W-MCP2-3b.058 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his brother, Thomas
Aug 19 1918
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten Footes Bay, Muskoka, Ontario
From: Hamilton, Ontario CHISHOLM, LOGIE & MCQUESTEN
James Chisholm--W. A. Logie--T.B. McQuesten
My Dear Cal,
I have your letter of August 15th. I saw your letter on Saturday written to the Mater, and was glad to learn you had done so well out of your enterprises.1
The weather has moderated here and it had been delightful for the past week. Cauchon is staying with me for a week or ten days. 2
I greatly regret to report that we made a fatal error in planting cucumbers adjoining the melons. It appears that the pollen from the cucumbers is particularly heavy and that when adjoining the melons, they become fertilized with it, the result is that the melons do not develop true to type but become a sort of sublimated cucumber. I got this information from Alex. Munro about a week ago and immediately pulled out the cucumber vine. It may be that the melon will produce some latter specimens which will not be contaminated.
In the meantime I am letting the rest of them grow and we can try them out but I am afraid they will [be] of no use.3
Take care of yourself and don't be in a hurry to come home on my account.
Your affectionate brother,
T. B. McQuesten
1 Calvin was in Muskoka for part of the summer of 1918. He may have taken a position as a substitute minister for the summer, or he may have been vacationing. It is not known what his "enterprises" were at that time.
2 Noulan Cauchon (1872-1935) of Ottawa, noted railway engineer and pioneer of town planning, collaborated with Tom on many of his public works and "City Beautiful" projects in Hamilton and throughout Ontario. Theirs was a renaissance movement influenced by Cauchon's experience in Classical design and reconstruction in Greece. Tom was appointed to the Hamilton Town Planning Commission in January 1916, to the Board of Parks Management in 1922, to the provincial Highways portfolio in 1934, and he and Cauchon worked closely together to build many Hamilton Parks: the Rock Garden (RBG), Desjardins Canal, Cootes Paradise, High Level bridge (now named for McQuesten), McMaster University and park grounds, Scott Park, Gage Park, and many more. Within ten years Hamilton "had the largest acreage of developed parkland in any Canadian city." Causon died in 1935 so was unable to participate in the provincial projects but, no doubt, his influence continued. The provincial projects include: The Niagara Parks system and School for Apprentice Gardeners, the Queen Elizabeth Highway, The Rainbow Bridge, and many more. They worked with the team of Dunington-Grubb garden designers, sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wyle, and architect John Lyle (Best 51-68, 113-18; Barnsley 26; W6053). This group subscribed to the social reform, "Social Gospel," philosophy that healthy surroundings will have a moral effect on the population, and they envisioned and implemented it with a missionary zeal. Cauchon presented A Book Of Bridges (1915) to Tom with the inscription: "To my friend T.B. McQuesten 'Enthusiast' Hoping that the spans of Hamilton may rank with the noblest of these, September 1918." Cauchon often stayed at Whitehern when he was in Hamilton. Cauchon was Tom's visionary, and his mother's passion for beauty was his inspiration, see W7085. (See also, W7933, W-MCP1-3b.015).
3 This demonstrates Tom's interest in gardens. He was largely instrumental in developing the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton and the Niagara Parkway. See W7085, and his biography under "Family" on the Home Page.