W5068 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby McQuesten
Aug 10 1903 Monday
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec
From: Near Muskoka
My dear old Cal,
You really should have had a letter from me before this, but the days seem to fly. The Mither has told you our doings up to Friday so I'll begin there. On Friday morning we took the boat up to Judd Haven. We started from here at half past ten, stopped at various places and reached there at one just in time for dinner. It was a bitterly cold day tho' we had wrapped ourselves up as well as possible. However the dinner which was very good thawed us out somewhat & after talking to a few Hamilton people and lingering around a little we were rowed over to the woods of the Royal Muskoka. Then Mrs. Fletcher, mama & I followed the path up to the Hotel & sent for Bill and Charlie. They showed us around & we sat on the verandah for a little & then went down to wait for the boat which called at four. You see it didn't give us much time but it was really long enough. We had a pleasant sail home only taking an hour so we were able to rest and be ready for our tea. The Royal Muskoka is a big affair certainly ugly to look at but fine inside, the main room downstairs is a fine place with a huge grate with large logs burning & next it is the dining room, very pretty with about three dozen large square tables for four with a maidenhair plant placed in the centre of each.
The grounds are pretty and pretty walks but we have more interesting things of that kind around here. What one has to pay for I fail to see. There were a lot of fat heavy looking people around, quite a number of Jews and suppose these people are up in the art of stowing away lots of eatables & drinks, mild & otherwise, mostly otherwise. I fancy Charles the gay youthful can get what he wants of the otherwise drinks without been [sic] seen by any troublesome people of other views. 1
Up at Judd Haven they seem to have quite a gay houseful of young people. Quite a number of Hamilton people are there, some of the Walter Macdonald family, Daisy Gillies, Mable Melloy--not weepy) & others. Annie Fletcher is the strongest girl and was full of the Regatta which was to be to-day. She is to be in all the races in the water & out of it. Well on Sat. the high wind kept up till we were thoroughly tired of it and stayed indoors. It hasn't been the best weather for up here but to-day is finer and we hope it will continue to improve. Mrs. Penson heard a loon fly overhead which is a sure sign of a storm she says.
You having been having [sic] great gales around your region lately. I hope no flying beams have patted you on the head.
Mr. Willis an American who is with his wife here has been doing his best to get a boat & has finally got an old row boat which is being mended. But now boats are awfully scarce here tho' wobbly canoes are plentiful enough. Willie James rented a canoe & we took it up to the Regatta, but of all the unsteady things. No canoe I was ever in compared with it, so he wouldn't keep it longer than the day. On Sat Willie& Lillie left for a place higher up near Windermere. He wanted to be on a broader piece of water & where he could get a boat. That is the one objection here. Really it is very pretty here and pretty walks & the Indian River is as pretty as any place farther up if you only had a boat. It is really very interesting to go down and watch the boats go thro' when there is nothing else to do.
I saw the Hills family in Post to-day & Annie Woods wants me to go over with her for the day to-morrow. I was over at the Stratton playing tennis this morning for a little while & Mama & I are going to stroll out somewhere this afternoon & find a pretty place to read.
Yesterday afternoon we went to an Indian service. An Iroquois addressed us part of the time. It was very interesting.
Well we start home on Thursday & the Mither sends her love & will write after we reach house.
With much love, Your loving sister.
1 This is an instance of the McQuesten's objection to alcohol. The alcohol referendum had been fought and defeated in 1902. Alcohol is a sore point for the McQuestens since Isaac was an alcoholic and it contributed to his death (W2511, W2520). Their objection appears to be against alcohol and not against wine, especially if used 'medicinally.' (See, W5832, W6043, W2440).