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[Written at top] Perhaps you could find something else for E. to embroider.

W6694 TO HILDA MCQUESTEN from her mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 7 1911
To: Hilda McQuesten 'Whitehern' Jackson, St. Hamilon Ontario
From: Bayfield Ontario

My dearest Hilda,

We are just beginning now to feel, that we shall enjoy this place. The hot weather made our bed-rooms so stifling, that we did not know how to endure them and then the man of the house who is a bridge-builder came home on Saturday and stayed till yesterday. He is a quiet nice man, but in the heat, they could not go to bed early and were up again at five; then his horse was allowed to graze round the house all night, so we scarcely got a wink of sleep. I was not going to stay, for the woman also had got into her head, that moths come from outside, and we must not raise window above the screens about 10 in. deep and only one narrow window in each room, and as Miss Ferguson only paid her $1.50 for each room, she had determined, not to allow us in the parlour, as previous boarders had used her whole house, so there we were either to stay in these hot bed-rooms or outside in the fearful heat. So I told her and Miss F. too we couldn't stand it. On looking round I found Miss F. had sent us to the best house she had and I explained to Mrs. Weston, I had no intention whatever of using her whole house; only when it was very warm outside would like to sit in the parlour sometimes. The man has gone to be away for some weeks we understand and the weather is beautiful so we are quite cheered up. Poor Edna stood it as well as she could though we had got very homesick. Mrs. Weston is quite young and sick all the time and like Mrs. Bell very particular about her house and we are quite fortunate to have got here, in comparison with the other houses I see, do not know where the people go, little farm houses. The board has improved too since two gentlemen have arrived, an old man and his son-in-law, the latter is a musician a quiet gentlemanly man; then we have a Miss Baxter of London, pleasant girl and Mrs. Montrose from Saginaw She is a fine looking lady of 30, who plays well on the piano and is very agreeable indeed; more guests are expected. At Miss F.'s they have water in the house, so we can go there to get a bath, which is a great comfort to Edna.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Auxiliary meeting. The President, an elderly lady had known me at meetings for years, so of course she expected me to come & speak. It was a nice cool day, so I just told them of the Indian Schools; the Mission Band met afterwards so I told them too, so I didn't have to do any thinking.

So we do not feel so strange now. Next door live two nice old ladies with a pretty flower garden. Yesterday was great excitement; four lads almost lost off a sailboat in the lake, great friends of theirs. I found a great armful of papers at the P.O. this morning. A Herald from Mr. Murray besides the Times for four days, Globe for two, British Weekly, Presbyterian Thank you all very much, and particularly Tom for Globe & Times. We at once got into the hammock and proceeded to devour them. Was greatly shocked at the death of Wilcox. (His poor mother!) and all the fatalities. I was quite uneasy about you all, especially Tom who feels the heat so much, and I was afraid Hamilton would be fearfully hot, when it was so warm here. Of course all the people here said, they never had had any thing like it. The Mail comes at seven and nine in the evening, none in the morning and goes out by stage at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. We cannot go down to the Lake except in the evenings, it is too warm in the sun but there is generally a good breeze and the air is lovely. We can see the Lake from Edna's window, but we are not close and always have to climb steps to reach the beach. It is a sleepy little village no sidewalks or electric light.

It is terrible to read of the drouth [sic], Edna had a most comical poem from Mr. Murray in which he referred to "Sir Tom's grass as fresh and green as any ever sought or seen" "Alls well, your sisters well behaved, were cheering Miss the son of David." This was written on July 3rd in midst of all that fearful heat. Is not he wonderful? I am afraid there will just be nothing left of poor Mary. It is well she did the gooseberries, before the sun cooked them. We had raspberries yesterday for first time. Do not think you should buy any for cooking. Glad we got those cherries. Must close now with fondest love to all. E. has finished her centre piece.

Your loving mother

M.B. McQuesten

[P.S.] Send this on to Cal.

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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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