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[Written at top of letter]: Heard Harry Whittemore had gone to Macleod.

W5524 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 4 1906
To: Calvin McQuesten Macleod, Alberta
From: 'Whitehern'

My dearest Calvin,

The day after I wrote you, your letter to Mary and me arrived. Though you do not complain, I have a fear sometimes that you are not just up to work of any kind and wonder if it is good for you to try. I know you are so anxious not to live upon me as you say, but it would be better in the long run for you to do that and have a real holiday, than feel good for nothing a longer time. You speak of having a new district added to yours I hope it does not mean really more work. Now if you feel like a regular good holiday, just come to us at Lake of Bays. We think we have found a very good place at a place called Bay View Farm, near Dorset, very reasonable terms and we hear from Jean Black, a good table, and you could stay up there as long after us as you like. We expect Ruby to-morrow evening, I am a little troubled that she took such a short time and may not have seen Quebec thoroughly. She reached it Saturday morning and went out that afternoon to Montmorency Falls and St. Anne de Beaupre that is all I have heard, cards to-day said, the weather and trip had been lovely, and would tell us all when she sees us. The weather here is most trying oppressive damp heat, rain and thunderstorms. This morning it was lovely and Mary started off for Staney Brae. I was somewhat uneasy for C.P.R. train was late, it came in from Buffalo packed with Yanks on a fourth of July trip to Toronto, however she got off at 10:30 and train does not leave Toronto till 11:30.

Mr. Colin Fletcher had quite a serious illness, got a chill, so Mrs. Colin wrote Hilda they were obliged to go for a change, so H. will spend the first three weeks at the Gartshore's and then go to Walkerton. This afternoon it has been raining hard again but I do hope it is fine up north for Mary on the Lakes. The student at Staney Brae is Pickup not a very prepossessing name. Mr. Ketchen says he was a Methodist, altogether it is not promising. Do you see any news papers at all? Would you like me to send you any? The papers lately have just been full of catastrophes. It was very distressing the destruction of a train running from Plymouth to London with the passengers from Steamer New York. Mr. Walter Barwick K.C. was killed, you know his wife is a sister of Mrs. Warren Barton and I knew him very well, twenty three out of forty seven passengers were killed, other Toronto people too. St. John's Church was nearly gone too from electric wire, loss about $1,000. I saw that one of the fine old cathedrals at Hamburg was burned through same cause. I would not have electricity in my house for a good deal. Samuel Sarkissian is going to Binbrook. I see that Rev. Andrew Thomson (perhaps you know him) is to marry Rev. R.P. Mackay's daughter and go out to Honan,1 they are to be supported by American Pres.[byterian] Church, Montreal. The missionaries in our Indian work in the West are very indignant with K.P Mackay, he was out visiting the fields and they say he just sat about and took no pains what ever to learn any thing about the work; apparently he was not observant of any thing, and they thought it just a waste of money to send him out to India.

People seemed to be quite amazed with my account of my trip, but was not altogether satisfied myself, it seemed to me afterwards as if I had left out really the most important things, but it was impossible to write it out, it would have seemed so stupid to read it and then one is apt to leave things out and put things in that one did not intend to. I could not resist describing our 'Tourist Experience", it was so funny to think of. Our 'antique' Tourist, our table was always falling down, and our dishes shook as if it were the San Francisco Earth quake, our perilous excursions back and fourth to the stove and then at night battered and bumped till we wondered if our brains would give out or if we should have an attack of appendicitis in the morning, it really does make a very funny story.

The Catalpas are nearly gone all the flowers have had rather a hard time with the rains. It was really a shame you only had one letter from home all the time I was away, but Mary never realizes the flight of time and Hilda must have been working night and day, the amount of sewing &c she did, and Sydney Stevenson was here a week, and Mrs. Gilbert, Bessie, baby and nurse were here another week, and the two of them looked worn out when I got home. I feel sorry about Tom having none of us at home when the boat runs in the holiday time. He can always come up over Sabbath, but it just seems absolutely necessary that the girls have a change. I really do not need it at all, but they will not leave me. Well, dear, be sure and come to us, unless you are perfectly sure you are fit. With fondest love.

Your mother

M.B. McQuesten


1 For Rev. R.P. MacKay and Rev. Andrew Thomson, see W6336.




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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.
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