Henry Ingraham followed his father’s example when at age 13 he began to keep a diary. Between the two of them, they recorded life in coastal Maine from 1795 to 1875.
He was the son of Joseph and Bradbury Ingraham, pioneers who settled on 210 acres bordering Rockland Harbor in the late 18thcentury. Joseph met Bradbury through her father, who he met while walking home from the Battle of Castine.
Joseph farmed and raised livestock, burned lime, built a landing and served as justice of the peace, selectman and town clerk. Henry would follow his father into farming. When he was in his 70s, his advice on sowing barley is recorded in the Annual Report of the American Institute of the City of New York, 1868-9, as part of the report of the Farmer’s Club.
Mr. Henry Ingraham, Rockland, Me., says he has sowed barley for 50 years; that he uses three bushels to the acre, and would not advise mixing it with oats. He finds it superior to either corn or oats for fattening. He mows it when not fully ripe, gathers it like grass, and feeds out the straw.
His early diary entries record the weather, a neighbor’s accident, the scarcity of fish, his brother Charles‘ activities, his father’s comings and goings. He also wrote about the crazy lady, whose last name he later revealed was ‘Caulson.’ She would later show up in church and at his front door.
On June 7, 1810, Henry Ingraham wrote,
thursday June 7. 1810 this Day Southerly & easterly winds, Some moderate, looks like a Storm. my Dad went to Mr Jarveys & got one shoe set on the Mare. & Mr Nath Crockit came after the crazey woman to keep her a Spell & I am glad She is gone away out of the Neighborhood — Henry Ingraham
With thanks to Red Barn Publishing.