Life skills taught to daughters and sons - 100+ years ago
"Before any daughter has left our home for one of her own, she has been taught all I know of cleanliness about a house, cookery, sewing, tending the sick, bathing and dressing the new born. She has to bake bread, pie, cake, and cook any meat or vegetable we have. She has had her bolt of muslin to make as she chose for her bedding, and linen for her underclothing. The quilts she pieced and the blankets she wove have been hers. All of them have been as well provided for as we could afford. They can knit, darn, patch, tuck, hem, and embroider, set a hen and plant a garden. I go on a vacation and leave each of them to keep house for her father a month, before she enters a home of her own. They are strong, healthy girls; I hope all of them are making a good showing at being useful women, and I know they are happy, so far at least."
"Wonderful!" said Mr. Pryor.
"Father takes the boys in hand and they must graduate in a straight furrow, an even fence, planting and tending crops, trimming and grafting trees, caring for stock, and handling plane, auger and chisel. Each one must select his wood, cure, fashion, and fit his own ax with a handle, grind and swing it properly, as well as cradle, scythe and sickle. They must be able to select good seed grain, boil sap, and cure meat. They must know animals, their diseases and treatment, and when they have mastered all he can teach them, and done each thing properly, they may go for their term at college, and make their choice of a profession."
- From Laddie by Gene Stratton Porter
Though this book was published in 1913, it is set in the time just after the Civil War, and gives a beautiful glimpse of rural Hoosier life of the period. It's on my all-time favorite book list.
|Rome City in northern Indiana showcases "The Cabin at Wildflower Woods", former home of Mrs. Stratton-Porter, one of Indiana's best-loved authors. (Girl of the Limberlost, Laddie, The Harvester, Freckles, and more.)|