1934 + 1936 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN DIARIES BY A YOUNG FARMER AND BUS DRIVER FROM GARRET COUNTY, PORTRAYING RURAL LIFE IN MARYLAND DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION

By: LESTER GLOTFELTY

Price: $2,255.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a pair (2) of original diaries authored by Lester Glotfelty (1905-1949), a farmer from McHenry area giving a powerful evidence of day-to-day life of western Maryland farmers in 1930s known by iconic photographs by Jung and Ben Shahn. Lester was a son of John and Sarah Glotfelty, whose ancestors arrived in Pennsylvania from Switzerland in the 18th century, and whose grandfather, William Glotfelty, moved to Maryland in mid-nineteenth century and bought farming lands from heirs of James McHenry. At the time when the diaries were written he lived with his parents, two sisters and a nephew, the family was growing a variety of crops, had a garden with apple and pear trees, and kept chicken, cattle and horses. The diary consists of two books, the blue one is dated 1934 and contains a personal record, the black book, though does not have an explicit date or personal record, contains an entry for January 5: “I am twenty one today”, and based on it, and on days and dates, we can say with confidence that it is the year of 1936. The 1934 diary covers full year, the 1936 diary covers months from January 1 to May 7. Almost all entries include a record of weather which was an important issue in life of farmers, especially in harsh weather conditions of the western Maryland: “awful high wind...pretty cold today, awful slick...clear, cool, high wind....” The 1936 diary documents an unusually severe and snowy winter, one of the coldest in the history of Maryland, followed by heavy rainfall and the Great Potomac flood in March, 1936. On March 18 Lester records: “Snowed and blowed last night, melted today, snowed this eve.... I drove bus...awful floods, Pittsburgh worst today, 4 square miles under 10- 20 feet of water, today Johnstown was flooded too”. The diary mainly consists of description of routine farming activities, which vary depending on the season: hauling lime, stones, manure; plowing and harrowing, dehorning cows and shoeing horses, day after day Lester writes “Dad hauled lime all day ... hauled lime all A.M, hauled out manure P.M... hauled stones... hauled coal... plowed all day, harrowed P.M.... got loads of coal”. This unsophisticated repetitive account creates an authentic and powerful picture of relentless hard work and struggle with severe weather and rocky terrain. It seems that most hard farm work was done by Lester’s father, probably because Lester’s health was not good, in 1934 he writes: “Today three years ago I went to bed with the flu, pneumonia and arthritis”. Lester meticulously records interactions with local people, attending Sunday school and church, occasionally gives prices for goods: “Jonas Knox, Jasper Riley here to buy cattle, he would took them $25 a head, but we would not sell”. Almost no entertainment is mentioned, extremely seldom they go to McHenry or Accident to see a movie or to have ice-cream: “I am twenty one today, they baked me a cake and made ice-cream”. Lester also mentions few local events, such as the trial of McHenry resident Noah Kolbfleish who was accused of slaying his aunt. The diary contains names of local residents and members of extended Glotfelty family who lived in the area, that may be of interest to local historians and genealogists. There are also additional materials including several bills, a bank cheque, a warning ticket issued to Lester Glotfelty, two Valentine’s Day cards. The diaries contain almanac matter – horoscopes, recipes, calendar etc. Condition: Very good. The blue cover has signs of wear and ink stains, the text at few places is slightly faded, but is legible.

Title: 1934 + 1936 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN DIARIES BY A YOUNG FARMER AND BUS DRIVER FROM GARRET COUNTY, PORTRAYING RURAL LIFE IN MARYLAND DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION

Author Name: LESTER GLOTFELTY

Illustrator: /

Categories: 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Diary, M. Benjamin Katz, Books & Manuscripts,

Publisher: MCHENRY MARYLAND, 1934

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall

Seller ID: 0008004

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, MCHENRY, OAKLAND, ACCIDENT, GARRETT COUNTY, MARYLAND, POTOMAK FLOOD, SAINT PATRICK'S DAY FLOOD, JOHNSTOWN FLOOD, GREAT PITTSBURGH FLOOD OF 1936, 1936 NORTH AMERICAN COLD WAVE, 1936 WINTER IN MARYLAND, FARMING ACTIVITIES, GREAT DEPRESSION, FARMERS, FARMING, CROPS, CATTLE, LESTER GLOTFELTY, DIARY, DIARIES, ALMANAC, YEARBOOK, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, AMERICANA, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL