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Luvia Somers McLaren diaries, 1885-1942
McLaren, Luvia Somers, 1862-1960.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSA 419-420  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : McLaren, Luvia Somers, 1862-1960.
Title : Luvia Somers McLaren diaries, 1885-1942 1911-1942.
Physical Description : 1 linear foot.
Summary :

This collection consists of 31 diaries and some excerpts, spanning the years 1885 to 1942, with the bulk of material written between 1911 and 1942, kept by Luvia McLaren (née Somers), wife of Milo Somers McLaren, who was a dairy farmer in Barnet Center, Vermont. The 1885-1886 diary, kept by Luvia Somers just prior to her marriage, records her vacation in West Medford, Massachusetts, with "Aunt Jane" from October 23 to November 2, 1886. The next diary excerpt, dated August 3 to 17, 1905, documents Luvia's vacation at York Beach, Maine. From 1911 to 1942, the consecutive diaries (minus the years 1928, 1935, and 1936) record daily life on the McLarens' dairy farm in Barnet, Vermont, and cover each year in its entirety. There are entries on loose ruled-paper for the beginning of the year 1927, before a formal diary book was purchased. Milo has some entries in the 1911 diary, but otherwise all entries are by Luvia.

The diaries discuss routine details of family life and farm life: the weather, men's farm chores (haying, making repairs, logging, sugaring, milking when not done by the farm hands, etc.), women's household chores (churning butter, mopping floors, sweeping, dusting, ironing, canning and food preparation, mending, cleaning, etc.), visits, activities of children and family, and trips.

There is often mention of a "Martin" in the entries. He is the McLarens' farmhand, Martin Gibson. Perhaps the most interesting parts of these diaries is the "Memo" section in the last pages of each books. There we find recorded: natural disasters, deaths, burials, births, and marriages of friends and family, fires, illnesses, unusual weather, memorable farm, family or community events, accidents, addresses, expenses, and even some old vital records.

Biographical or historical data :

Luvia Somers was born March 3, 1862, in Barnet Center, Vermont, to Alexander Bullions Somers (1822-1909) and his wife, Jennet Ferguson Somers(1827-1905). Luvia Somers married Milo Somers McLaren on May 10, 1887. Milo was the son of James McLaren (1828-1890) and Katherine Somers (1833-1859), daughter of Katherine McLaren and John Somers, and hence a cousin of James. Katherine died at the age of 25, shortly after Milo's birth.

Milo Somers McLaren was born on April 24, 1859, in Barnet Center, Vermont. Milo spent his life on the same homestead where his great-grandfather first settled, atop McLaren Hill near Harvey's Lake in Barnet Center, Vermont. Milo served as a selectman in Barnet (1900-1901), and was ordained an elder in the Barnet Center Church in 1904. Milo and Luvia had four children: Lura Florence, James Carroll, Elsie Jannette and Hester May McLaren, all born in Barnet. After a lifetime spent in farming, Milo died unexpectedly on his farm on August 8, 1936, at the age of 77, as recorded in Luvia's diary for that year. Luvia died on New Year's Day, 1960.

Personal Subject : McLaren, Luvia Somers, 1862-1960.
McLaren, Milo Somers, 1859-1936.
Gibson, Martin D., b. 1852.
McLaurin family.
Summers family.
Subject Term : Farm life Vermont Barnet.
Women Diaries.
Geographic Term : Barnet (Vt.) Social life and customs.
Genre/Form : Diaries.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.