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The Shack, Rev. Calvin's Homestead Out WestW-MCP6-1.408 TO MARY BAKER MCQUESTEN from her son, Rev. Calvin McQuesten
Jun 16 1910
To: Mary Baker McQuesten Gravenhurst, Ontario1
From: Glenhurst, Saskatchewan

My dearest Mother,

By this time you will be in Gravenhurst, and it is very nice indeed to think of you all there together, that is, all except the two boys.

Well, I am muddling away at one thing and another much as usual, though this week I had an extra trip. When I got here this spring, I found that the neighbours had given up going to Tessier altogether, and were going instead to Harris where there is a flour mill. So after waiting in vain all this time in hopes that some one might be going who could bring me my barrel & boxes, I finally went myself on Tuesday, borrowing a one-horse wagon from a neighbour. Shortly after I got started it began to pour rain; but as I had my oilskins, I did not get very wet, though it made the roads heavy. It was a thirty-mile trip, but my horse is in fine condition this year & took it well. Fortunately it stopped raining before I set out for home, so I transported my load safely.

This afternoon, I unpacked & was glad to find not a single jar broken. So tonight I had a fine tea of tomatoes, peaches & plum-cake. It quite cheered me up, as I had begun to feel rather glad that I was well into my last six-months of "batching."

However, my homesteading promises to turn out a very good proposition.2 Land is going up all the time, and is decidedly higher than I expected to see it for four or five years. George Anderson whose homestead is near me and no better land is arranging to sell it for $3000 & I fully expect to get $4000 for mine in two or three years. Mr. Glendinning is coming over this week to start breaking. The weather has been quite warm for the last week & with frequent showers, the crops are growing grandly.

Lately a couple of wild turkeys, as they call them and a hill cranes out here, have taken to feeding where my wheat stacks stood, and the other day one walked past the shack within 50 yards. He looked almost as large as that crane of ours in the library, but was a lighter brown in color.

Give my love to all the girls. I really must write Ruby soon, though with you all there, she will be quite independent of letters.

With best love.

Your affectionate son


1 Mary has gone to Gravenhurst to stay with Ruby who is in a cottage near the sanatorium and being treated for the "Con" [Consumption, later known as Tuberculosis]. For more on Ruby and her illness, see W6135. Also for her biographical sketch, click on "Family" on the Home Page and then on Ruby's picture.

2 According to "Yahoo Maps," the distance between Tessier and Harris is approx. 9 miles. Both towns are midway between Saskatoon and Rosetown on the present highway No. 7. In 1910, Calvin's horse & buggy ride began in or near Glenhurst, which is his P.O. address, and we do not know just where Calvin's homestead was, except that it was near Glenhurst, which no longer exists on our maps. However, we find in Yahoo Maps that it was situated north of Milden and Bounty which are in the Atlas map on Hwy No. 15 near Zealandia and Ardath, both of which are named in some of Calvin's letters. See also, W8239, W-MCP6-1.410, W8944, W7808, also search on "homestead," "shack," and in the photos for more information.

Calvin's optimism in this letter is soon dispelled by a hail storm in July which ruins his crop and garden and damages his shack, see W-MCP6-1.410.

For more on Calvin, see his biographical sketch by clicking on "Family" and then on Calvin's picture.

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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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