In The Diary of Nell McCann, Nell kept tabs on the village and recorded the births and deaths that occurred around her. In the early 1900’s, even though Westport was a thriving village full of young families and hard-working citizens, there were a great number of deaths due to illnesses and circumstances of the times. From pneumonia to child-birth, death was the most-recorded event in Nell’s book. The word “born” was mentioned sixty-eight times, while “died” made an appearance two hundred and twenty-two times!

“Mrs. Duncan Ripley died at her home Upper Mills Feb 9/13”.

This photo, circa 1890, shows Duncan Ripley with his dog. Duncan would have been around 56 years old at the time this picture was taken. Duncan and Emeline are buried in Knox cemetery and their headstone reads: “In memory of Duncan C. Ripley, died May 16, 1906, aged 72 years. Also his wife, Emeline S. Day, died Feb. 9, 1913, aged 76 years.”

Mrs. Duncan G. Ripley (Emeline S. Day) was around 53 years old at the time of this photo in 1890. Emeline’s death was recorded in Nell’s diary in 1913.

This photo, also from around 1890, shows Emeline in her home, which was later known as “The Neil Stoness House” at the Upper Mills.