Petersham, August 20, 1887.
Abby and I came up here in July, bringing Bella, Katy, Mrs. MaGrath and 13 pieces of luggage. As we were driving over from Athol Herbert met us near Scott place on his new mustang pony Susan Nipper which James got for him as he has outgrown Old Hundred. Abby is at the helm at Brooks house this summer in the absence of a housekeeper. We are comfortably established and the maids seem quite happy here. We are getting our butter from the Poor Farm and find it delicious. I am very shipshape, have cleaned up the Little Kitchen and put down some strips of fresh straw matting.
There has been much rain since we came but this past week we have had a series of incredibly divine Petersham days, clear and bright with cumulous white clouds. Mrs. Elihu Chauncey is here again, has rented a house for the summer. Her brother and sister, Miss Potter and Prof. Potter, often visit her. We have had lots of fun showing Petersham to 0. B. Frothingham and his wife who are here now. We have taken them for some beautiful drives exploring new roads—enchanting narrow grassy roads—to my surprise I have found a few that had escaped me. The Frothinghams are in love with the place.
Friday I read "Puritan Exodus" to a crowd on the croquet ground here at James's. And yesterday after church I read "Huguenots in Florida" to a bunch of people on the Nichewaug piazza. Among my listeners were Miss Carrie Emmerton and her aunt Mrs. William Webb and daughter May, Miss Kitty Brooks and other Salemites; Rodolphe Agassiz, and in fact pretty much all the summer visitors.
Today a brown bear came through town and the children were in great glee at his tricks, he was well trained and they expended all their saved-up pennies—opening their banks for the purpose— on prolonging the stay of the bear as far as possible.
Harold is reading Homer daily and Clarence spends every fore