Tag Archives: East Street Lenox History

Oliver Osborne’s Journal – February 1862

We continue to follow Oliver Osborne’s journal – picking up from January 1861.

Here are some comments on the remainder of 1861

-it was a momentous year for the world with the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, the succession of the Confederate states and the first battles of the Civil War.  Oliver’s journal is silent on philosophy but he does mention drilling frequently – apparently the old New England militia tradition was still viable (the May 6, 1861 entry mentions a town meeting to organize the militia)

-It was still a close knit community and Oliver seems to have known of most if not all of the deaths that year and attended most of the funerals:

Continue reading Oliver Osborne’s Journal – February 1862

Diary of Oliver W. Osborn January 1861

Oliver Webster Osborn (1823-1895) is very fondly remembered by Lenox historians because he compiled “The East Street Book.”  Oliver hand wrote this wonderful description of East Street families as of the late 19th century.

We will learn more about Oliver’s family in subsequent entries.  But, to begin, here’s a snapshot of his situation in 1861 when he started the diary donated to the Lenox Library.

O.W. Osborn’s Situation in 1861

He owned a small farm at the corner of Housatonic and East St. (across from what is now Lenox Memorial High School).  According to the 1860 census, his real estate was valued at $1,000 and his personal estate at $300.  He had lost his infant son in 1858 and his wife (more on this in subsequent posts) in 1859 and lived with his two daughters Mary (age 12) and Thalia (age 11).  His father, mother and brother lived just down the road.

Continue reading Diary of Oliver W. Osborn January 1861