Sunday, February 6, 2011

Letter 29:: Changing the Buttons

Suits in the Eaton's Catalogue, 1909-1910 winter. Margaret paid 12.00 for her suit, on the low end of the selection in this catalogue, why she likely put on new buttons: an old trick to make an item of clothing look more upscale. The 12.50 style here is made of wool panama and the jacket is trimmed on the collar, cuffs and pockets with military braid.

Richmond, Quebec

Oct 14, 1911

Dear Norman,

Your letter received last night. I also had long letters from both Flora and Marion. Said how well you looked in your new suit when you visited them on your way back to Cochrane.

Edith left at four Sunday afternoon for school.

Lena, Christina and Malcolm (Watters) were still here. We all went down to the train with her.

Then they started as they wanted to get to Kingsbury in time for Church.

Then I went over to Grandma's (mother Sarah Mclean McLeod) stayed for tea and came back and stayed all night at Mrs. Skinner's. Have slept there nights as she is very anxious to have me, but I don't stay for breakfast.

I was down at Florence's (Peppler). She said Stella (daughter) could come any time I wanted her I thought as I intended going to Kingsbury that I would not have her until I came back.

They did not bring the wood yet. On Tuesday morning the man came and sawed and split what was left of the furnace wood and piled it in the shed.

I went up to the Last factory (Boston and Last). Saw that "great man", George, asked him to bring it as I had a man there to split it.

He said he did not promise it for this week.

I told him you certainly thought he did, as you engaged a man for that day.

He said "No,. next week."

Today, as it was fine, I called Campbell (boss?). He said he would speak to George and he would bring it this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

We will see what they will do tomorrow. Lasts they have none, they say.
Well, I said bring the wood.

I got my suit, is all right this time at least. Mrs. Skinner thinks so. Mrs Montgomery thinks the coat ought to fit better it looks very nice. The skirt could not fit better and by changing the buttons a little it will be all right. I am very glad to have it.

Grandma keeps about the same. Does not seem to gain although she sits up a while every day. I was over last night. Bella was there. I asked her to come down and see my suit. She did not come. It was my day and I had to stay at home. Mrs. Beiber called.

I was forgetting that Monday morning at 8 o'clock Mrs. Montgomery came over to see if she could borrow me for a day, as Esther Duffie had died at 5 o'clock and she and Mr. M. wanted to go down to Durham. So I stayed all day.

Then again I stayed with the baby Wednesday while she went to the funeral left at 8 o'clock.

Her poor mother will miss her.

I am looking for a letter from Herb. It is three weeks since I have heard from him.

Mrs. Skinner has not heard from the Dr since he arrived in Saskatoon. Would be there Tuesday, she thought.

Poor Marjory Sutherland (21 year old daughter of J.C. Sutherland)has not been so well for the last few days.

Write often and don't you worry about me. I won't stay alone (in the house.) Only take the best of care of yourself.

With much love
Your loving wife

Wood for heating is a major issue, costly to procure and to chop and an absolute necessity in Richmond, Quebec in the winter. In 1908-1910, when Margaret was home alone with daughter Flora and niece May Watters, the young girls took pride in how they fed the furnace themselves. I guess this was typically a man's job.

The Boston and Last Factory was often where the Nicholsons bought their wood, for the furnace and the stove. The place was a major employer in Richmond in 1911, judging by the Census. A last is a wooden or metal form in the shape of a human foot, used to repair shoes and boots.

Heating the home was a major expense and major worry. The Nicholsons spent 40 to 50 dollars for wood in the fall and another 4 dollars (app) to have it split.

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