambie.)
December 21- 3 Went to the Depot in the cutter and brought Anna home-Frank go the School Money $224.83.
December 22- Mr. Richmond's babe died last week and there is sickness in his family.
December 25- Comfortable under the barn and in the house-two below outside.
Christmas and 10 years since Father died. Wife and I went to Episcopal Church. Our old friend asked us to commune with them. Received a nice box of presents from dear Sister Agnes-Willie Campbell came up with us for dinner and the youngsters sang with glee.
December 26- 8 went to Mr. Campbell's in the long sleigh and left me alone. Paid Miss Crippen $20 for teaching. Had 2 teeth pulled-a sore job-Frank loaned $100 to Mr. Thorne-Wm.
Campbell collected all Mr. Crane owed med.
December 31- Last of 1878-Robert drawing wood.
Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1879.
View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.