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The History of Thurber in 12 Objects: "Dear Diary"-A Teenager in Thurber

by Lea Hart
Diaries serve as historical objects that give historians a primary source based on a single person's memory. Whether keeping a journal for a class assignment or reading the words of Anne Frank, diaries are objects that everyone has come across at some point in their life.  They have been used to record daily life for hundreds of years and most likely will continue to do so. While diaries do not give us traditional research information like tax records and marriage licenses, they do give us memories of neighbors, school friends and the ordinary details of day to day life. A donor recently gifted the Gordon Center a diary with such memories. In this instance, the writer was a 14-year-old girl from Thurber: Dorothy Bayer Hoid.

The diary in question measures roughly five by four inches and no longer has a cover after years of wear. The month and date are printed at the top of each lined page and is segmented into five spaces by a red line with 19 in each right corner allow…

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