January 3 1913
I am going to write you a few lines in reply to our letter of last year, if it is not too late. I have been nursing broken ribs since before new Year. I fell on the sidewalk.
It's mighty cold here for some time but it seems better now. We don't have enough for sleighing till last week.
I have been working at carpenter work since I came west. This is not a very good country for carpenters. The season is too short. They don't get started early enough in the spring on account of the hard frost. They have to blast it out with dynamite.
The minimum wage for carpenters is 50 cents an hour an eight hour day and is much more as you can get if you can produce the goods.
That may seem good pay to you but everything is expensive here: room, rent and board and every thing is about double the price it is in the east.
This city is growing some. Last year building amounted to fourteen million dollars for one season. There is a lot of people coming here every year. The city owns all her own utilities and operates them no corporations has anything to do with street, rail, telephones and electric lights.
They have the single tax here, all taxes are on the land.
This is a young man's country. I think anybody that is well fixed in the East is as well off as here.
I am afraid that this country will be subject to hail and frost but they say that this will disappear as soon as the land will be cultivated.
Robert McMorine or Bob, as we used to call him, is here. He is dealing in real estate. He made some money I think.
Neil Stalker (Norman and Gilbert's mom was a Stalker) from Duluth was up here last summer. He came up last March and went back just before New year. He told me that he thought he might come west again if he could sell out in Duluth.
Kenneth McIver from Lingwick and his Brother Malcolm of Barry Vt. were both up here on a visit last summer to see the west and their brother Norman.
Norman is building inspector for the city. He has a good job. Easy work and good pay.
Are you still in the employ of the Transcontinental? All those who had Federal posts in this city is pretty well culled out.
If you are at home when you get this I wish you would go and see if the taxes has been kept paid on the farm since I left. I also want you to go and see if there isn't money there to my credit.
Was sorry to hear that so many of the old friends have died since I came West, but we will soon follow. It is only a matter of going a little before the rest.
We are all pretty well. We are all here in Edmonton except John. He went to San Francisco last winter and he went from there to Japan. Gordon had a letter from him last September from Vancouver and we haven't heard from him since. I think he is quite a globetrotter.
Give my best regards to all. Your family and friends. And acquaintances.
Truly, Gilbert Nicholson
Address:48 Shand Avenue Edmonton Alta.
A letter from Sophia Nicholson in 1920 reveals that John went to war and suffered severe shell shock.