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W6020 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jan 30 1908
To: Calvin McQuesten Toronto Ontario
From: 'Whitehern'

My dearest Calvin,

We are still going on trying to get settled, and the girls have been working hard to straighten things, whilst I do the superintending of the various men. Monday Ross and his sons with two painters arrived first thing evidently determined to settle things. Once more the library ceiling was washed off and young Ross tackled the dining room wall, which had persisted in drying in streaks, his first coat did the same but afterwards his father assisted and found the right thing; then Ross Sen. [nufed?] the material for library ceiling and it is really perfect now. Just a sunset trick over it all, without any decoration, which will satisfy Tom and suits the paper perfectly. Miss Ramsay was here to-day and admired it extremely. Last night Mr. Gentle, whom I wanted to polish up sideboard &c., came in and I was quite upset to find the sideboard would have to be taken away and need about 5 weeks before being finished has to be scraped and cost about $13.00. If it had been standing on a carpet would not have looked so badly, but the fine hard wood floor was such a contrast. Then the ledges of the bookcases have to be scraped too, so very badly stained by the wine glasses of those wretches. The dining room carpet is beautiful, I think and when I went down to Watkins today, Mr. W. himself said he would not want any note for payment, my word was sufficient to pay on March lst. Yesterday poor Mary dusted all the books in the library, yesterday and to-day, and the carpet is down at last. All the carpets are down now and the pictures up in the dining room.

Last night when I locked the front door, the key broke off in my hand and there we were locked in, you can imagine the situation. This morning I had to hurry to the locksmith and the man had such a job to get off that lock, it was so provoking to have to upset it. I have great satisfaction with poor Aleck Gourlay, in fact he is almost too attentive to my wants. O, I must remember to say, it was alright about the coal with Fairgrieve, the price was the same as others but an extra 25 cts. for carrying coal in, $7.00 cash and he would be easy with me, $7.25 on credit.

Well, I think the miniature is now in a fair way to be good. Miss K. was here to-day and having friends to stay with, will come back in the morning and that will do I think. I am afraid, have been a difficult subject. We cannot the blind Providence that gave us such beautiful weather for moving and getting everything outside attended to; the baize door on too. This cold weather one does not want to have open doors. Another thing I was most pleased about, when Tom went off Monday the plumber was here looking for a gas leak under floor at foot of attic stairs. It was not there, but at last it was discovered in Grandpa's closet, a large leak. I was so afraid it might be in the walls where we could not reach it.

Our kitchen stove was not doing well at all, but on putting a ton of fresh coal it went alright. That in the coal bin was pretty dirty but it does very well in furnace and there is a lot of it, for which I am thankful The only part of the house which is bad now is the sitting room and it is the most wretched looking place. If it were not for the pictures it would be uninhabitable; but I try to think of the people in the shades and be thankful and have patience.

The dining room carpet only came to $57.00 by having the hard-wood floor. Well, I must close and go to bed. As the girls say, sometimes they have hopes, but other times it seems as if we would never be in order. But poor Ruby is just beginning to pick up again after her last turn which was a sort of grip, as she was over tired. She has no strength for work at all. Well, I trust you are both keeping well and clear of cold.

Your loving Mother

M.B. McQuesten

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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.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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