W5371 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Aug 9 1905
To: Calvin McQuesten Staney Brae, Muskoka
My dear Calvin,
Was pleased to hear from you and interested in the church programme; you would I am sure be very busy getting it all arranged. I do hope your collection was good. Saw Mrs. Bell last night and if one listened to her, it is a marvel you have not been drowned long ago, with that little boat; and such a fearful storm as you had, and two drownings last Saturday. But I really do not feel anxious about you at all, for I always feel God is watching over you. Helen Locke has returned and they are now busy preparing to go to Toronto to live with Mary. Jimmie has got so feeble and they all thought it was so hard for Helen, that Arthur T. offered Mrs. L. a home there and have persuaded them to go. Edna went off yesterday to John's.1 I was so thankful to get her off. Hilda returned from the Gartshore's looking fat and brown. Poor Mr. Gartshore was starting on Monday with the whole family and their friends to the number of twenty, on a canoe trip up the Severn. So many of them young and helpless, that the poor man was beginning to quake. Nellie James has gone too. Last night H., R., and I treated ourselves to a Belt Car ride round and down to Mrs. Bell's. Archie Mullin is on the way home, he wrote a very penitent letter home, (as he had no money) so his mother sent him money to bring him home and she is going off to meet him at Montreal; and now the query is what is to be done with him. Monday was Civic Holiday and poor Tom celebrated it by putting ropes in some windows and cutting down weeds. He took the evening boat back, as he was to go to Newmarket next day. Emily Colquhoun came to see us in the evening, she came home for Mrs. Gourlay's funeral, poor girl she looks so white and weary. I saw Reginald Gourlay strutting down the street, so he evidently came too. I hope he will not give Mrs. G. any trouble.
They are putting down a cement sidewalk on our McNab St. side, but by speaking to the city engineer and seeing Old Stewart this morning, just as he was passing down, I succeeded in getting a narrower walk then they intended, that is the same width as on Mrs. Husdand's side which makes it less costly. Uncle Aleck and Nephew have just been in, with the news that Jessie Gartshore is engaged to an old bachelor in Scotland. It is very fortunate for Mrs. W. to have friends in Muskoka. Was glad to hear from Mrs. B. you are looking so well. With much love from all.
Your loving mother
[P.S.] Annie F. is at Judd Haven.
1 This refers to John Puckridge Baker, Mary's nephew, son of her half-brother James Alfred Baker and his first wife Charlotte Puckridge. Apparently, John was an ill-tempered man who had made life difficult for his stepmother, Maria (Mudge) Baker, and as it turned out Edna's visit with him was a traumatic experience for her, rather than a therapeutic one. For more on John P. Baker, see W5406, W3155.
2 For a large note on Edna's mental illness, see W5426.