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W5030 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 23 1903
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec
From: 'Whitehern'

My dear dear Cal,

I scarcely know what I am to write about to-day we are just going on as usual. Had a letter from Hilda, this morning, they are enjoying themselves thoroughly. H. says it is wonderful to see those little boys even the four year old rowing and paddling themselves about, it is shallow water about a mile out so it is very safe. Helen and she rowed to Keswick to do their shopping and as they were looking at some things, Charlie & Edna appeared having rowed after them. They walked two miles to church along a lovely road and Mr. G. [Gartshore] conducted services in the afternoon and evening. H. likes them all so much but thinks it an immense family for poor Mrs. Gartshore always twelve and sometimes thirteen. Mrs. Dunton had just called with her little boy and they are to go over very soon. I wish Mrs. D. would take a fancy to H. & ask her to Montreal next winter. Mary is packing her trunk to go to-morrow. So I felt as if Ruby & I could not stick it out, so I have written to Port Carling to see if I could get rooms at a place there I heard of at quite remarkable rates, just in sight of where Mrs. Bell is. We want to go Monday but cannot tell till we hear.

It was good of you dear to offer me another ten, perhaps I may borrow it, as you will be wanting it perhaps later on for clothes and I do not know what Hedley's bill may be. I feel as if I were reckless, but thought I could make it up by end of the year. We will just stay two weeks and when I come home will probably be very short and will let you know.

Hope you enjoyed the trip to Oka, it is lovely when one can stand it, but I have made up my mind that what wears me out on the boat to Toronto is the want of my regular meals, at six o'clock I take my principal meal and on the boat do not get it and the long fast till after eight uses me up. We had a call from Mr. Colin Fletcher he only came back on Monday from the West inquired particularly for you of course and so did Mr. Gregory who called yesterday, they are leaving Mansewood in the autumn, he has no idea where they are going just yet. I understood he felt that they had been long enough there, the people are so set in their ways and one makes no impression on them. Alison is with Dr. Duncan, Mrs. Ross's brother in Chatham, he is in medicine you know. Like Mr. G. so much, do hope he will soon get some congenial change. Ethel Atkinson seemed quite astonished to hear you were in such fine quarters as Drummond St.

That was very interesting and worth knowing about Darcy McGee's death, because--one could see no reason why a man like that should have incurred the deep, ill will of any one.1 I was also most interested in reading Walsh's letters, particularly about the Sunlight soap people. I do think some of those British--English--manufacturers are the finest men in the world, so generous and kind.

The garden is just brilliant with hollyhocks, small sunflowers, poppies, nasturtiums and coreopsis and larkspur and sweet peas too with the mignonette, but oh the weeds, one can scarcely see the vegetables. My old gardener has proved such a trial, doesn't appear for days and one cannot get a man for love or money these Dumit[?] Works take all the men. Well, dear must close, glad to know you feel so well, it is a great blessing. With much love.

Your loving mother

M.B. McQuesten

1 Mary is commenting on an article that Calvin had written in "The Tatler" on McGee. Thomas D'Arcy McGee was assassinated in 1868 in Ottawa for his opposition to a threatened Fenian invasion of Canada.

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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.
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