Coffin Family Diary: Saturday Aug. 29, 1885



Saturday, Aug. 29, 1885. The idea of keeping the family diary was suggested by a newspaper article, and the purpose is to chronicle the doings, happenings and incidences of the family, and is to include all matters of interest of that kind. This, therefore, is not to be an individual diary but a family diary, and it is to be kept jointly by A.B.B. and Daisy. [This entry was written by A.B.B. or Anthony B. Burton.  In 1885 the family at home consisted of Z.B. Coffin, Jessie Coffin Dalton, Richard or Dick Dalton, Belle and Daisy Dalton, and Anthony Burton – more or less an adopted son of Z. B. Coffin]

It seems a good time to commence it with some account of the boating party of last night, which will be looked back upon for a long while as an event. It will be distinguished as Jessie’s (Mamma’s) party for it was her idea and getting up and all the arrangements and invitations were hers. The big skiff or rowboat “Wenonah” was engaged and all who were invited were on hand and went off with the exception of Robert Gilmore, Miss Mattie Davis and Rob Dodsworth. The following composed the party: Misses Carrie Keefer and Kate Tiernan, Mrs. Weiner, Jessie, Belle, Daisy, Frank Kiefer, Willie Saunders, Mr. Chas Robinson, Eddie Schenk, Z.B.C., W.H.J., R.J.D.; and A.B.B. We got off about half past seven and rowed up to the sandbar just at the upper edge of Dayton. Landed and made a fire with some kindling and coal taken along; put up some poles and lighted a lot of Chinese lanterns and strung them up; spread the cloth on the sand; two half-gallon jars full of chocolate made by Sophie, had been made and brought along, and one of these was put inside of a coffee pot full of water and put on the fire to get hot; this was successfully accomplished and the other jar was put in to get hot but it was soon discovered that the boiling water had broken the jar and the chocolate was diffused through the water! Belle suggested that we turn a bottle of milk we had along into the coffee pot and boil it all up together. This was done and the drink was not bad to take, and had the advantage of being lots of it! After sandwiches, cake, chocolate has been discussed, we had a sing, Frank Kiefer proving a capital singer.

“Bring back my Bonnie to me “

The moon came up and after a while we packed up and got back into the boat, and floated all the way down, singing college songs, negro songs, sentimental songs, comic songs and every other kind. Arrived back home, we sung out in front a while and then went into the house and had a cut-up until quarter past twelve this morning. Altogether, the excursion was voted a great success. Jessie had been sick and it was an effort for her to go last night, but she is none the worse today for the trip.

This afternoon R.J.D., Belle, Daisy, Carrie K., and little Bernard and Lucy Coffin went out to the zoo to see Capt. Boyton, tickets presented by Aunt Lucy O’S.  [I did a quick internet search, and think this Capt. Boyton was performing some sort of an exhibition in the water, perhaps with a custom wetsuit.]

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