Guide to the Collection

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Representative digitized documents from this collection:

Collection Summary


This collection consists of 30 diaries of farmer and conservationist William P. Wharton, kept primarily at his farm (Fiveoaks Farm) in Groton, Mass., each year from 1910-1939.

Collection Description

This collection consists of 30 diaries of farmer and conservationist William P. Wharton, kept primarily at his farm (Fiveoaks Farm) in Groton, Mass., each year from 1910-1939. Entries describe his daily activities; the weather; work on the property, including planting, trapping, hunting, fishing, forestry, and apple picking; sightings of birds and other wildlife; participation in various conservationist and agricultural organizations, including the American Bison Society, Massachusetts Fish and Game Association, Massachusetts Forestry Association, Ayer Farmers' Co-operative Exchange, Middlesex County Farm Bureau, Massachusetts Audubon Society, National Parks Association, and many others; his work as a Groton selectman; travel; and his health. Included are entries related to his father William F. Wharton, stepmother Susan (Lay) Wharton, siblings Philip and Constance, first wife Ruth (Gerrish) Wharton (including her death in 1920), sister-in-law Gertrude Gerrish, second wife Elizabeth (Wiggin) Wharton, members of the Perrin family, and staff at the farm; entries describing a trip to survey the Everglades, Fla. with Frederick Law Olmsted in January 1932; memoranda related to the Groton farm; and clippings and notes inserted. The collection also contains two account books of farm expenses (both 1912-1916) and a volume recording numbers of hens, roosters, and eggs laid (1915-1916).

Acquisition Information

Acquired by purchase, February 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1Folder 1Vol. 1digitized
digitizedDiary, 1910
Box 1Folder 2Vol. 2digitized
digitizedDiary, 1911
Box 1Folder 3Vol. 3digitized
digitizedDiary, 1912
Box 1Folder 4Vol. 4digitized
digitizedDiary, 1913
Box 1Folder 5Vol. 5digitized
digitizedDiary, 1914
Box 2Folder 1Vol. 6digitized
digitizedDiary, 1915
Box 2Folder 2Vol. 7digitized
digitizedDiary, 1916
Box 2Folder 3Vol. 8digitized
digitizedDiary, 1917
Box 2Folder 4Vol. 9digitized
digitizedDiary, 1918
Box 2Folder 5Vol. 10digitized
digitizedDiary, 1919
Box 3Folder 1Vol. 11digitized
digitizedDiary, 1920
Box 3Folder 2Vol. 12digitized
digitizedDiary, 1921
Box 3Folder 3Vol. 13digitized
digitizedDiary, 1922
Box 3Folder 4Vol. 14digitized
digitizedDiary, 1923
Box 3Folder 5Vol. 15digitized
digitizedDiary, 1924
Box 4Folder 1Vol. 16digitized
digitizedDiary, 1925
Box 4Folder 2Vol. 17digitized
digitizedDiary, 1926
Box 4Folder 3Vol. 18digitized
digitizedDiary, 1927
Box 4Folder 4Vol. 19digitized
digitizedDiary, 1928
Box 4Folder 5Vol. 20digitized
digitizedDiary, 1929
Box 5Folder 1Vol. 21digitized
digitizedDiary, 1930
Box 5Folder 2Vol. 22digitized
digitizedDiary, 1931
Box 5Folder 3Vol. 23digitized
digitizedDiary, 1932
Box 5Folder 4Vol. 24digitized
digitizedDiary, 1933
Box 6Folder 1Vol. 25digitized
digitizedDiary, 1934
Box 6Folder 2Vol. 26digitized
digitizedDiary, 1935
Box 6Folder 3Vol. 27digitized
digitizedDiary, 1936
Box 6Folder 4Vol. 28digitized
digitizedDiary, 1937
Box 7Folder 1Vol. 29digitized
digitizedDiary, 1938
Box 7Folder 2Vol. 30digitized
digitizedDiary, 1939
Box 7Folder 3Vol. 31digitized
digitizedAccount book, 1912-1916
Box 7Folder 4Vol. 32digitized
digitizedAccount book, 1912-1916
Box 7Folder 5Vol. 33digitized
digitizedHens, roosters, and eggs laid, 1915-1916

Preferred Citation

William P. Wharton diaries, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Gerrish family.
Gerrish, Gertrude Bancroft, 1876-1957.
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903.
Perrin family.
Smith, Constance Wharton, 1894-.
Wharton, Elizabeth Wiggin.
Wharton family.
Wharton, Philip, 1892-.
Wharton, Ruth Gerrish, 1883-1920.
Wharton, Susan Carberry Lay, 1866-.
Wharton, William Fisher, 1847-1919.


American Bison Society.
Ayer Farmers' Co-operative Exchange.
Groton (Mass.). Selectmen.
Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Massachusetts Fish and Game Association.
Massachusetts Forestry Association.
Middlesex County Farm Bureau.
National Parks Association (U.S.).


Account books--1912-1916.
Agriculture--Societies, etc.
Bird watching--Diaries.
Everglades National Park (Fla.).
Forests and forestry--Diaries.
Groton (Mass.)--History.
National parks and reserves--United States.
Nature conservation.
Wildlife conservation.

Materials Removed from the Collection

Photograph of Marion Slater removed to the William P. Wharton photographs (Photo. Coll. 500.152).