First part of Fannie Hay's Diary, through her mother's death in January, 1931


Circa 1917, Fannie driving the old car with her nephew Don standing up! Click here for an historic picture of a 1929 Reo.
June 30, 1929. We drove the new Reo to Wellington and moved Robert's family down.

July 4. Stayed at home all day, but Perry and Annie came in late in the afternoon.

July 5. Perry left for Springfield, Mass., for the summer.

July 21, 1929. The three of us drove this afternoon to the Bull Run battlefield, a lovely cool day and a fine ride. It proved to be, according to the monument on the old bridge across Bull Run, the 68th anniversary of the first battle. Papa remembers that the day after this battle he, a boy of 15, went with his mother to Boyd's Grove and heard of the rout of the Northern forces. He remembers his mother's expressions of fear that the Northern cause was lost. He also remembers the stories that the Confederates drank from the skulls of the slain Northerners!

Sunday, Aug. 4, 1929. Papa, mamma, and I took our lunch and went to Hains Point at twelve o'clock, remaining until four. The day was cool and wonderful, and we enjoyed watching airplanes, speed boats, autos and passers-by. We hoped the Zeppelin would pass over Washington, as seemed possible, but instead it went up the coast straight to Lakehurst.

Aug. 10, '29. Received today a letter from Dorothy Frank saying that Irvin has been sent to Oteen, N.C., U.S. Veterans' Hospital, with tuberculosis.

Aug. 13, 1929. Received today by telegram from Geo. Miller and Robt. Hall, news of the death in an accident of David Miller, at Nashville. I sent telegram and flowers for the family.

Aug. 11. Sunday we spent at Wellington with Robert's.

Aug. 14. I leave tonight for Chautauqua to spend a week and return to Washington in the car with the Minnicks.

Aug. 23. After a pleasant week at Chautauqua with John, Mamie and M.F. [adopted daughter Mary Frances, about age 8], we start back for home, spending the 22d and 23d on the road. Slept at Milton, over the railroad.

Aug. 25. All spent the afternoon with Robert's at Wellington.

Aug. 26. Monday morning at 9 all started in our Reo for a trip into Virginia. At Richmond we saw the State Capitol and Monument Avenue. Spent the night at the Colonial Inn at Williamsburg. After a comfortable night we made an early start for Yorktown. On the way back we toured all about Williamsburg, then went to Jamestown. After lunch there went to Charlottesville, where we slept at the Queen Charlotte Hotel. Early in the morning climbed to Monticelo, then drove through the campus of the U. of Va. to Staunton, Harrisonburg, Newmarket, and Luray. All went into the caverns, the Minnicks making the entire trip. Spent the night at the Mansion Inn at Luray, then started home early, reaching 1211 [Harvard Street] about noon.

Aug. 29. Thursday.

Aug. 30. Harry Camp and his family spent a couple of hours with us on their way out of Washington for home, and the Minnicks left for N.Y.

Nov. 28, 1929. Thanksgiving. We had turkey dinner with Robert and Alma.

Dec 25, 1929. Last night we spent the evening at Robert's. They had a tree and lots of nice presents for us and for each other. We remarked after we got home on how nice they all were to us, the boys and all treating us royally. I drove up in our car, which, because of the ice and snow, had skid chains.
          Constance and Lewis made a little call in the afternoon.
          Today, Christmas, has been very quiet. We are expecting the Minnicks tomorrow, so have no company today. We were busy most of the morning, making a cake, hanging the new picture, putting up pine branches, etc. This afternoon we have listened to the Xmas program from England over the radio, read, etc. Mamma is parboiling the 12 lb. turkey; papa has been at home all day, reading, etc.

Jan 1, 1930. After a pleasant holiday with the Minnicks, during which we were at Robert's, Perry's, and Constance's, and during which time they were all here, we three are now spending a quiet New Year's day at home. We cleaned the house this morning, and now are reading and writing.

Apr. 30, 1930. Easter and mamma's birthday. The Minnicks came on Friday night. We spent a good deal of the day in the car, at market where we got flowers (a big hydrangea for mamma), at the Speedway, etc. Sunday we took dinner together at the Rose Glow Tea Room. After dinner Robert's, Perry's, and Constance and Lewis came in for the afternoon. We had ice cream, cakes, candy.

Mother's Day, 1930. We three took dinner at the Rose Glow, and a ride. Robert's came with candy, and on Monday Perry brought a large bunch of lillies of the valley.

May 22, 1930. Papa's eighty-fourth birthday. He went to the Museum as usual, in the car, and as usual I brought him back about four o'clock. We had a chicken dinner, a cake, flowers, and gave him a thermos bottle, etc. Robert and Alma came in the evening with a 2 lb. box of candy. Mamie sent money for flowers.

May 30, 1930. We got to Wellington at 12. Found Robert's and Anna Bischoff there. Had a delightful day out of doors. All were most kind to us. We came home at five.

June 18, '30. Donald graduated from Central H.S. We three went in the machine to the exercises, and later joined Robert, Alma, Perry, and Donald. Our boy looked very fine, and seemed pleased to have us with him.

June 19, '30. Donald's eighteenth birthday. Alma had us and Anna to dinner. Donald showed us the beautiful watch which his father and mother gave him as a graduation gift.

June 20, 1930. I went with Miss Clark to the Natl. Geographic Society meeting, where President Hoover presented to Admiral Byrd the special medal of the Society. Byrd then spoke most entertainingly, and then his pictures were shown. Neither Byrd nor his companions had seen the pictures until this showing.

June 22, 1930. Sunday afternoon. We three went to the Columbia theater and saw the Byrd pictures.

June 29 and 30, 1930. June 29, Sunday, Robert's family and ours went to Perry's to celebrate the [60th] wedding anniversary. I took ice cream, candy and cake, and Annie had made fruit punch. We gave mamma an electric coffee pot, and Pops Dr. Wiley's Autobiography. On the 30th we had sent in a large bouquet, and Anna Bischoff, who heard their anniversary announced over the radio, sent another bunch. In the evening the three of us took dinner at the Rose Glow, and then drove to Hains Point to watch the sunset.

August 30, 1930. A week ago yesterday, Friday, the Minnicks reached here from Chautauqua.
          Sunday afternoon we drove to Wellington to see Robert's, and took supper there.
          Monday morning we set off on an automobile trip, from which we returned Thursday noon. We had good weather, no accidents, and nothing to mar the trip except two punctures.
          We drove first to Fredericksburg, thence to Orange, Va., passing the battlefields of the Wilderness and Chancellorsville, at the latter place eating our picnic lunch under an old tree.
          At Orange we saw Montpelier, Madison's home, in the distance, but were told that it was not open to visitors. We did, however, go to the family cemetery nearby, where we visited the graves of James and Dolly Madison.
          Spent the night at the Queeen Charlotte, at Charlottesville.
          Did not go up to Ash Lawn, Monroe's home for about twenty-five years, because we did not believe it would be open to visitors early, and we were anxious to get on to Lexington.
          Lunched at Lexington, then drove to Natural Bridge. All except papa and mamma walked to and enjoyed the Bridge. Then we drove over it, turned and started back for Lexington, to spend the night. There was a hard rain as we drove along, and we were considerably delayed.
          Stayed all night at the Lee Highway Inn at Lexington. In the morning we visited Virginia Military Institute, the grave of Stonewall Jackson, and the Lee Memorial Chapel, where Lee is buried. Also saw the Washington & Lee Campus and buildings.
          Left Lexington about 10 o'clock, and drove to Winchester, where we spent the night at the Jack Hotel. Had a good dinner and breakfast there, and comfortable rooms. About nine o'clock we left for home, and arrived towards noon.
          Early in the afternoon Perry telephoned they had just got back from their four week trip to Copperhill, middle west, and Niagara Falls. They came about five o'clock with a gallon of ice cream, and we got a supper for the crowd.
          Friday morning, Aug. 21, the Minnicks left for New York.
          Saturday morning, Aug. 30 Robert's family started on a week's trip in their auto through the valley of Virginia,

Tuesday, Sept 2. I leave for Sunset Hall, Wernersville, Pa. for a week, where Miss Clark will join me.

Sunday, Nov 9, 1930. Papa died just a week ago today, Sunday, Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. Mamie spent eight days with us, and Perry and Annie, and Robert were with us throughout the illness.
          The funeral mass was at 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 4. Dr. Ulysses G. B. Pierce conducted beautiful services.
          Just three weeks before his death he went with mamma and me to Great Falls on the Maryland side. The day was beautiful, the foliage gay. He enjoyed the drive very much. We stopped in the woods and all gathered colored leaves, as he always loved to bring back bouquets of wild flowers.

Jan 2, 1931. Our first Christmas and New Year without papa are over. Thanksgiving Day the two of us spent with Perry and Annie. Christmas day Miss Schaeffer, mamma and I had turkey dinner together. About 4:30 Robert and his family and Anna Bischoff came, then a little later Perry and Annie and we had a good time together around the gas logs.
          New Year's Day Robert and Perry both telephoned, but no one came in. However, we passed the day pleasantly, listening to fine programs over the radio, reading aloud Martha Ostenso's "The Young May Moon" and having a good dinner.
          Mamma has been ill since Thanksgiving. There has been severe pain in the sacro-iliac joint so that lying down was impossible for nearly three weeks. This was followed by pleurisy. She came downstairs to Christmas dinner and to spend the evening with the family, but until the present day she has not otherwise been down stairs.
          The Minnicks could not come down as usual because of mamma's illness.

Mch. 1, '31. On January 28 mamma suddenly left us. We are indeed bereft.

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Notes: These are the first four of eleven pages of a diary that spans to 1957; click here for entire diary in pdf form (47 pages).
For specific information on the references in the diary above (in order of mention):