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W5502 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jun 15 1906
To: Calvin McQuesten Macleod, Alberta
From: 'Whitehern'

My dearest Cal

Here I am at last and glad to be at home after five weeks of wandering. I cannot remember what I told you last, but think I told you of my long drive to Regina. Well, owing to a mud slide at Medicine Hat, my train on the Saturday was cancelled so I did not get to the Lake of the Woods at all, but went over to St. Boniface and wandered about the old cemetery. Then Monday morning we took the train to Fort William, we had a beautiful view of the Keewatin Lakes and the Kaurauistiqua River and reached Fort William at 9 p.m. We had to have three beds placed in parlour of C.P.R. Hotel, but were quite comfortable. Then Tuesday morning took the Steamer Manitoba, a most beautiful steamer and the lakes were smooth as glass and the steamer works with scarcely a tremor, so it is really a fine trip down through the Sault. Mr. Duncan, our minister there was on board, and gave me all the information about Cluquis[?] falls and the locks. We were two days and two nights on board, reaching Owen Sound on the Thursday morning (yesterday).1

We arrived at Toronto 1 p.m. Tom met me and we went up to Dr. Capon's for I wanted him to see my front tooth, then I went up to Mrs. Mackay's and had lunch. Maggie told me that Mrs. Senkler has tuberculosis, looks fearfully thin. Dr. Senkler is intemperative, altogether a most unhappy state of things. Well I left them in time for the five o'clock train and Tom saw me off. I was so happy to be on the way home. The [sets?] and expecting to be in time for tea with them all, when half way, something in the engine broke, another engine had to be sent for and we did not reach home till half past eight. However it was well, it was no worse. Found there had been a tornado in Hamilton, which took down entirely our poor cherry tree, took the centre out of one of the maples next it, and a branch out of another, still we escaped wonderfully. Hundreds of chimneys were blown down. Hatty Hope's house lost two and water got in and she was in bed from the fright. There was great destruction at Dundurn and elsewhere, but no one killed; elsewhere numbers were killed.

Edna looks fat and cheerful, but is still quiet and not inclined to do anything, but will be all right in time.2 Hilda goes to the Garthshore's for July and then to Bessie Richardson's. Mary wrote to Staney Brae and Mrs McK. wrote very kindly and gave her special rates ($16.00) as they liked you so much, and she is to have your room. We hear the Ham. Club is considering our place.3 Its roof was blown off, and a Bank is to build there, so Joe Thomson told Tom. I received all your letters finally; you must indeed have had a Melancholy time during those rainy days, but sleeping was just the thing for you. I am thankful you are feeling like yourself. The poor Marshalls were very unfortunate, some get on in the West, but a great many have a hard time. Would not live there for any thing. Mr. W.W. McLaren told me his liver was affected and his nerves had gone to pieces, but he was rather better. Well, we will be very busy, only two weeks to prepare for going away my report to give &c. I really wish I could stay at home, the place is lovely and I am tired of knocking about, but the girls must be rested. I told you Ruby is going to Quebec, first. I am so glad. With best love.

Your loving mother


Tom passed his exams and had got up higher by seventeen men than last time.

1 This is the final leg of Mary's trip to the West to inspect the missionary schools and outposts. See W5487 and others.

2 Edna's mental fragility is described in many other letters, see W5487, W2511, W5382, W5487, and others.

3 The Hamilton Club did rent Whitehern from April 1907 to January 1908. The McQuestens stayed in Oakville during that period and after they moved back into their home, they discovered that the house had been poorly kept and required significant repairs. See W5800 for more information and links.

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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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