Emily Trevor Diary Entry: Christmas Week, 1895

An entry from the diary of Emily Trevor, daughter of financier and philanthropist John Bond Trevor



Christmas Week, 1895

Emily Trevor, daughter of financier and philanthropist John Bond Trevor, was born on Ravine Avenue in Yonkers; her family moved to Glenview, a mansion on 23 acres off Warburton Avenue (now part of the Hudson River Museum), when she was 3 years old. Just 21 during Christmastime 1895, Trevor wrote daily in a diary that reveals the luxuries someone of her stature enjoyed in the period: elegant Victoria carriage rides and meals with a senator and members of famous families, including the Winthrops. (Her sister had married a Winthrop, descended from Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John. The Trevor girls were themselves descended from a signer of the Declaration of Independence.) But it also shows less lavish moments: a quiet Christmas, outings to church, and struggles to stand while ice skating. Here, edited excerpts from her diary: for the week.

Monday Dec. 23
Italian Lesson. In p.m. Bessy Drove with me in the Victoria.
Went to the opera with Marie “Tristan & Isolde.” [Lillian] Nordica sang. Mr. Palmer, Mr. Bronson Winthrop went also – Mrs. W[inthrop] chaperoned us from another box.

Tuesday Dec. 24
Massie Strong came to see me & then we went for Marie [Winthrop] to go skating. It was great fun, only I could hardly skate.

Wednesday Dec. 25 Christmas
Church in a.m. The Bends sent me an opera box for to-night, but couldn’t get any one to go so gave it up. Mama gave me side combs - Mary gave me a dresden cup. 

Friday Dec. 27
In a.m. Evelyn came for me & we went skating to the “Ice Palace” 107 st. & Lexington Avenue. I went to the opera, Melba, Jean & Edouard de Reszke sang “Romeo & Juliette,” It was superb. Wads of flowers as it was Melba’s first night this year.

Saturday Dec. 28
Went skating. Evelyn was going but I got a note saying she could not come. Burglars got in their house last night & took all their jewels, about $60,000 worth. In evening Senator Allison, Mr. & Mrs. L. T. Hoyt, Mr. & Mrs. Sturgis & Grenville came to dine.

Sunday Dec. 29
Grace Church. Mrs. W[inthrop] came home with us & I went in & lunched with them.

Monday Dec. 30
In p.m. Mama went with me to Steinway & I bought a piano. Went to the opera with the Costers, Faust, with Melba, de Reszke’s, Maurel – It was superb.