W-MCP1-3b.006 TO THE MCQUESTEN CHILDREN From their mother Mary Baker McQuesten
Jun 2 1906
To: McQuesten Children 'Whitehern' Jackson St. West, Hamilton, Ontario
From: File Hills School
My dearest children,
Miss Craig, Mrs. Steele, and I arrived here last night, after a ten miles drive from the train. I left the Portage la Prairie about noon on Wednesday, leaving Miss Craig there sick in bed from cold and over-driving. But I had written Geills [McCrae Kilgour] I was coming, so I went out to Brandon that day. She met me, 2 p.m. and we walked up to her house, such a sweet moderately sized house. Of course everything was spotless, and she had many handsome presents. Tom and Jack and Walter Gow and others had given her cheques, which she had spent on mahogany furniture for the drawing room, beautiful things, from Jenkins. Then the Goodwillies had given her silver spoons and others very handsome eyelet embroidery table articles, altogether everything was very nice.
There is the most successful Indian Industrial School at Brandon belonging to the Methodists. Geills telephoned the Principal when I could go through it, so he called in the morning and I went out and had dinner there, will tell you about it when I come home. Geills drove up for me in the afternoon and we went all round the town. It was a lovely warm day; in the evening we had another drive. Then Friday morning had to take the 7:20 train. Mr. Kilgour is a very nice fellow, gentlemanly and thoroughly kind. Well, I reached Ellehom about ten, Mrs. Steele had joined me at Verdun; at E. Mr. Eadie met us and took us up to the Indian School there, which is Anglican. Miss Craig had come on there. Mr. (Principal of the school) and Mrs. Wilson are lovely people. Mrs. Wilson is a niece of old Senator Vidal. We stayed there an hour and the three of us came on to Balcarres. At Esterhazy, we had 25 minutes for dinner, not very good, but the other days twice had lunch (lovely boiled fish) on the Buffet car. We reached B. at 5 o'clock, Miss Gillespie the missionary met us with team; after she had finished her business in the village, we started off at 6:40 to drive our ten miles; it was the most beautiful summer evening and the prairie looked beautiful dotted over with bright yellow pea-flowers. We were simply starving when we reached the Mission House at nearly 9 o'clock; but everything is so clean and comfortable and the ladies so kind and nice. The school is beautifully situated, a lake in from of us. To-morrow we go to church, 12 miles to the reserve; it is communion Sabbath with the Indians.
Had a fine sleep last night and feel well this morning. So glad to receive Hilda and Tom's letters, but have not heard one word from Cal., since I left home. Mrs. Bryce was to send on all the letters here. Sometimes I am quite homesick, it just seems so long since I saw you all, and I wanted so much to be home for Edna. She will be there on Monday. I am sure her hat will be lovely. It seems so long to wait to see her till the next week. Well, I must close, you had better send this on to Ruby and Tom, as I cannot find time to write more. With fondest love to you all, my darling children.
Your loving mother
Sabbath Evening. Have just returned from service at the Indian Colony, 12 miles there and the same back. No church, and not room in the Indian's house, so organ, table, benches carried outside & two more young Indians were baptized & 5 joined. The wine was in a jug & two tumblers, most interesting. Mr. Heron of the Regina School here & he is to drive Mrs. Steele & myself to Regina to see the camps on the way & it will take us two days, Imagine Me.