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Olive K. Damon Papers, 1925-2005
11 boxes (4.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 521

Abstract:
Farmer, Homemaker, amateur artist. The bulk of the collection consists of fifty-eight volumes of personal diaries begun in 1930 at age 19 and ending in 2002. Subjects include local Whately (Mass.) history, women's daily life and connections, marriage, and farm life. Supplementing the diaries is a self-published memoir of her life, correspondence with her son, and material documenting her artwork.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The executors of the estate retain copyright ownership. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Olive Damon and Alan Damon Jr. may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Olive Warner Kellogg Damon was born on November 3, 19ll, in Vernon, Connecticut. She was the third of six children of Walter Edward Kellogg, a farmer, and Elinor Belle Warner. The Kellogg family moved often but finally in 1918, when Olive was seven, the family moved to the Warner family farm in Haydenville (Williamsburg), Massachusetts. She was educated in the Haydenville schools and graduated from Smith Vocational and Agricultural School in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1931. She married Alan Wells Damon of Williamsburg in 1937. They settled in Whately, Massachusetts, where together they operated a dairy farm from 1937 to 1979. A premature son, born in 1937, died shortly after birth. A second son, Alan Wells Damon Jr. ("Pete") was born March 25, 1939. Alan Wells Damon Sr. died in 1999 and Alan Wells Damon Jr. died in 2005.

A self taught local artist, Damon painted murals and oil paintings and made more that 30,000 hand-made pressed flower cards which she sold privately, at craft fairs, and through commercial outlets. She was a founding member of the Williamsburg Brush and Palette Club, an active member of the Whately Congregational Church, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Williamsburg (Massachusetts) Grange. An avid diarist, she self published Memoirs, Things I Remember in 1999. She died September 11, 2003, at the age of 91.

Olive Damon represents a generation of women whose lives were formed by the Depression and World War II, and who lived within the confines of the daily hard work and unpredictability of rural life. Her world centered around home, family, church, and a close knit community. Despite hardships and domestic trials, Olive made a life for herself in a supportive community of extended family and women friends. In 1984 she wrote, "1984 has ended and in spite of adversities…. it was happy because I made it that way. I made up my mind to 'do my thing' as people say today and not try to change what I knew couldn't be changed.… Along with counting my blessings, I made big strides in a small business I had started a couple of years ago. This has been a great pleasure." She was especially close to her son, "Pete," with whom she kept up a lively correspondence when he was away and with whom she traveled frequently. In her final diary entry, July 2002, she writes about her wedding: "Alan told me when Dad brot (sic) me down the stairs I looked like an angel. Pete told me I have always been beautiful."

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Olive Warner Kellogg Damon Papers consist of 4.25 linear feet of diaries, correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs. Fifty-eight volumes of diaries that she kept beginning in 1930 at the age of 19 and ending in 2002 a year before her death comprise the bulk of the papers. Supplementing the diaries is a self published memoir of her life, correspondence with her son Alan ("Pete") along with some writings and material documenting her art work.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The executors of the estate retain copyright ownership. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Olive Damon and Alan Damon Jr. may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Olive K. Damon Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Olive Warner Kellogg Damon Papers were a gift of the estate of Alan Wells Damon Jr. in 2005.

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone, 2005.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/

Language
English

Series Descriptions
(1980-2005)
.5 linear ft.

This series consists of clippings, which include Damon's obituary (2003) as well as those of her husband (1999) and son (2005); Memoirs: Things I Remember (1999) with several early excerpts (1980-84); A Record of Events Concerning the Walter Kellogg Family; and a notebook containing household inventories, expenses, lists, plus an account of her wedding and honeymoon. In Memoirs she provides a family history and recalls her childhood and married life in Whately, Massachusetts.

(1930-2002)
2.75 linear ft.

There are fifty-eight volumes of diaries in this series. They are all yearly with the following exceptions: 1930 recounts a trip to Boston; 1931 consists of notes, and 1933-52 are five-year diaries. In these volumes Damon shares her innermost thoughts and opinions. They contain remarkable depth and detail and reflect personal loneliness and frustration, along with daily successes and pleasure. Subjects of interest include local Whately history, women's lives and connections, marriage, and farm life.

(1933-2004)
.75 linear ft.

This series contains two subseries: Olive Damon and Alan Damon Jr. The bulk of Olive Damon's letters are between her and her son from the time he went away to college in 1957 through the early 1980s. Her letters complement the diaries. There is, as well, a series of letters from Amy Nobbs, an English woman with whom Olive corresponded between1949 and 1983. There are also miscellaneous letters received by Olive: the identified are arranged alphabetically and unidentified are arranged chronologically. Of particular interest is a letter written in 1980 from the Sielaffs of Ritzville, Washington, which describes the eruption of nearby Mt. St. Helen. Alan Damon's letters include a series from a friend, Jane Sigman (1957), plus miscellaneous letters from family and friends (1957-2004).

(1925-88)
.25 linear ft.

This series consists of miscellaneous writings by Olive Damon, including a history of the West Whately Chapel (1970), early poetry and essays, a scrapbook of early drawings (1925-31), a series of flower paintings, and an account book of her sale and production of pressed flower works (1985-88).

(1930-87)
.25 linear ft.

Memorabilia of both Olive and Alan Jr., several undated photographs of Olive and Alan Jr. as well as several miscellaneous photographs of family and friends make up this series. There are also photographs in the 1930 diary of her trip to Boston in SERIES II. Of particular interest are Olive's 1993 address book and an essay entitled "My High School Graduation, June 26, 1930, the day after the night before."

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS ,
(1980-2005)


Clippings and obituaries,
1995-2005

Box 1: folder 1
Memoirs, Things I Remember by Olive Warner Kellogg Damon,
1999

Box 1: folder 2
Notes, excerpts for Memoirs,
1980-84, n.d.

Box 1: folder 3
A Record of Events Concerning the Walter Kellogg Family,
1935-37

Box 1: folder 4
Notebook: household inventories, expenses, lists, an account of her wedding and honeymoon,
1934-49

Box 1: folder 5
SERIES II. DIARIES ,
(1930-2002)


"My Trip to Boston August 1930"


Box 1: folder 6
Notes,
1931

Box 1: folder 7
1932

Box 1: folder 8
(4v.)
1933-52

Box 2: folder 1-2
(8v.)
1953-60

Box 3: folder 1-4
(9v.)
1961-69

Box 4: folder 1-4
(11v.)
1970-78

Box 5: folder 1-5
(8v.)
1979-86

Box 6
(8v.)
1987-84

Box 7
(7v.)
1995-2002

Box 8
SERIES III. CORRESPONDENCE ,
(1933-2004)


Damon, Olive


Box 8
Outgoing


Box 8
Damon, Alan Sr.,
1966, n.d.

Box 9: folder 1
Damon, Alan Jr. ("Pete"),
1957-81

Box 9: folder 2-3
Incoming


Box 9
Damon, Alan Jr, ("Pete"),
1956-80, n.d.

Box 9: folder 4-21
Damon, Eva Wells,
1959

Box 10: folder 1
Nobbs, Amy,
1949-83, n.d.

Box 10: folder 2-5
Miscellaneous


Box 10
Identified,
1933-80

Box 10: folder 6
Unidentified,
1956-98

Box 10: folder 7
Damon, Alan Jr.


Box 10
Incoming


Box 10
Sigman, Jane,
1957

Box 10: folder 8
Miscellaneous,
1957-2004

Box 10: folder 9
SERIES IV. WRITINGS AND ARTWORK ,
(1925-88)


1930-70, n.d.

Box 11: folder 1
Art,
1925-88, n.d.

Box 11: folder 2
SERIES V. MEMORABILIA AND PHOTOGRAPHS ,
(1930-87)


Memorabilia


Box 11
Olive Damon,
1930-93

Box 11: folder 3
Alan Damon Jr.,
1957-80, n.d.

Box 11: folder 4
Photographs,
1954-87, n.d.

Box 11: folder 5

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Artists--United States--Biography--Sources
  • Damon, Olive Warner (Kellogg), 1911-2003
  • Family--United States--History--20th century
  • Farm life--Massachusetts--History--20th century--Sources
  • Housewives--United States--History--20th century--Diaries
  • Massachusetts--History--20th century--Sources
  • Whately (Mass.)--History--Sources


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