Royal Arthur School
May 17, 1912
I am sure you think it about time you heard from me. I have intended writing every day for the last two weeks but somehow did not find the time,
We had Flora in for the weekend about two weeks ago and I think she enjoyed it. We took her to the theatre. It was an opera and she had never seen anything like it before and so thought it was great! She is looking fine although not as fat as she was a Xmas. They are very busy new preparing for their examinations. I think Flora will get through all right.
I stayed with Mrs. Cleveland from Friday last week until Tuesday.Dr. C was in Boston so I was there for company. We went to the Horse Show and it was nice but the horses going round and round made me sick and dizzy so that I had to come out before it was over. Now they all make fun of me and wonder what I would be like if I were to cross the ocean.
Ross Cleveland is sailing for England the first of June for the summer. I think dentistry must be a very paying business.
Mr. McCoy is taking Isabel across this ; that is he is paying all her expenses if she will go which of course she will. They sail the 15th and are going all over England, Scotland and Ireland and then through part of Europe. They wanted me to go also and said they would wait and sail whenever it would suit me, but I will have to wait until they raise the teacher's salaries I think.
I think you said in one of your letters that you had noticed that a Dr. Manson had been called to Taylor Church. May Watters and I went down and heard him preach on Sunday and he invited us to a church reception they were having for him. He is very much like his cousin, the Earl of Caithness, in that he thinks he is quite a man. I don't think he is very much taken with Taylor Church. I fancy the people are too common for him. However, he was very nice to us. I am anxious for school to close now. The Skinners want Edith and I to go to Saskatoon for the summer. It would be a great trip, don't you think.
Wednesday a cousin of yours, Mrs. Matthews from Vancouver telephoned Edith. She got her from Lizzie Duncan and so we all, that is Edith, May and I went down to see her. They, her husband and daughter, were on their way to Lingwick and then to Scotland. She is fine but her husband is a stupid little man.
Now I must close for the time and I think this letter is long enough to make up for it being due such a long time.
I don't think I acknowledged your last check and it came all right.
The check in question is the 20 dollars Norman pays for Flora's board at Macdonald Teaching School. Marion pays the other 20 dollars. Tuition is free for country girls like Flora, lucky for the Nicholsons.
The horse show is a yearly Spring event in Montreal in the era. In the 1910 Montreal Star there is an entire special section about the show, and the first article opens with the line "The automobile will never replace the horse in man's affections." As the Nicholson letters of 1911-1912 reveal, there was plenty of evidence to the contrary.
Despite the sinking of the Titanic, people who could afford it were still going abroad by ocean liners. Their was a PR campaign in the newspapers to assure folks that such liners were safe.
On June 15: Large ships are still in demand. Olympic sails today with full list. 676 first class passengers." (This might have been the ship the McCoy's sailed on.)
"The popularity of the large steamer with the travelling public does not seem to be on the wane, as was feared might be the case in consequence of the accident to the Titanic. White Star Olympic is due to sail from New York today for Cherbourge and Southampton.
It sailed every three weeks or more, from what I can see. July 6, July 27, August 17, Sept 18. "All steamers equipped with wireless and submarine signals."
Marion Nicholson could not afford to go to Europe, but she did make it in 1946, as a representive of the Canadian Teachers' Federation at a UNESCO conference in Sevres near Paris. She died of a heart attack a few months later.