19th Century Ti — Grandmother Grey

This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about news reported in 19th century weekly issues of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.

She took her last name in a second marriage to Farmer Grey, but her heart yearned for her first-love Robin, who fell ill and died after just one week of marriage.

She often wondered, when it comes time for her soul to take flight to heaven, which husband will she spend eternity with, the first husband with no last name identified, or the second husband with no first name identified.

The narrative is laid out in the poem “Grandmother Grey,” published May 9, 1874 on the front page of the Ticonderoga Sentinel, in a newspaper era when literature and wit frequently took placement preference to breaking news.

“Grandmother Grey, by the window sat, and looked at the setting sun, and watched the cows as they slowly came, from the pasture one by one,” the unattributed poem begins. “And back again to the ‘long ago,’ her memory traveled, while the dim eyes closed as she lived again, mid scenes of the happy past.”

Grandmother Grey had been content to remain a widow after the death of Robin.

But at the urging of her father, she agreed to marry Farmer Grey.

The second husband had been kind and was a good provider, but he never kindled the romance she felt for Robin, hence, perhaps, the formality of the second husband’s name and the familiarity of the first.

In breaking news around Ticonderoga on May 9, 1874, Mr. Stone relocated his shoe store to newly renovated space across the street from Payne & Gilligan’s Store.

Construction of the bandstand continued.

“In its unfinished state, the band stand is wretchedly elegant.”

The Mount Defiance Drama Club was set to perform that evening.

Hall’s Celebrated Orchestra of Boston was scheduled to perform at Ticonderoga on May 20.

Summer school in Putnam was canceled “on account of bad roads.”

Under the heading “Manner of Polite Society,” the editors offered this wit: “If you love a girl stick to her, no matter how large her father’s feet are.”

Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY