Last Friday I met my friend Marie at the Heritage Diner in Charlestown and of course we caught up on the past nine years. It was good to get out of the house and enjoy the day. After lunch, we went over to her house and she gave me "Betty's Journal" by Molly Bingham Loverin of Croydon NH.
The document is on legal size parchment paper and written with a fountain pen. Although the ink is dark, and handwriting clear, there are some places where it is difficult to read. After reading the "Diary," it appears it is more of story than an actual diary and full of wonderful insight into earlier times and ways. Starting this week, I will publish a part of it each week. For some reason I had the impression the date on paper showed 1845 but I was mistaken. I had help form Sharon King and also Harold Perkins of Newport who read about Molly Bingham Loverin in the Eagle called me and filled in on many of the missing pieces. I am always amazed at how many people read my column.
Molly Bingham was born in Royalton Vt. on May 26, 1878 and married Ned Kimball Loverin on Nov. 25, 1908. Molly was a graduate of Salem MA High School and went on to study nursing at Mary Hitchcock Hospital. She graduated Nursing School in 1906. She was a nurse and a superintendent at Newport Hospital. The couple lived on the Loverin Homestead in Croydon. Investigation into the census records and others shows the couple had no children.
Further study into her family shows no relation to the story and the people in her life. “Betty’s Journal” is a work of pure fiction. Ned Kimball Loverin died in 1929 and Molly remarried Levi C. Springer in 1932. The date of the paper is unknown, but an educated guess is that the story was written between 1908 and 1929. Although Molly purposefully misspelled words to make it appear that a child wrote it. I will forgo the misspelling and relate the story.
My name is Betty Shaw and I go to school. Teacher said the other day that we’d all ought to start the New Year right and keep a diary to make us systematic.
Aunt Lucy said that it would be a strain to buy one so she gave me this sample wallpaper book and I’m awful tickled it’s pretty. I guess I’ll call this a journal and I’ll like writing in it everyday because I just love to write. I’ve written lots of stories mostly on the back of wallpaper, for Aunt Lucy said genius might as well burn out than as anything else. I sent one of my stories to the Youth’s Companion and I felt awfully because they didn’t print it, but they said I showed originality and imagination and when I was big to send them another and maybe they’ll print it, so maybe keeping this journal will help me to write. To be continued….
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