W8792 TO MR. NASMITH from Mary Baker McQuesten
Sep 18 1912
To: Mr. Nasmith Bracebridge Ontario
From: 'The Manse' Bracebridge1
Dear Mr. Nasmith,
You will be sorry to know that Mr. McQuesten has been very ill, since we saw you and a supply for Sabbath is coming from Toronto. The Sunday we were out, he had been very busy in the congregation all week and was tired that day, so that he was much exhausted when he returned from Monck and had to preach again2; the having to use his voice when tired being the very worst thing for a preacher. Accordingly on following Monday that is next day he was seized with a most irritating cough, which increased so much and was so incessant day and night, that we thought he would choke. He has not had a night's sleep since; last night he was better and managed to get some sleep. His throat and tongue were coated but now they are better, so we hope he will gain strength and recover. I am telling you all this, because it is only right the people at Monck should realize how much it costs a minister to keep up this service. Mr. McQuesten understood it was maintained for the sake of some old people. As you know there are no old people attending; and I would like to ask if the people at Monck could not make up their minds to join the Bracebridge Congregation. Do you not think the young people especially would enjoy worshipping in a larger church with good music and meeting the other young people? It would bring more brightness into their lives and create a greater interest in the work of the whole church at large.
It seems to me, if they would honestly consider the question, they can come into Bracebridge during the week for the benefit of their bodies, why can they not come in on the Sabbath day for the benefit of their souls. From what I hear every minister who has been here has suffered from this heavy charge of two congregations and the doctor says it will be weeks before Mr. McQuesten's voice will be in a condition to use it. As you must know Mr. McQuesten started out to do his very best for you, he is in debt now for a horse and buggy to enable him to overtake your work and the whole thing has been too much. So I trust the people of Monck will give their very earnest consideration to the whole question. My son is the last one to shirk work, he was never lazy, but he certainly cannot continue as he has been doing. Now please understand I am writing this letter without his knowledge, he is too ill for me to disturb with any talking, but I felt that you must consider this matter very seriously without loss of time, and that it was only right that I should acquaint you with your minister's condition3. I trust that all I have said will receive your kindest consideration.
I am, very sincerely yours
M. B. McQuesten
1 Mary visited Calvin at Bracebridge after her trip to the West coast. She arrived in early August and stayed until late September. Edna, Hilda and Mary visited at times as well (W8792, W6785, W6789, W8800).
2 Monck was a small community on the Monck Rd which runs between Lake Couchiching (near Gravenhurst) and the hamlet of York River (now Bancroft, Ontario). It was named after Charles Stanley Monck (1819-94) governor-general of British North America 1861-67, and the first governor-general of Canada, 1867-68 (CE 1374). The Monck Road was constructed in 1864-65 at the time of the American Civil War "for the dual purpose of opening up a wilderness area to settlement and providing an alternative less vulnerable military route between the Upper Great Lakes and the Ottawa valley" (Mrs. Walker, curator, Bancroft Museum, from a Brass Plaque at Bancroft Ontario).
3 I have found no record of Mr. Nasmith's reply to Mary or of what was done to relieve Calvin; however, Calvin remained at Bracebridge until December 1914, although his condition was precarious at times (W8756, W8748, W8785).