Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America.

When my brother had a birthday, he received a pocket knife from Father.  Girls don’t
have those.  He carved his name in the barn on a post.  He showed me.  It looks very nice and the letters are all the same size.  Someday, I would like to carve my name someplace.  I do not think I would carve it in the barn though.  If I could learn how to do it, I would want my name in a place where everyone will see it and know that I, Mary, was able to carve my name.  I would want to put it in my house.  Josh and Brent love my house and want to live there someday when it is not so full of people.  They would see my name and know I live here too. Maybe I could put it right by the door, the front door.  Then as soon as someone came in the door, they would know I was here; right where I belong.

My friend, Helen, we all call her Nell, had her birthday yesterday.  A birthday is the date on which a person born.  Her mother made her a round cake. She used round cake hoops placed on a flat pan to make the shape. It looked like the the sun or the moon.  There were candles on top, one for each year.  There were some added candles indicating the upcoming years.  She had to blow out the candles all in one breath so the wish she made would come true. I hope she wished for a new sash and some ribbons.  Father was born on a ship and his family are German.  He calls our birthdays Kinderfest.  Some people and Mothers and Fathers give gifts to the birthday person to bring extra good fortune for the next year.  Nell’s cake had a pink marzipan rose right in the center and the candles went all the way around.


by Mary Beekman

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Dearest mary, I like that you carved your name in your house! I went back to my childhood home 60 years after I lived there and there was P H Y L L I S in the sidewalk outside the front door, where I had put it into wet cement with a stick. I had totally forgotten this and it made me cry. We want to make our mark somewhere. My mother made her mark by planting pink dogwood trees which were still there.I think everybody should plant pink dogwoods, the more the better as they have to cross pollinate. Love, Phyllis XXX