The 1860 Star

This weeks topic: Life's Highlight's, and "Low"lights... Eh!

Daily life, the ups and downs of the 1860's

Welcome one, welcome all! This week's topic is a special; the life in the 1860's! Folks, prepare to place this in your time capsules. Anyway if you have the average life in the middle class or below, don't throw this article away yet - yes, you already know how the average life in the 1860's go, but hey... at least it's starring you!

The Boring Stuff....

Well I guess we may as well get the boring stuff out of the way first. If you don't already know, at this time period of our country, unless you are rich, you are probably a farmer. If you are a male farmer, you generally do all the "physical" work. This means you have a day full of working the farms, taking care of live stock, and constructing new buildings. Lots to look forward too! Well the females don't have much more to get excited for. If you are a female you generally do all the "inside" work. This includes cooking and creating clothes. Last but not least, the kids - oh boy. They get to go to school AND help out whoever needs help around the house. Great in terms of expanding skill sets and interests, not so great when it comes to fairness (trust me, i'm trying not to be biased). Well that covers up almost everything you don't want to hear about. Time to move on to better things!


The most common job available in the market of the 1860's, is farming and agriculture. As you must feed your family, you will either have to work as a farmer or get produce from a farmer. As you can see, currently farming is very important!

As of now, there are many different levels of farms. Some farms have equipment and machinery to help with the production of different produce, while others are run by manual labor. Regardless, both farms tend to grow crops (mostly wheat crops) and raise livestock. At this time there are also some farms that not only have crops and livestock, but also collect and sell firewood. Firewood would be an interest to many consumers because it is used to power or heat many things.

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Social life of the 1860's

If you like communicating and interacting with other people than this is the perfect time period to be living in - no seriously! In Canada, we have to great methods to get in touch with each other! The first way is the old yet gold classic.. the mail system! But don't be fooled, as here in Canada, we are quickly improving our system in general. How you ask? Well for starters, we have constructed railways in major cities so that mail can be conveyed quicker. Not to mention that you can now send more cash than ever before, stamps are becoming more popular, and management of the post office is now under the control of provincial legislatures.

But, if you are not a big fan of sending physical mail, there is a new way to communicate (well new in Canada at least)! Presenting.. the Telegraph! This wonderful piece of high end technology that can use Morse code and electric impulses to display messages to the intended receiver. Simply brilliant!

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There is a lot to do to entertain yourselves in the 1860's, most include actually interacting with each other. That could mean playing games together, having "parties", or having social groups such as a sewing society. But without a doubt, the most popular form of entertainment we have is music. Ahh... nothing like relaxing music to soothe the mind!

If you can't already tell, music is a large part of everyone's life, regardless of age, race or gender. In fact, it has only gotten more significant after the "Singing School Movement". Nowadays, instruments are going through mass production as music is popularized. Now there are a variety of bands, and concerts to attend to. Even in gatherings music plays a big role. In our society, music is seen as an aspect of entertainment meant to bring out the emotions in people. It is not considered shameful to expose your emotions when listening to music, whether that means crying, laughing, feeling depressed or exited. Music also plays a role in other important events, such as in church where music was played regularly.


When it comes to religion in daily life, the church plays a role. The church is a place where not only did people come to give their prayers or seek advice, but it also serves other purposes. For example, there is a Sunday School for children. Religion is an important aspect in how people view and judge you as well. It is something that "defines you" and gives you "purpose and meaning" to your life.
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Getting Around

These days, there are more and more ways to travel around the country giving you choices and flexibility. The main way to travel shorter distances is by land. This means walking or going by a carriage being pulled by a horse. Although these may not be the most comfortable or efficient ways to get around, it definitely is the cheapest.

When you want to travel further distances at quicker speeds, then you may want to consider using bodies of water as transportation. This means using a steamboat or any other boat available. Beware, if this is your choice of transportation then you may run into some trouble with the customs officials...

The final way to get around is by using trains. With the new rail roads being constructed, if is a fantastic way to around quickly. Though you're gonna need some pretty pennies to pay for a ticket. Also, because its still fairly new, it isn't exactly the safest mode for transportation.

Production & Manufacturing

As life in the 1860's is rather simple, there isn't too much to produce/manufacture. Most of the items families must create are necessities - in other words items such as food and clothes. These things are created at mills. There are accessible mills such as a saw mill, a flour mill, and a carding and fulling mill (for wool). As technology continues to expand, established mills continue to become more powerful and more useful for everyday tasks.