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W-MCP3-5.063 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN, ESQ. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Oct 3 1906
To: Thomas Baker McQuesten 22 Grosvenor St., Toronto, Ontario
From: 'Whitehern'

My dearest Tom,

It seems a long time since I have written you, but I have not had a spare minute it seems to me for many days, but we have the great satisfaction of feeling that the rush is over. The house is now almost in order, just a few things to do. The man at the pigeon house, (by name Wilson) sent me quite a decent man to pick the pears, and brought me 16 baskets at 2 cents each, then I asked every third to whom I sent a basket to give me their empty baskets and the old stable man brought me a lot. After giving away some he sold 35 baskets at 15cts. each and cleared the enormous sum of $1.20; and thankful to do that, for at one time we did not know how to get rid of them, one man offered us 25 cts. for two baskets and in all cases we had to supply baskets. I only paid the man 15cts. an hour and he was a very honest faithful picker. We have not picked the large pears yet. But I was so relieved to get out of the business with sufficient to pay the man.

Did you see in the paper that Harold Thomson had shot himself in Vernon B.C. It does seem too terrible. Whatever could have happened to him? He was such a nice chap and so attractive, but I always felt there was a lack somewheres [sic] or he would not have gone roaming as he did. Did I tell you about Mrs. Sauders death? I cannot remember so many things are in my mind. I have not heard of her being worse, and only saw the notice in the Monday's paper and that evening was a service at the house. I went up to it and Alfred Thomson was there from Montreal, an extremely nice gentlemanly man and he had only got as far as Toronto from his Aunt's funeral, when this terrible news appeared in the papers with full particulars of his Hamilton relatives. I was really so sorry for him. I suppose you saw that poor Halton died.

Well, yesterday was a great day. I was going to Chippawa and the misses Cassels had written Mary they were coming. I was so thankful the house was in such good order with the fine rug in the dining room. Mr. Murray took them for a drive in the morning, they lunched at Violet Grant's and came here to tea. Violet's tongue went at such a rate that Edna got a pain in the back of her head she said. They know "Bob" H. [Henderson] well and said that the reason Miss Smith did not take him for so long was that she had been out in the North-West some time with a married sister and she saw so much of married life that she made up her mind she would never get married. However, she has yielded now.

It seems that Carscallen did not leave more than $3000, he was a very selfish man and spent his money just to please himself, threw it away in fact. Dr. Lyle came in on Saturday night for a chat (it had poured in torrents all day), he was speaking about University matters and he thought to begin with, it was a very strange proceeding to have none but Toronto men on the Council considering the University is provincial. (I think myself Dr. Lyle would be a fine man for that position). Dr. L. does not know Mr. Colquhoun but had heard he was extremely well posted in educational matters. He thinks that Prof. Falconer of Dalhousie is the man. He is a Gilchrist Scholar, studied on the continent, has written on some subjects, is scholarly and a gentleman. I asked to suggest the name, he said had to two of the Council and they actually asked him, "What side of politics Prof. F. was on?" Isn't it disgusting?

I nearly forgot to tell you about my trip to Chippawa yesterday. I went by the 2 p.m. G.T.R. to Niagara Falls, there I took the trolley. The ride was a perfect treat to me, I have not seen the Falls for years and the road to C. was close beside the river up past the Cataract. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and it was a magnificent sight, several rainbows. I was surprised at the fine stone work of the Ontario Power Co., they are building now, what looks like a temple with rows of lofty Corinthian pillars. The company is said to have spent $25,000,000 there. It would certainly be a pity to have common looking buildings there.

Our meeting was in the evening and the minister and a number of ladies came up from Drummondville, it was a lovely moonlight night. I came back by this morning's train, and to-morrow go to Galt but will be home in the evening. Cal. had gone to Lethbridge to Presbytery meeting and had enjoyed the change. I do hope you are having things a little easier, I really feel quite worried sometimes, because I think you have commenced the year tired out. After the great heat you should have had some good fresh air. With much love, dearie.

Your loving mother

M.B. McQuesten

[P.S.] Forgot to mention that the man who picked the pears assisted us very well with the pictures so they all down and up.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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