The Dutchess County Historical Society is fortunate to have many diaries in its collection. The ones that often get the most attention are those that include details of big stories – wartime experiences, seeing famous people, or reactions to important national event. Others, like the 1844 diary of Alson Ward of Pleasant Valley, provide a glimpse into life in a rural, antebellum town, typical of many in the county. Educated at the New Paltz Academy and in the schools of Poughkeepsie, Alson is twenty-two years old when he begins his diary. The Ward family, originally from England, had been among the earliest settlers of Pleasant Valley and owned a mill and farm lands on what is today Traver Road. Despite the success of their milling operation, they saw themselves as farmers and listed agriculture as their occupation in census records. ~ Melodye Moore, DCHS Trustee, Collections Chair.
Searchable diary transcription and index below:
Successful 1851 US Patent Application Peach Peeler
Alson Ward's Father Joshua Ward
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