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W5808 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister, Mary
Mar 20 1907
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten
From: Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario

My dear Calvin,

Was so glad to hear from you. Supposing we haven't money what's the odds so long as we're happy.1 Mama and Hilda gave me a lovely muslin blouse, and Edna as a gentle hint to be tidy, a dressing table cover, the making of which nearly gave her nervous prostration.2If we should have to leave the house before May, I have had three offers of a resting place,3 Mrs. Mullin, Mrs. Thomson, and May Stephens, so will not have to go to the police station for a night's lodging.

I gave a small tea for my special friends yesterday, and all seemed to enjoy it. Miss Ketchen has cut two teeth already. She has not as yet given her parents any trouble.4

Edna went to Oakville Monday and by a card received to day she seems to be enjoying herself.

If we do go to Oakville for the summer it will be nice to have the Culhains there.

Mrs. Mullin declares that if we go to Oakville she will rent her house for the summer months, and come and board there. The house Mama has chosen faces the lake, and is near the pier, and has a nice orchard. Mr. Harris the agent says that if we should change our plans he can easily rent the house to others. I do wish you were with us and having a rest instead of working, working, working. It will be nice if you can manage to go when the other boys do, for traveling alone is not the pleasantest thing in the world.

Was down to spend Monday afternoon with Alice Chisholm. Poor little thing! and she is so cheerful and bright.

Charlie Bell and his wife are adopting the hardening the process with their offspring, the youngster goes around with bare feet all the time. Poor little unfortunate!! Some parents are idiots. Mrs. Bell thinks it dreadful. She is looking forward to crossing the ocean, and her ankle seems to be doing its best to heal. "Whisks" and his sister of course are dead against it, but Herbie intends to have his way, so she will probably go.5

Tell Tom I will write him soon. It would be nice if you could come up at Easter. As this is our day and I have to get myself rigged up, must close.

Lovingly, your sister,

Mary B. McQuesten


1 The McQuesten family has been in a state of genteel poverty since the mental collapse, sudden death, and bankruptcy of their father, Isaac McQuesten, in 1888, see W2511, W2520, also see his biography on the "Family" page and by clicking on his photo.

Mary's date of birth is March 20, 1874.


2 "Nervous prostration" is the term commonly used during the Victorian era for mental collapse. Edna's mental condition was fragile for most of her life. She died in a mental institution at the age of 50. See W2511, W5382, W5426, W5430. Also see her Biographical sketch at "Family" by clicking on her photo.


3 In order to gain some income, the McQuestens rented their house, Whitehern, to the Hamilton Club in 1907 and moved to a cottage in Oakville for approximately one year.


4 For the Rev. Beverly Ketchen family, see W5359.


5 For the Bell family, see W4531, W4582, W5199.




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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.


Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.