The following are letters written by Ellen D. Witherbee Atwell in 1899 and 1900 to her nephew Tyler Reed Woodbridge of Victor, Colo. She was age 64 at that time. She tells of her family life, traditions, and some facts of history relating to the Witherbee family, handed down by her parents and grandparents, written at Port Henry.
These letters were sent to me from Bill Knowlton of Liverpool in 2002. Ellen Atwell was his great aunt.
This the fourth installment in a series that continues in the Times of Ti the second week of each month.
"Her skirt was gored and narrow. The waist was about two inches in length under the arm and was low in the neck. I think she said she had six yards and a piece left. She had a Bombazine outside garment, either red or lined with red, and many other pomps and vanities. Nice garments lasted for many years and Mother was well supplied before she was married. They were afterwards made over for the children. I remember her wedding dress.
Father always wore a swallow-tailed coat and a stovepipe hat with a stock around his neck.
After they were married she went back to Massachusetts for a visit. When she returned they went to their new home in Crown Point and lived in a house which is still standing near the bridge. It was a very rough place and the Vermonters called the inhabitants "Alguinne.s" Everyone there was poor and there was no money; people usually having to barter something for groceries and sometimes having to take their pay in wheat. Ashes were taken at the stores.
To such a place they came, with only their hands to begin life with. But they were happy in each other and went cheerfully to work.