January 1-Elizabeth gave me this Book to write down about farm life and passing events. Chidester came through the storm to look at the Wool.
January 3-Dismal day and a Dakota blizzard-6 below zero. Part of the land drifted deep.
Librarian Davis and Professor Angell acknowledged ‘Life on the Farm’ for Ann Arbor Library.
The boys loaded two clips of wool to Mr. Chidester. I met Brother Robert and again was treated far better than I expected-There is a strange difference between those who have read the same Bible and been brought up in the same family.
January 8-Not so cold-paid Robert $70 and Mary $25 all I owe them-was docked on the heavy fleece from.30cents to 27½ and all we got was $269 for two years wool and all our labor.
January 10-The boys took a grist to town and we went to the gathering at the Opening of the Sanatorium where there was speeches and dancing.
January 15-Cold and dreary-takes most of the day to feed the stock, break the ice and get wood and water.
Saw an alarming fire east of us at bed time.
January 18-John Campbell brought up Mrs. L and went to Ann Arbor to hear Mathew Arnold.
January 22-Frank took me to the Depot and went to the Farmers Institute at Chelsea and read a poem-was kindly treated and stayed overnight with Mr. and Mrs. Sears and enhoyed the warmth of their fine home.
Next day saw Mr. Sears large stock and barn.
January 26-Frank and Charles Fletcher went to Augusta and Mr. Campbell bought Mr. Fletcher's farm.
January 29-Mary and Iwent to town, met John Campbell and he told us his infant son was dead-
Mr. Campbell came and had the Fletcher farm deeded to Mrs. L.
January 30-New Baptist Church dedicated.
January 31-Went to Detroit, called on James and helped Mother-left them rejoicing on Bruce Avenue.
February 1-Robert adn Jones cut wood, thrashed beans and then Robert went skating. Frank made his appearance after supper as usual.
February 3-More icy rain-great floods on the Ohio River.
February 19-Mr. Campbell came and reviewed his new farm beside us. Wrote Mother a letter for her 87th Birthday.
March 1–10 below zero.
March 5-Mary and I went to Pioneer Meeting-A large social friendly party. Ex Governor Felch gave personal reminiscence of Webster-grand feast under the Church.
March 11-Robert now 21-hardly seems possible.
March 17-The boys went to Augusta and brought up furniture to Mrs. L's new home and two more big loads.
March 19-Mr. Fletcher left his farm and the Boys and Belle went to take possession of Mrs. L's new home.
March 20-Rain, snow and mud-too wet for the boys to go to their Grandfather's.
March 22-Old Mr. & Mrs. Campbell came to their new home. William, Andrew, John, Dan Campbell and our boys and Belle and Mrs. L all helping to put house in order.
Old Mr. Campbell is in sad condition.
March 25-Mary and I went to Town with butter and eggs-butter 30 cents-eggs 20 cents-Walked up to the new farm-climbing the hill reminded me of Kirkle Hill of younger days.
March 30-Went to Church in the morning. Mrs. L came at night saying Grandmother was failing-Frank and Belle got there in time to see her die. The Mother who did so much for her family and humanity has gone from this earth to a glorious Immortality. The boys went to tell our friends of the death.
April 1-All of us went to Grandmother's funeral-Friends met at the farm home on the hill where Grandmother lived a week-burial in Stoney Creek. Uncle Gabriel and Professor Estabrook failed to come.
April 4-Robert drew rails on the hill farm.
April 6-Robert sowed Clover seed with Uncle Andrews machine. Sold about 3 bushels of beans-a profitless crop, bought 8 bushels of shelled corn-we have not need to buy corn of over 20 years-sent an advertisement to the ‘Country Gentleman’.
April 10-Went to Town and bought new harness-7 wild geese on the meadow-Lambs no doing well.
April 15-My Birthday-beginning 64-Took dinner at my daughter's (Elizabeth) Farm and supper on my wife's Farm.
April 18-Robert plowing for Mr. Campbell-Mr. C came for the yearling sheep-24 of them-we drove them to his farm.
April 22-Mr. Campbell and I went to see B. Voorhees' watering places for sheep.
April 28-Grandfather and I went to Augusta-first time no Grandmother to welcome us at the home-went and saw her grave-Old Mr. Hardy was buried.
May 1-Grand Morning-Robert still working on the hill farm-Turned sheep and cows out to pasture adn the cow went through the fence vexing me again.
May 2-Robert got 500 feet fence boards-Joe and I made a fence to keep the bothersome cows in the pasture.
May 8-Mr. C and I went to Uncle Williams and Uncle Roberts and was well treated. Robert got Fox and Hones to help him and took 5 loads of wheat to Deubel at a dollara bushel and got a Bank check for $303-very seldon has any crop I ever raised by hard work so far exceeded my hope.
Grandfather and I went to Augusta to hear a debate on Free Trade in the Grange Hall and went the wrong day, but called on old friend Mrs. Gardner and daughters.
May 14-Robert and Fox plowed with two horses round and round the field.
Heard Mr. Conklin is dead-about the richest man in Ypsilanti and now left his wealth.
May 16-Cut the lambs tails-13 ewes and 7 rams. Lifted a check from the Bank for $200; one for $50; and $53 in money.
May 22-Went to Detroit with wife and had a pleasant time with Mother and sister-Went to Dak and spent a day with Isabelle-Wm. Todd drove us around to see the glories of Nature-the fruit trees in bloom. Had dinner with Sister Agnes and Mr. Smith (Frank ?) went with us to the grand new Depot.
May 27-G. Voorhees is not as friendly as Ben-he took away the pen and we washed our sheep with Azro taking them way down to Old Addison Fletchers.
May 30-A great turnout decorating the soldiers graves-Mrs. C and Frank went to see Forepaws wonders(?).
June 4-Robert to Mr. C and I to the Salem station and we took the train to Lansing-The Capitol is a splendid building but Pioneer Paper too long and I was weary-stayed over night and then to South Lyon and train to Ann Arbor where we went to R. Campbells where I met an old old friend John Bradford and we visited so long that we missed the train and had to get his horse and buggy to drive home.
JUne 7-Letter from W.E. Gladstone's secretary-Prime Minister of England-thanking me for ‘Life on the Farm’.
June 12-Sheep shearers scarce-Robert and T. Casey shore sheep slowly. I tied up the Wool-75 sheep. Set a trap to catch the coon the kills the hens and caught a crow-Went and found the big coon sitting by the stream with his foot in the trap.
June 18-Elizabeth very sick for a week-Mr. McConachie came to see Mr. Campbell-Mary sold butter and eggs-bought strawberries-thunder show.
June 21-Went with St. Luke's Excursion to Detroit and a sail on the river-had dinner with Mother and sister in Windsor. Went to Scotch Church but saw no one I knew-dinner with sister Agnes-slept that night at Mothers on a lounge.
June 23-Home again weak and weary-Robert got the supper and took care of the MIlk.
June 26-Anna came from her School and also Belle.
June 27-Went to Town with Butter and Eggs and a grist for Mr. C. The boys drew in hay for Mr. C. Two old farmers, one 63 and one 83 bunched up the swaths and rode the horse rake.
July 2-Another grand Hay day-the boys got in all the hay-The mower and sulky rake a fine improvement on the sythe and hand rake.
July 4-The boys and girls went away for the Fourth-I took dinner on the Hill Farm and heard the cannon and fire crackers.
July 7-Wheat turning yellow-bought 10 bushels of corn from Harry-Jerome reaped nearly all of Mr. C's wheat.
July 8-Jerome reaped our wheat and did good work-we set it up-Robert and Dan went to Whitmore Lake.
July 11-Paid Wm. Scotney $25 for Miss Armstrong's teaching. A colored man began to cradle the orchard wheat-the sheep bothered us.
July 15-Brother off to the Sea for his health and I toil in the fields for mine.
July 19-Frank paid $40 he got from Rolland Fletcher for the white cow-she milked well but vexed us breaking the fence.
July 21-Went for lime-boys mixing mortar and fixing franing for the Cellar they dug on the Hill farm.
July 29-The Mason finished Mr. C's cellar-Robert helped Azro thrash.
August 1-The Colored Peoples Day-Robert came back and said there was 803 bushels of wheat at Azros.
August 2-Our learned friend Gabriel Campbell called on us. He and Mr. C. went to see Andrew-Frank got the rafters on the new addition to the house on the Hill.
August 6-Mr. C, Wife and I went to Walker's Grove with the Methodist
August 9-John Miller reaped the Pats on bothe places-helped to set up sheavees.
August 10-Mr. C, Mrs. L, Belle, Frank, Robert and I went to the Congregational Church and heard our friend G. Campbell preach a good sermon.
August 13-Mrs. L and I went to Frederick Graves Daughter's funeral.
August 15-G. Campbell left for her home in New Hampshire after a big picnic gathering at Elizabeths.
August 18-Got a picture of our family that Father painted 50 years ago.
August 26-Mr. C, Wife and I went with Azro and Elizabeth to Azro's Father's farm for a picnic-very dusty and got my hands pressed by shaking hands.
August 28-Mr. C having chimney built at the Hill house.
August 31-We went to Stoney Creek Church and put flowers on Grandmother's grave. Had dinner with J. Campbell.
September 1-Jones dug and I gathered potatoes-Robert harrowed. Borrowed $100 from Brother Robert for Mrs. L. Harry came and paid for two sheep he sold.
September 4-Robert and I went to Mr. Lumises and got 30 bushels of seed wheat $25.57 and started drilling it.
SEptember 10-Got coal and looked for the thrashers adn they finished the Oats and Wheat on the Hill farm before noon. 3 colored men worked on the stack-Our barley adn wheat out by sun down-27 of Barley and 255 of Wheat-plenty of good help-not a heavy yield.
September 13-Fox began to cut corn at $1 an acre-Belle went to the Normal-Sent James' letter to Frank about paying his Mother-Son Frank sold the steer to Roll and for $45-Went to the Depot to hear Logan-William Campbell's carriage turned over and hurt him and his father.
September 18-Frank finished lathing the addition to the House on the Hill and plasters completed it.
Walked over to Elizabeth's School. HerSchoolshook and she thought it like an earthquake and it proved so-some of the scholars ran out of the School in fear.
September 22-Heard of old Mr. Jarvis' death-A welcome shower in the morning-Belle got Mr. Campbell a big dictionary.
September 25-We all went to the Fair-grand day-good crowd-met some old friends-was introduced to General Alger.
October 1-Mr. Breed and Joshia Childs came. Mr. C and I went to Whittaker and Augusta Farm. Robert drew a load of corn and painted in the new home.
October 2-Fine crop of corn, Fox husking for 3½ cents a bushel and Robert hauling it to the Hill farm.
October 5-Mr. C wnet to Church with us. Harvest Service in the Congregational and Episcopal Churches but no feast of ingathering in ours.
October 10-Mrs. Todd and daughter and Mrs. Inglis and daughter made us a pleasant visit-Called on Elizabeth adn Azro and drove round by the old Moon Famr and had strange memories of early life in America. Went for dinner in Brother Robert's grand home.
October 19-Took up furniture and put down carpets in the new home. We all had dinner there.
The old home where we lived for 30 years stripped of furniture and carpets looks desolate and forlorn.
October 22-Left the old Home where all the family were born and moved to the new home on the Hill-set up the coal stove and find the new home cheerful, beautiful and comfortable and yet felt sad.
October 31-William Campbell, Mr. & Mrs. A. Campbell, Mr. & Mrs. R. Campbell and young Robert were here to dinner to celevrate Mr. C's birthday.
Borrowed $25 from Azro.
November 5-Robert took 11 barrels of apples to Ainsworth. Great excitement in town about the election of the President. Got the cows up to the Hill farm-need stantions for them-Was entertained seeing the Rockets sent up by the Democrats for Cleveland's election.
November 10-Mr. C, Mrs. L and I went to Belleville to visit Mr. S. CAmpbell and son Robert.
November 14-The two Marys and I went to our old home and brought clothes and preserves.
November 21-Got some money for ‘Life on the Farm’ but my literary venture not very profitable.
Heard of death of Mrs. Covert.
November 26-Robert and I took Mr. C 20 yearling sheep down to our flock-116 and put them and the calves under the barn-took a sheep for mutton.
Lambie Diary 1884
December 1-Old Mr. Pont came-heard of death of Dr. Webb.
December 11-Went down and feed the sheep-downhearted about the old home where I spent 34 years and wrote sometimes regarding it.
December 15-Robert drew 3 loads of Furniture for Fox who moved into our old home.
December 16-Fed the sheep and found Fox in the room “Where the bairns were born”.
Robert brought up a sheep and I dressed it for Mutton.
December 24-Belle and Robert went to the old home and brought up the parlor stove-Anna, Mary and Elizabeth gave me nice presents.
No stockings hung up now.
December 25-Mrs. L, Frank, Anna, Mary, Bell and Robert all went in the Bobsleigh to Augusta-16 years since Father passed away from earth undergoing that great change that is mysterious, no sound, whisper or shadow ever comes back from our most intimate and best friends to comfort us.
Christmas Box from Sister Agnes.
December 31-Anna not well enough to return to Elkhart.
Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1885.
View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.