Mary MacDonald's 1921 Diary



Mary MacDonald was born in 1885 and was the daughter of Peter Ruadh the piermaster. Her brothers were Ronnie and Danny the Pier (Pat the Pier's father). She kept accounts for the family business which was involved with taxis, coal delivery, mail, the ferry to Knockie, gillie work and the pier. She was married to Donaldson Grant the estate factor. This is an extract from her 1921 diary which records the day to day events of the family business.


Saturday 01 January

Sunday 02 January

Monday 03 January
Ronnie at various little jobs all day. Dan puts up blinds new ones. Then he goes with Katie Archie to F. Augustus.
Raining evening.
The Misses Matheson come across at night and spend a pleasant evening. Mr Rose also across.

Tuesday 04 January
Mrs Lynch got 5/6 to pay overall. This is 10/- skirt, 15/- boots, 1 cash up to date1.0.0.
Dan goes to Ceannacroc with Miss K Fraser.
Nice mild day.
Dan across Loch with Ewan MacDonald.
Ronnie at F.A. with H. MMillan. Maggie Gray back with him.
Mrs Buchanan, Mrs Kydd, Miss Bannatyne across for afternoon.
B.Smith's ???? calls on father so does J. Grant tailor whom Dan paid in full.

Wednesday 05 January
Donaldson went to F.A. by little car.
Ronnie at F.A. with
Dan cuts sticks etc
Ronnie and Dannie also take up to back sitting-room Mary's things.
Wet today.
I was to have gone to school house but too wet.

Thursday 06 January
Dan at FA for Mrs Kydd.
Raining heavily. Donaldson at first intended going to Blairie but it is too wet.
R and D cut sticks.

Friday 07 January
Dan at Inverness with hotel party.
Ronnie first with Mrs W MacKenzie.
Then to Glenurquhart with Mrs MDonald (????) Baliniall.
Lovely day nice and dry but cold.

Saturday 08 January
Donaldson and I go to Inverness.
Miss K Fraser comes from Ceannacroc by mail to Blairie
Ronnie working on boat.


Sunday 09 January
Dannie up Glen for minister.

Monday 10 January
Donaldson and I intended coming home but D was not through with his business.
Hire to morning steamer.
Blairie with Miss K Fraser. Her father to pay this.

Tuesday 11 January
Hire to early train for Hotel.
Ronnie takes in turnips and goes for a load of firewood to Blairie.
Donaldson and I return from Inverness.
Very cold but not a bad day on whole.
Dan at Invergarry with Mr Robertson. G.E. paid

Wednesday 12 January
Ronnie working on boat.
Dan goes to FA with Mary and Louie. He takes message to Bank.
Snowing and very cold.
I go to FA also.
R & D across Loch with Miss H Chisolm.
Dan in while after letters. He, father, Donaldson and I have talk together.
Miss D. Barclay across with her violin.


Thursday 13 January
R and D work on boat.
Very frosty and cold.
Dan with mails. Father Donaldson and I wait until he returns. Four of us in better form.
Rabbits by mail from Jas Sinclair.
Mrs Lynch and I busy at usual household work.
I crossed river with Donaldson and visited Matheson family S. House.

Friday 14 January
Very frosty and cold.
R and D working on boat.
I get no eggs today.
We sent ??? to Sectional Engineers.
I was visiting Mrs Rose afternoon.
I crossed river with Donaldson.
No hires.
We paid 7/6 to Shell and Co. We are now clear. We also send ???? ?? P. tank and I send Mary's P.O for feed.

Saturday 15 January
D lent father 5/- as Dan and I went to FA to meet Mary and Lou.
R and D cut sticks and work on boat. Mary and Lou back.
Dan went to Drumnadrochit with Miss K. MDonald, Hamish who got an appointment at Balnain.
He also with mails and he brought Donaldson ???? a pair rabbits each. Ronnie's cold better but Dan's cold still very bad.

Sunday 16 January
No hires. Mild day but little rain, dull.

Monday 17 January
Dan at Inverness for Mrs Peter Fullarton, Baltombuie.
Ronnie at FA with Urquharts. Archie K went to see D and was to have got her teeth taken out but did not as Dentist did not turn up. Besides she could only stand to have one out.
Ronnie at Inverness also with a painter who is working at Hotel.
We send cheque for car licenses also cheque to Messrs MacRae + Dick.
Dan not well so he goes to bed early.
J MPherson was to have gone for letter bag but Ronnie was back in time.

Tuesday 18 January
Ronnie in morning cuts a few sticks and brings up a little coals(?).
Dan in bed but feeling some better.
Ronnie at FA meeting Mrs Urquhart's sister. He also with mails.
Very cold and stormy.

Wednesday 19 January
Ronnie at FA for doctor for Simon MDonald. Poor Simon very ill. D calls here for few minutes.
Ronnie across Loch with joiners.
Dan at Inverness with Dairy maid from Home Farm. He brings home fresh fish and Mary(?). Hire paid.
Poor Dan, Donaldson father and I has long talk together but all things turns out well in end. Dan also a bit worried.

Thursday 20 January
R + D at boat. Dan mends a broken oar. He was at Manse ???? for Mrs MNeill in early morning (paid). He took medicine and did not get up early, he went back to bed. He is up with mail at night.
Jim(?) worried as D says he gave up his situation. I did not work much today.

Friday 21 January
Donaldson went by steamer to Inverness.
R + D working on boat. They cut sticks.
Very wet. Gets heavier as day goes on.
Steamer late in arriving. Donaldson back safely, he brought home fresh herrings.
Ronnie to bed early. Dan out evening.

Saturday 22 January
Dan and Donaldson put across Loch by Ronnie. Dan was to examine engine of Knockie car and D see some new buildings but they could not cross ford at Loch Knockie so returned about 1 o' clock. After dinner the two Ds go to Tomchrasky. Dan with mails at night.

Sunday 23 January
Donaldson out in morning. No minister so no service. Dan not up early. I do not go out all day.

Monday 24 January
Snow on ground.
Dan at Invergarry with Messrs Kydd and Rose.
Ronnie takes home a little coals and some firewood and cuts a few sticks. Mr Rose across at night.
Ronnie and Dan in all evening.
Mary and Lou back from Foyers.

Tuesday 25 January
Donaldson away to Inverness for a day or two. He goes with Col E. Grant to Moy.
Dan across Loch working on Mr F. Grant's car.
Ronnie at FA with Mrs Urquhart and her sister Mary.
Dan with mails. Mary up with him. I call at schoolhouse.

Wednesday 26 January
Dannie in Inverness with Mr + Mrs Kydd. He is not back until about 7pm. Donaldson back by steamer. He has sore head and is in rotten form.
Ronnie takes in turnips and is at various jobs.
Nice day but somewhat showery.
Donaldson, Dan and I all walk over together as far as P.O. I call at shop.

Thursday 27 January
Dannie all day working at Mr F Grant Knockie's car. Ronnie puts him across and goes for him again in afternoon.
Mary cleans Pier turnips. Ronnie takes up box of groceries.
Nice mild day.

Friday 28 January
Mrs Lynch went to Inverness for day.
Ronnie and D Fraser go to FA for a load each of coals and they get soaked through as day is so wet.
Dan sorts lock of safe door and works in garage.
Donaldson not out in afternoon.
Sent Stephenson 3.11.6, Campbell 3.17 odds. Made out Wyllie's 9.11.8.
The two Ds and I go to schoolhouse evening. Enjoy ourselves very much.

Saturday 29 January
Dan at FA with Miss J MacMillan. (He p. a. L. personal)
Wet again today.
Ronnie across Loch for A Fullarton.
He and Dan launch boat for fishing next week and they take home some firewood. They also thresh with J MDonald Bridge End in afternoon.


Sunday 30 January
Ronnie with Blacksmith's party at R.C. Church.
Dan up Glen with Mr MDougall.
Mary, Lou, Jean, Donaldson and I at meeting in school. enjoyed service and walk.

Monday 31 January
Dan at FA meeting Mrs P MDonald, Glasgow.
Ronnie at various jobs, takes home turnips and potatoes etc.
Nice day. We get on well.
Lou in school with Jeannie.

Tuesday 01 February
Ronnie and dannie both go to FA for Mrs Kydd.
Ronnie workinh on ???? etc then goes to see >>>>.
Dan for load firewood.
Donaldson gets a chance into Inverness with Major ???? and Mrs Cameron. Frosty.
I call on Mrs Rose to say we shall not be across until tomorrow night.

Wednesday 02 February
Ronnie fishing. He and Gillies with Mr P MDonald Glasgow. They get 1 salmon which he sends to Glasgow.
Mr Wyllie got his ok(?)
Donaldson back. He and I go across with Dan in Car to Roses.
Dan working on barrow.
No hires

Thursday 03 February
Ronnie and Gillies fishing.
Dan at barrow.
Mr MDonald in at lunch time short time.
Lovely day but cold.
Mr MDonald gets 1 salmon and loses a monster so he says.
Donaldson at hotel evening.
Dan with mails. He brings us rabbits.

Friday 04 February
Ronnie and Gillies fishing. They are not in for lunch today.
Dan at barrow.
Col Ewan and the admiral have use of launch.

Saturday 05 February
Ronnie and Gillies fishing with Mr MDonald. They get 1 salmon.
Dan at Torgyle for Mr D MDonald Hamish. Paid.

Sunday 06 February
Beautiful day. Donaldson at Office morning.
Messrs Campbell and ??????? anglers call.
D and I do not go out. Dan posts letters.

Monday 07 February
Dan wheels new barrow to front door. It is now ready to be painted.
Dan across Loch with A Fullarton. Paid.
Ronnie and Gillies fishing.
Barrow painted. Dan paints it.
Beautiful day but cold.
Mar MDonald gets a salmon. A nice one. He is well pleased.

Tuesday 08 February
Dull in morning and rains very heavily during day. It clears up a little in afternoon.
Dan at various little jobs.
Mrs Lynch and Mary do weekly washing.

Wednesday 09 February
Ronnie and Gillies fishing. No luck.
Dan works a wee while on Mrs Henderson's goods then takes in turnips.
Cold and showery but not bad on whole.
I was across at shop in forenoon for Mail Money.
A Mr Nicolson Insurance Agent calls morning to see Donaldson.

Thursday 10 February
Lovely day.
Mrs Lynch and Mary do usual work and get on well. Dan sorts coal cellar door also clock (Black man) and cuts kindling sticks.
Ronnie and Gillies fishing. No luck.

Friday 11 February
Lovely day
Dan washes cars and does various jobs. He cuts sticks. He is also across Loch and has a "Comrade's Meeting" at night.
Ronnie and Gillies fishing.
No hires.
Big Patrel Car up but we do not take Petrol. Dan paid Fullartons for Benzole.

Saturday 12 February
Mary and Donaldson go to Inverness.
Kydd 2 hires FA 1.8.
No salmon caught.
Nice day.

Sunday 13 February
13 Hoie? Dalchreichart M Neill
MDougall Glen to Fort Augustus.

Monday 14 February
Kydd Fort Augustus.
Hire to FA Kydd.
Dan at FA above hire.
Mary and Mrs Lynch working.

Tuesday 15 February
Dan across Loch and towed MDonalds boat from Fassack to Johnnie's Point.
No hires.
Raining. No sticks cut.

Wednesday 16 February
Donaldson and Mary back.
Dan puts Mr Fraser Excise Officer across Loch.
Mr PMDonald away. Dan puts him to FA.
Mary + Dan cut sticks.
Ronnie + Gillies get a Salmon a very nice one.

Thursday 17 February
Dan + Mary cut sticks.
Dan also in Garage.
Ronnie and Gillies fishing.
Beautiful day.
Salmon caught yesterday sent to Mr P MDonald Glasgow this morning.
Paid Donald Fynes, Mrs Imray, Slater, coffin, coopers.
??? rabbits to go by morning steamer.

Friday 18 February
Dan across Loch in morning with Mr D MGregor Joiner.
He + Mary also father cutting sticks.
Mr Grant's C.E. assistant up inspecting Pier + Hotel.
Ronnie and Gillies fishing.
Beautiful day.
Dan across Loch evening.

Saturday 19 February
Dan at FA for Mrs Kydd 11 am.
Mr Campbell angler calls.
Ronnie + Gillies fishing.
Donaldson at Ceannacroc + Balnacarn.
Mary baking.

Sunday 20 February
Dan early with B Smith's brother ???? Party folk afterwards he goes with B Smith + party + Ronnie with Mrs MLennan + joiner lodger MPherson.

Monday 21 February
Dan at Inverness for Mr Kydd.
Ronnie + Gillie sfishing.
Beautiful day.
Mary at Church yard.
Donaldson at Achnaconeran.
Mr Mateson ????? calls so does Grant, Butcher.
Dan Fullarton across Loch with ??????

Tuesday 22 February
Ronnie at FA with big Mr Matheson in morning.
He and Dannie take in hay and turnips with P Grant's house.
After dinner Dan goes for new cow but as Grant Butcher does not turn up as he promised, new cow has not arrived yet.
D Fraser brings us a load firewood.
Dan takes up money for coal.

Wednesday 23 February
Dan out for early steamer at S(?) House.
Ronnie and Gillies fishing + they get 3 Salmon. Splendid luck.
Dan at Blairie for new Cow afternoon.
He also working on Hat at night.
Ronnie at Inverwick at night with Mr F Fullarton as old Big MacKenzie Shepherd died.

Thursday 24 February
Dan went to Inverness and brought 3 Salmon Ronnie caught yesterday.
Donaldson gave 5 to Dan.
Ronnie and Gillies fishing.
Ronnie at FA with Mrs Rose in afternoon.
New cow out and gets on splendidly.
Mary + I at Hotel afternoon.

Friday 25 February
Donaldson motored into Inverness.
Ronnie and Gillies fishing + they get 2 Salmon.
Dan at various jobs he goes with coffin to Inverwick.
I was at PO + shop afternoon.
I went along with Dan in Car.

Saturday 26 February
Ronnie + Dannie both away at Glenconvinth with MrMKenzie Shepherd's remains. Ronnie went home after funeral with daughters.
Dan with mails.
Jack Panton + Alastair Urquhart across Loch at night. They towed a small boat after ???? about summer time.
I went in afternoon to ????? ???? with Donaldson.

Sunday 27 February
Dan at Inverness with Mr Campbell. Ronnie at FA with Mr + Mrs Fowler. This is ???????? (Glenurquhart).

Monday 28 February
Ronnie + Dannie in morning cart out manure afternoon. Dannie sorts stable for new house and Ronnie puts out Manure.
At night Ronnie goes to FA with Mrs White, travellers.
Dan at Hut with a number of others.
No fishing, no hires during day.

Tuesday 01 March
Wet + stormy in morning. Wind dies down during day time but raining heavily all day.
Dan at Hut with Forestry Squad etc.
Ronnie at FA with Dauncan Smith.
Mary + I call on Mrs Kenneth MLennan

Wednesday 02 March
Snowing in forenoon.
Neither Loo nor Jean at school.
Ronnie + Dannie clean ???? in forenoon.
Afternoon they wotk in Garage.
I was at shop in forenoon.
Mrs Lynch paid up until end of Febrary. She got 3. Previous to this date she received small amounts for repairs to shoes and boots. Jean's skirt, 2. Cash + ???? Mr Jack Paid.
Mr MKenzie, Grocer hire overnight. Mr Rose also calls.

Thursday 03 March
Ronnie up the Glen with Mr MKenzie.
Very wet + cold all day.
Dannie first at FA with Mr Jas Warren then he goes to Hut with Forestry Squad and while there fishing Gillies go for him to put anglers home to Fort Augustus.

Friday 04 March
Donaldson went by boat to Inverness. I had wire he is not to return until tomorrow.
Ronnie at Invergarry with Mr MKenzie.
Mr D Fraser Young calls.
Mary baking most of day.
Much better day today.
MKenzie paid for flour + everything.

Saturday 05 March
Dan at FA Station in morning with Mr + Mrs Kydd.
Ronnie fishing but he did not catch a single fish.
Dan goes piece along road with A Gray.
Donaldson back his cold a lot better.

Sunday 06 March
A MMillan Achnaconeran called to say his mother died this morning. Ronnie goes to FA for Jessie MacMillan. Snowing + very cold. D out but not I.

Monday 07 March
Ronnie putting out Manure in morning, Dan has a job starting Launch, he goes with W MLennan across Loch. He also takes windows etc.
After dinner he + Ronnie bring home coals.
I was at PO + shop. Very cold all day. Fresh snow coming.

Tuesday 08 March
Ronnie across Loch with doors etc for Mr MacGregor, joiner.
Cold + wet all day.
Dan working in garage, ronnie put out some manure.
Mr D Munro calls afternoon. He and ? Gray motored from FA.
Mr MPherson retired tacher here overnight.
Very stormy all night.

Wednesday 09 March
Very wet + stormy all day.
Mr MP goes to Achnaconeran after breakfast.
Dan leaves abot 11.30. Ronnie does not go to funeral, Donaldson leaves about 1 o' clock.

Thursday 10 March
Mr MPherson away by early steamer.
Ronnie fishing but no luck.
Dan at Auchterawe sale with with a number of men.
Better day, but not a nice day.
Mr MDonald called at tea time.
I write Mr Matheson, Ness Bank and ?????? ?????? ???.

Friday 11 March
Jimmie Hugh starts ploughing half day, He spends most forenoon preparing.
Dan first at FA with H MMilan then with Mr Campbell angler then with Campbell and other FA anglers. 3 times altogether.
Ronnie + Gillies fishing they get a small salmon.
Much better day. I call at Mrs Urquhart's short time.

Saturday 12 March
Ronnie + Gillies fishing forenoon only.
Jimmie Hugh ploughing first half day only.
Ronnie splits firewood and takes home Hay.
Dan at FA for Mr + Mrs Kydd.

Sunday 13 March
Ronnie at RC church with B Smith's party.
Dan with Messrs Fulton + Campbell at FA. Afterwards he goes for Mr MNeill.
Dan with Mr MDougall at FA evening and brings home Messrs Fulton + Campbell. Dan also runs Col E Grant's Car to Hotel Garage.

Monday 14 March
Donaldson away to Inverness with Col E Grant.
Ronnie + Dan take home potatoes + sort fences around fields etc.
Jimmie Hugh ploughing.
Mrs Lynch washing.

Tuesday 15 March
Ronnie + Dannie both at Blairie for firewood.
Very wet all day, so they got soaked.
J H not ploughing.
No hires.
No fishing.

Wednesday 16 March
Donaldson back. He had a cable from a Mr Forbes making an appointment for tomorrow so he has to go back again for day only.
Very wet today again.
No hires. Nofishing no ploughing.
Ronnie + Dan in Garage + round about all day.
Lou + her mother still at Foyers.

Thursday 17 March
Donaldson left before 8 am, he motored to town.
Ronnie + Dan take in all hay and work on fences.
Much better day.
I make Apricot Jam. Mrs Lynch washing a little and busy as usual.
No ploughing ground too wet. No hires. No fishing. Mails tonight. Dan up.

Friday 18 March
Boisterous again but not so bad as former days.
Dan sorts HW tap in Kitchen sink. He + Ronnie in Garage.
Ronnie at FA with Mary Jane (Achnaconeran).
A Major Lyall calls to see Donaldson so does P MDonald (Mysie) + a mason.
No ploughing, no fishing.
Dan at night at FA with Mr Campbel who went to see D.
Lou nor her mother did not come yet.
First day we got milk from Mrs P Grant.

Saturday 19 March
Ronnie at FA for Mr Kydd.
Dan in Garage.
Much better day.
Ronnie at FA at night with Mr Fulton.
Mr Campbell goes with Dan up Glen (Mails).

Sunday 20 March
Ronnie at RC Church with MLennan family.
Dan with MDonalds Red Park.
D + I at Meeting in school + afterwards go to church gard. Daffodils beautiful. We got a bunch to take home from Park an Eas(?)

Monday 21 March
Father, Dan + I motor into Inverness. Enjoy run very much.
Mrs John MPherson has youngson.
Ronnie at FA with Miss Bannatyne.
Dan for D. Ronnie puts him home.
Too wet for ploughing so none done neither fishing.
We got back about 5pm or so.
Dan at Hut at night.
D Johnstone calls. Mary has talk with him.

Tuesday 22 March
Dan sorting fences alll day alone.
Ronnie ploughing with our own and big Sandy's horse.
Mary + Mrs Lynch washing.
Mo hires. No fishing.
Dan with mails.

Wednesday 23 March
Ronnie + Gillies went fishing but loch was too stormy.
Dan was to have gone to FA with ?? A MNeill but he changed his mind + did not go.
Ronnie + dan in Garage all day.
D in office.
A gent came off steamer whom Dan brought to Hotel.
He wants our boat + men.

Thursday 24 March
The gent who came last night had use of our boat for today.
Gillies + SandyMDonald his ghillies.
Too wet for ploughing.
Ronnie + Dannie in Garage all day.
No hires. Dan with Mails.

Friday 25 March
Very showery.
Raining heavily at times.
Ronnie ploughing for a time.
Dan in Garage working.
Donaldson at Torgyle.
I work out Mr Ivor's a/c
Hires 1918 26
July 4
1919 nil
1920 Fby 24 Mail
27
??????? ??? ???????

Saturday 26 March Donaldson motored into Inverness. Ronnie at F.A. station in morning with Mrs Urquhart.
Then afterwards with Mrs Blanc (Bridget).
And in evening for Mrs Urquhart again.
Dan in garage all day.
Nasty showery day.
Miss Davis calls to see Mary. Mrs H.MCulloch with her.
Sunday 27 March
Ronnie and Dan both at RC church with parties. Dan puts Mr MDougall up Glen. Ronnie brings both parties back. D & I go short walk.. Launch across Loch evening.

Monday 28 March
Very wet all day. Ronnie at F.A. for load coals. P Grant also brings a load so that will do a while. Dan in Garage. Mrs Lynch & Mary clean out dining room. Lou & Jean at shop. I sew and do a little washing, ettc. Glad dining-room is finished.

Tuesday 29 March
Ronnie at F.A. with the "Maidens" Misses M ??????. Dan also at F.A. with a couple who ???? in Mrs Urquhart friends of MGruers Dalcataig. Afterwards they mend Donald's back burst tyre & work in garage. Dan with mails. Mrs Lynch and Mary clean out drawing room. Mrs Lynch gets her 3. New cow sick.