Friday, February 4, 2011

Letter 18: Don't Go on the Water

Marion in big hat on the water, possibly on Charles River in Boston with Henry Watters.

Residency 4 Div D. August 12, 1911

Dear Flora,

Your welcome letter of the 5th received last evening and was pleased to hear from you and to hear of your success in being accepted to Macdonald.

I note what you say about the financial part of it.

I am writing Marion to have her let me know how much the whole amt. will be and I will send mother a check to cover the amount.

The girl that is to become your roommate is a daughter of O. C .Shaw's of Kinsey, I think. Mother knows her father as he has been at our place.

She is a cousin of the Pope's in Melbourne and Richmond and her being at Macdonald will make it nice for you to start with.

I wish I could take the western trip with Henry as you said.

Mother tells me that Sophia Nicholson is going to Edmonton where her father and brothers are. Have you seen her yet?

I also hear through Mother that the Gymers (Margaret's sister Christie, living in Evanston, Illinois) and the Curries (Margaret's sister Sarah, living in Sarnia, Ontario) are coming to Richmond this summer.

Have they arrived yet?

Now I have nothing new to write about from here, what would interest you.

When you write again give me the election news at Richmond.
I see in the papers it is to be the 21st of September. That will make things lively at home for a time.

Let me know if there is anything you need when leaving home.

One thing, you are going to a nice place. When you reach St. Anne. I passed it when coming home. It's over the banks of the Ottawa River.

See that you do not go boating on the River as it is always dangerous. Do not be persuaded by any man to go as you read of so many boating accidents from currents and brats.

Tell mother that my indigestion is some better and hope you are all well.

Will close for this time,

Love to All

Your loving father, N

PS Time to go to bed. 10 pm.


Margaret's sisters, Christie and Sarah corresponded with her a great deal over the decades. (She had two other sisters, much older. Indeed, her neice, Florance Peppler, was raising a family across the street.)
Christie had moved to the US early on and complained in early letters that no one ever visited her. She also bragged in a 1910 era letter that she was over 50 but everyone said she looked so much younger. Well, she wasn't talking out of her big hat; she lived to 99!

These "Isle of Lewis" women were generally long-lived.

Sarah was a sad-sack sister, whose husband was an invalid with asthma and whose daughters, according to Christie, were uncaring. Sarah's letters to Margaret were full of complaints, but, then again, many letters Margaret received from relations and friends were on the blue side. It could be that women used the occasion of letter writing to vent, or it could be that life was hard in those days, for many women.

Christie lost a beloved son in the First World War and was devastated. Herb never went to war, and Christie pointed this out.

The Curry's moved about great deal in search of work. Sarnia, of course, was a highly polluted town in that era.

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