Sally here; Well, I just discovered something about this diary; it’s written two years later then what I thought; 1883. It was easy for me to get a bit mixed up on the years because on the first page of the diary where Ernestine has written the date, the last two numbers of the year have been scratched off. Then someone wrote (in pencil) “1881” right above Ernestine’s writing. So I assumed “1881” was the date of this diary. However, I’ve discovered while researching her entry below, pertaining to a particular earthquake, that the earthquake actually happened on July 28th, 1883. So forgive if I misled anyone but these things seem to come with the territory….
“July 29th, 1883
The first thing I heard this morning when I came on deck was about the dreadful calamity that happened at Ischia, an island we passed the morning previous, at about half past nine last night just when we were enjoying the music in the Villa. In some of the towns of this island, especially Casamicciola there had been an earthquake or better said the land had caved in and in a short time whole streets and places disappeared. No one knows as yet how many lives are lost. Some say five thousand. Twelve steamers are employed in carrying the wounded to here. It must have been a dreadful thing and loss of life has been so great because people had retired or were just going to bed. As papa did not feel well we remained on board the whole day and saw a great many boats going and coming from Ischia. Also the wounded that were landed by these boats. In the evening Mrs. Wallace, an old Scotch lady who had come out with papa some time ago, came on board to see him and was very kind to us. We made an engagement for the next day provided papa should be better.”