W2499 TO MARY BAKER MCQUESTEN from her husband Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
May 16 1886
My own best Beloved
It is rather late to write you: about 11 p.m. But with the light outside it does not seem beddish [sic]--that is a good word--& last night I had a fine sleep & woke at 5:30 this a.m. feeling better than for weeks. Had a satisfactory day's work & conversation with Harvey.1 I think things are going to work right; that Lockhart is getting enough of [Millichamp?] and that we are going now to be able to run in a couple of classes of goods right along. I shall be glad to see Lockhart on Saturday. Harvey has been going for his price as he never has before. And with each one of us trying to get at what from his point of view is the weak spot; the [trash?] should finally be reached. King writes that he is getting stronger & better every day. Now what we want is a thorough weeding of the potato patch. Your father is getting quite well as to his hips & seem generally first-rate. Mary is closely watching Mrs. Ford; says she does not like soap but is very hard on it. Will enquire about diphtheria tomorrow, as have invited Dr. & Mrs. M. [likely Mullin] to have some broiled salmon with us. How I wish you were here to enjoy it. It would then be a treat indeed. Mrs. Jane Bell called at office to see about 3 Bold St. today.2 Will explain when I see you. Cannot come up tomorrow as I want to finish all possible work this week. Good night sweet, I do hope you are much better. Pears beginning to ripen.3
Yours as ever
1 John Harvey was one of Isaac's partners in the Hespeler textile mill as was J. Schofield. They ran the mill between 1881 and 1887 at which point they suffered bankruptcy, see W2652 and Isaac's biography. Isaac died very suddenly the following year after experiencing severe episodes of depression and insomnia. Although there is good reason to believe that Isaac had long suffered from manic depression (bipolar disorder) it seems this episode was aggravated by financial failure and possibly by his use of alcohol and pharmaceuticals. See W2511 and W2520 for details.
2 No doubt Isaac and Mary were planning to have her parents move from Toronto to Hamilton. Isaac eventually found the attached houses at No. 1 & 3 Bold St. in Hamilton, for both couples. Mary and Isaac moved to 1 Bold St. after their wedding on June 18, 1873 and moved into Whitehern in 1885, having inherited the property after the death of Isaac's father, Dr. Calvin McQuesten.
3 Pear trees have been growing on Whitehern property likely since 1852 when it came in the hands of the Dr. Calvin McQuesten and perhaps longer. See Box 09-233a.
The garden at Whitehern has been maintained as nearly as possible in its original state, and the museum is now named "Whitehern Historic House and Garden." It is one of the unique historic gardens in Canada.