Submitted by Carrie Layne Mashon - email@example.com
These are the letters that sparked my curiosity about my husbandís family. Submitted with permission from Charles Job, son of Mary (Mashon) Job
AUNT PANSYíS LETTERS
These letters were written to my husbandís Aunt Mary (Mashon) Job from Maryís Step-Aunt Pansy (Machon) Hawkins from Guernsey Cove. My husbandís family is descended from the second son of Daniel Machon who came from Guernsey to Prince Edward Island in 1806. His name was Henry Machon and he was married to Nancy Ann LeLacheur. My husbandís Great Grandfather, Charles Copp Machon was the seventh child of Henry Machon. Charles was married to Elizabeth MacIntosh. They had three sonís and a daughter,the daughter died when she was two. Sometime between the time their mother died in June of 1887 and when their father remarried in March of 1888 to Elizabeth Tweedy, the second two sonís, Henry Alexander and Charles Herbert left for Boston. Sometime in that time span,their names were changed, weíre not sure how this happened, probably due to a spelling error, but there is some minor evidence that some of the family changed the spellings because "Machon" sounded "too french". My husbandís Grandfather became Henry Alexander Mashon and his brother became Charles Herbert Marshon better known as Herb. The older Brother, Ben, came to Boston in 1890.
Because of health reasons, Henry Alexander Mashon and his wife, Ann (Donovan) came to Alberta, Canada. Henry never saw any of his family again. They had 12 children of which 3 had died. Our family had always known that there were two brothers of Grandpa Henryís but essentially knew extremely little about themÖÖuntil Aunt Pansyís LettersÖÖÖ
AUNT PANSYíS LETTERS:
(Spellings are the same as in the letters)
Letter from Charles Herbert Machon (His name was also spelled Marshon) to his brother, Henry Alexander Mashon.
March 19, 1921
I received your letter and was pleased to hear from you and that you are satisfied with the country out thear. I donít know how to get away from hear. Sarah donít want me to go for fear I wonít come back. And she wonít go, but I will get there just the same. All the building trades are on strike for the last 8 weeks, against 10 hrs reduction in pay . we received 1 dollar per hr double time for over time 40 hr. week it looks as if it is about over for the same pay. Well Henry you did not say how large a family you had. I have the same family as when you left hear. Mary is in a convent in Chicago, the last three years. The other 2 girls are home. Harold is growing to be quite a man. I was expecting you would take a run down this winter. Agnes the head nurse wrote to you last December but got no answer. She had a different address than mine. This country is in bad state at present. They are cutting wages all around . You can not see any difference in the cost of living. It looks as if the railroads are going out against a 20 hr (pr?) reduction but the fares and freight are going up again. our wages increased .65 per hr. living 1.31 per hr. I think it is about time to get out. If business would pick up and I was shure my gang would have plenty work I would start to-morrow. I did not see Ben since the first of the year. They were all well, his address is East Foxboro, Mass. Box 8?3. I would like very mutch to be starting in out there this spring.
H. C. Mashon
12 Cordis St.
Letter to Mary Job from Elizabeth Tweedy
(Charles Coppís second wife)
December 31, 1928
We were very pleased to get your presents last night. The only hankeys we got this Christmas, you said nothing of the box I sent . You should have it the 19th or 20th., likely you got it all right. I had a card from Albert. I wrote to your father when I sent the box. We also sent a box to Annie, thanks for the very nice hankeys we are proud of them. Tell your father that Bert Clements, his first cousin who went to live in Sask. about 8 or 9 years ago is dead, the flue is very bad everywhere, not so bad on the island, also diphtheria is in M.H. (Murray Harbour). No snow or ice yet and it is New Years Eve.
I never got so many cards and little tokens before, people must think it is the last Christmas I will see, and perhaps it is,(she died one month after this letter was written) well my dear, I hope you are all well and happy, for you will be old very soon, I think, your boys are doing well, Alberta is improving fast, it is destined to be the greatest of all the provinces, of course you know our King is very sick, we hope he will recover.
Dec 31, 1928
June 28, 1929
You will have to forgive me for not writing sooner, but I had that many letters to answer, after Mother died that I got sick and tired of writing. When mother was alive , she did all the letter writing. Nobody knows how I miss her, day and night, she is ever in my mind, but I have to still go on, and try and do my best to live as good a life as she did. I am sending you a little apron to embroider. If you are anything like I was at your age I just loved to do fancy work . In your next letter, tell me if you like to embroider and I will send you some pieces later. The little note is for Copps (Walter) to get some candy. How are the crops looking now? We had a very wet spring, rained everyday the first of May and now we are getting burnt out, for want of rain. We planted 1500 cabbage this weekend we have to haul water to them every night. I have 100 chickens and 2 ducks, do you keep ducks and geese? They are a lot of extra work but, make a good dinner in the fall. Have you got a radio now? Ours is doing great. This summer we get all the New York and Boston Stations, it is great company for me when I am alone. Our flower garden is doing great. In the snaps you sent us last fall, were they taken in your own garden? The flowers were lovely. looked like a experimental Station garden.
With love, Pansy
Dec 2, 1929
Just a few lines to tell you that I am sending a parcel to your father this week. It is a homemade rug made by his own Mother. When Mother got married there were rugs in the house, one for my father and one for each boy. She sent brother Ben his a few years ago, and last winter she said she was going to send Henry his this Xmas. So I am sending it this week, before the Xmas rush in the mail. If it is as cold in Alberta as it is here, you will need a lot of rugs to keep from freezing. We never had as cold weather for the time of year, the last two weeks has been real winter weather. I suppose you are all through thrashing. What kind of crop had you this year? It was a very good year on the Island, we would have had a better grain crop if we had of had more rain, but it is a good yield, only the straw is short. How is Annie and the children? It is a long time since I heard from her. It may be my turn to write to her but I have been so busy all summer that I get behind with my letter writing. I picked about twelve bushels of cranberries this fall, they were a good price 10 cents a pound . Do you have any cranberries out in your country. What are your brothers doing? Is any of them married yet? Since I last wrote to you we bought a car a one-seated Ford roadster. There is just the two of us , so we got a one-seater, my, they are a great way to get over the road. I am going to learn to drive next spring, Now please let me know if you get the parcel O.K. and you will hear from me before Xmas again.
love to all Pansy Hawkins
Your box came a few days ago. It took a long time to come. Many thanks for the lovely hankies, they were the only ones I got this Xmas. So they are very welcome. Hampden also sends thanks to brother Henry for his nice present, it was very kind of him to remember Hampden. I got a lot of nice presents this Xmas, I sent Annie a box, about the same time I sent yours, I wonder did she ever get it. Well, this time last year we had the flue, it was the 29th of January that Mother died, it has been a long sad year, but it is past, and I hope the New Year will not bring us so much sorrow. We have had cold and snow since the middle of November. What kind of a crop had you this last summer. Well I will close wishing you all a Happy New Year.
Your long looked for letter came at last. I thought you did not get my Xmas box when you did not write for so long. I had a letter from Annie a few days after Xmas. Was Santa good to you? I got about the same as other years. Many thanks for the nice box of hankies, It was very kind of you to send them in these hard times. Tell your father that I had a letter from brother Ben last week, and that his wife Fannie, died on the 11 day of January. You know she has been an invalid for near 30 years. Ben is going to live alone and carry on the best he can. His son and daughter is married and live near him. So they will help and his brother Herb is not far away and goes to see him often.
We have had a very nice winter so far, not very cold, and not a great lot of snow. We used our car till the week before Xmas, then we had a big storm and we had to put her away. It will be the middle of May before our roads will be fit for a car. My but I find the horses slow after having the car. You say horses are low out west, yet when they bring them to the Island we pay from 100 to 150 for a good one, and then the west horses donít do well here. They all take the heaves, the air is too heavy. Hampden bought a young horse 1 1/2 years old last week for $70.. Everything is down in price, pork is only 9 cents alive. Eggs, 24 cents, cream 36 cents and potatoes from 22 to 50 cents for seed. We have 80 loads of potatoes in the cellar, if the price was only good we would make a good lot of money. I have hooked one very pretty rug and braided one, and I am going to try and do two more if I can get the time, but I have a lot of work to do. H. (Hampden) has been in the woods cutting firewood. We burn all wood. I suppose you burn all coal. Is your radio working this winter? Ours is doing good work, I find it great company when we are alone at nights. Well I must close, write soon.
Love to all, Pansy H
January 16, 1935
You will have to forgive me for not writing sooner but right after Xmas I took pink-eye, and this is the first I have tryed to write. I had it very bad and it is a slow nasty thing. Hampden took it first. Everyone round here has had it. So we had to be in the style and have it to. I thank you and Alice both for the lovely scarf. and I am more than pleased to see that you do such neat work. In my younger days I used to do a lot of fine fancy work, till I over worked my eyes and now I have to go easy on the eye work, but I just love to (do) all kinds of fancy work.
I bet the kiddies had a great time with there Xmas tree. I hope Graces doll reached her in good shape. It is hard to send toys so far and not get them broke. What kind of a winter have you had? We had a very cold Dec. but no snow. Kept the car going till Xmas eve. but since the New Year we have had cold and snow, and the Gulf is full of ice. That is something you never saw is 30 or 40 miles of heavy drift ice. You canít travel on it for it is too rough. Ask your father and see if he remembers the gulf.
We sold eight fat pigs last week, we expect about 7 1/2 cents a lb live weight, so that is not too bad. But potatoes are only 15 cents a bushel and us with a cellar full. Guess we will have to feed them to the cows. Cream is now 22 a LB and eggs 28 and by the time the hens lay they will be 10 cents. Now next time I will write more for my eyes will be stronger. On your last card you did not say if you got my Xmas box. There were 4 dollar bills in it. So I hope you got it all right. I did not know what to send you so I sent a $1 and you could get some little extra. My next letter will be to Annie. I often think of you all and wonder how you are keeping agoing in these hard times. The papers has a lot of hard luck stories about out west and I suppose most of it is true. Write soon.
Love to all , Aunt Pansy
Letter from B. Herbert Machon (Pansy calls him Herbert) this is Benjamin Jameís son.
South Hamilton, Mass.
Sept 23, 1936.
Dear Aunt Pansy,
No doubt you will be surprised to hear from me, Well my news is not very cheerfull this time for father has passed away on Sept. 8, he died very sudden. Uncle Herbert was just out with him over the week end, he always went out every week end driving the summer months. Monday the 7th being Labor Day which is a Holiday here; Uncle was just about ready to leave for home that evening, when he noticed Father getting some soda and hot water, he said his stomach did not feel good; it did not seem to help him any so my sister came over later and they decided to send for the Doctor when he did not seem to get any better. The doctor seem to help him some and had a very good night. Uncle stayed until morning with him; He went home around six when my sister came over; and shortly after he left, he took another bad spell; and my sister run out to call the doctor and was only out a minute and when she came back he had passed on; He had been feeling fine right along so it was quite a shock to us all. He was buried side of Mother in Foxboro Massachusetts. The Doctor said he died from Neuralgia of the Heart, but it seemed more like Acute Indigestion to me for he eat quite a hearty meal that night.
Well Aunt Pansy if you know Uncle Henryís address will you please send it to me or let them know if you write to them. We have not heard from them for years so do not where they are now.
Lottie and I are both well we are still in the same place. We will soon start our 17th (or 12th handwriting is hard to read ) year hear. We are like the trees, I guess we keep getting older with the place. We had a very good summer here, I hope you had the same. Business has picked up here a lot and things seem to be getting back to better times again. Well I think I will close now, hope to here from you soon.
With love from your Nephew
B. Herbert Machon
May 11, 1936?
Your letter arrived last week, and I was more than glad to hear from you . I was delighted to get the snaps. My but you are a great family. Tell your Father I am proud of him, for having such a large nice looking family. He is the only Machon that had a large family. The rest only have a few, and some have not got one.
Well we had a funny winter. Very few cold days, and the month of March was just like May. Then April came cold and wet and now it is the 11 of May and we have no grain in yet. Last week we had a four days rain, and our land is wet and heavy. So we canít get on it yet. Last night it froze ice on the puddle. But I suppose it will dry up later. We always are later in the spring but we have a good crop when the fall comes.
I do hope you will all have a good crop this year. It was great that Jack had a good crop last year for they sure need a lot when they have all those babies to look after. I donít know what Annie would do if she did not have you to help her out; it is wonderful how soon Gracie will be big enough to help. I am sending a little parcel to Gracie soon. Just a bit of (? illegible) for a dress. You will be able to make it for her, as I donít know just how big she is. I got pink as that seems to be the color she likes. Did I ever tell you that I took a trip to Boston last winter? I went on an excursion and it only cost $13.00 and I was only away a week, I went to see my Aunt Pensy, she is my only living Aunt on Mother side. When I got to Boston, Aunt was very sick so that took all the good out of my trip. But she is better now. I left a good hired girl with Hampden and we had our hired boy all winter. So I did not have to worrie over the work. I think I would go crazy if I had to live in a city. The noise and rush would drive me crazy. And I would not like to live away from the Ocean. I have always had the water and fishing boats and I sure would miss the water.
What are you getting for potatoes. They are 90 cents a bushel here and last spring they were 12 cents. So you see the good liberal government has done that much good. How is the Social Credit coming? Jim Darby was home from the west and he was going round speaking on the Social credit he got big crowds to hear him, but he was kind of wild in some of his statements and some men in the hall went against him, and they had it out hot and heavy. I donít think it will ever work, it would be great if it did. I was looking up your fathers age in the Bible yesterday, he is 67. He was born in November 1869. So I think it is time he came back to see his old home or he will be to old to come . Get the boys to bring the car and load her up and come. My but I would love to see you all and I will yet if I live. This little bill is for a bit of print for a dress or a pair of hose, or anything you like. Write often as I love to hear from you all.
Love to all Aunt Pansy.
Wednesday, July 14, 1937
I donít know who wrote last but it is a long time since I have heard from you. We often wonder what kind of a spring and summer you are having. We never had so much rain. It rained nearly every day in June We had a terrible time trying to get the crop in. It donít seem fair for one part of the country to be flooded out and lots of parts burnt out, for my part I would take the rain. Hampden says he would rather have the drought. But if he was burnt out a few years he would change his mind. Last week we had a terrible thunder storm. I never saw as bad a storm. A big barn about a mile from us was struck and burnt. and a small barn went too. They had hard work to save the house. We have started to haymake, and we have an extra good crop of hay this year, if we can only get dry weather to make it, but if it is wet, it takes so long to get it saved.
Tell your father that Reuben Machon died a few weeks ago. he had cancer for sometime. He went to the hospitable (hospital) and had an operation, but it was too far gone. They could not save him. He has no family. So his widow is going to sell the farm. Tell your father he had better come home and buy it and spend the rest of his days in piece (peace), it is a lovely farm home, one of the best in Murray Harbor. I hear they want $5000.00 for it, but no one can pay that for it, when money is so hard to get. Reubens brother Walter died in the early spring. There is only two of the family left. I suppose Annieís children are having there vacation now. I wish you would send me a snap of them. I would know then what to get them for Xmas. For it will not be long till Xmas will be here again, as a person gets older, every year gets shorter.
Have you good luck with your chickens this spring. I have 90 from nine hens, but I had poor luck with my ducks and geese. Everyone was the same, just a few. I will miss my goose money next Xmas, but if nothing happens we will have a good crop of cranberries this year. We only had a few last year, but if the frost donít come before they are ripe, we are going to have a lot. I had a nice bed of strawberries this year. (rest of letter is missing)
Was very glad to get your last letter. I had to write two letters to Alice, She thought she had found a new relation and she wrote to me for past history of the Machon Family. Her Mr. Machon may be related, but if he is, it is very far back. I am sending you nearly the last piece of crocheting Mother did, ends for a scarf. You can get a piece of linen and embroider it and put the lace on the ends and you will have a keepsake to put in your hope chest and at the same time have it to remember Mother by. I have made two nice quilts this winter and hooked some chair seats, but it is hard to get time the work about the house takes near all my time. I was to Boston the first of Feb., just for a week. I had from Saturday morning till Tuesday night in Boston. Brother Benís boy, Herbert , came and took me to see his sister Ethel. She is married and has three little blackheaded girls. Herbert is married but has no family. Herbert also took me to see brother Herbert (Charles Herbert), My, he looks young for his age, about 65, but you would think he was only a few years older than me. We look very much alike, he is very jollie and nice. Seems to get good kick out of life. He has four grown up children. The oldest girl is a Nun. The others are married, and the youngest is a boy called Harold. The youngest girl is called Bertha, she is a real Machon, you would know her anywhere, by her eyes. I had a great time and hope some time to go and see them again, Brother Benís boy is lovely. I never met a nicer young man. I wish you lived nearer, and I would go and see you all. I am sure proud of all my kinsmen. Do you ever hear our "Islanders" on the radio?
They are on the network this winter, every Monday night at 8. We get a nice program every Sunday night from Winnipeg. The "Bronsen Family." Then we have Tex Chochern three nights a week. We enjoy the radio very much in winter, but when spring comes, we donít get time to listen, for when night comes we are tired and go to bed. I had no idea that you were 24, it donít seem only a few years since you were a very little girl. I was married at 25, so I came very near being an old maid. But it is young enough, for at 24 there is not so much danger of doing anything in haste and being sorrie the rest of your life. Down here they get married when they are kids, with not a cent to live on and no place of there own. There are about 10 young couples right handy us, all without a place to call home. If the fishing is not good this year, I donít know what will get them.
I suppose they are getting ready to go on the land out your way, it will be a month or more before we will get on our wet land,
Well I must close for this time. Hope you all have a very Happy Easter.
Love to all,
Hope you like this dress clasp, I got it in Boston.
It is so long since I had a letter from you, it looks like you have forgotten me. Well Xmas is with us again, I am going to send a box to Anniesí children this week so as they will get it before they go to Grandmas for Xmas. I will send yours and Alices to Dorothy. For I know you will all be home for Xmas. Tell Annie I received her letter and was very glad to hear from her. Also the snap of the children. They are three lovely little children. I would like to have a snap of them all together. They put me in mind of stair steps, each one a few inches higher.
I am glad you all had so good a crop. Now if you only can get another good crop next year, you will be on the top of the world again.
We had a good crop of everything but potatoes, our vegetables were extra. We sold 2500 cabbage and 3 tons of parsnips and 2 tons of carrots and a lot of beets. But we had all kinds of bugs and worms to fight. We had a hard job to get the army worm under control, but we used bran and paris green. They did not hurt the grain, only cleaned the leaves off the straw. I hope they do not come back next year. We have had two terrible snow storms, the wind was 56 for a while, but today it is raining, it is years since we had snow and cold so early, it did a lot of damage to vessels and boats, also bridges and warfs.
I feel in my bones that this is the last Xmas, you will be Miss Machon, you are about the age I was when I got married, I was 25 and Hampden 35. That was old for round here. Lots get married at about 15 and never stop to think what they are going to live on, that is why we have so many young people with no home.
I am sending Gracie a parka hood. Hope she likes it, they are a great warm rig to go to school, a lot of the little girls have them this winter.
I am trying to write this and listen to the radio at the same time. There has been great programs all fall. Now I hope the children will get there box before Xmas and that you all have a very Happy Xmas.
I think it is about high time I wrote and thanked you and Annie for the lovely Xmas present, it surely is a beauty, and I thank you both very much for it.
Your letter came yesterday, my, but you must have a busy time Xmas, getting all your geese and Turkeys cooked. What was the price of geese this year. They went as high as$5.00 in the market, but when a goose goes to five dollars, it is far too much. I asked $1.75 for mine and they were good. Some dressed as high as 14 lbs. Chicken is 18 cents a lb at the canning factory. They put up tons. They got a lot of western chicken, but it did not turn out good. A lot of T.B. One day they had to burn 70, so that is a dead loss to them.
You said in one of your letters that you had been to a beauty shop and got a permanent, well I sure pity you, for it is a terrible experience. I never had my hair bobbed till I went to Boston last winter, and I was tired of being the only young woman around here with her hair long. So I got it cut and a permanent and it stayed good for months, my hair is very fine and a slight curl in it, so before Xmas I went to town an got another permanent, but I donít think it is going to last like the first one. But you have nice thick hair and I know you must look great with it curled. You must send me some snaps taken with your new camera. Do they go crazy over hockey out in your country? Just as soon as the ices makes, they go wild down here, even the little kids are hockey mad. We have had lots of cold weather to make ice, but very little snow. The cars are still able to run. When I sent your bedspread I forgot to send the chart so am sending it now. I hardly ever go by the chart. I wonder if Alice would like a bedspread next Xmas or does she do fancy work. I suppose she has very little time for that kind of work. I am making a patchwork quilt in my spare time. Later I will hook a mat if nothing turns up.
The men are busy cutting wood. We have lots of wood on our farm. We never burn coal in the kitchen stove but we burn some coal in the dining room stove.
How did the childrenís mitts fit? I hope they were big enough. I never liked to knit. Mother always did the knitting, she just loved to knit. I thought your Mother was older than 61. She is a good bit younger than Henry. Hampden is 10 years older than I am, he was 57, the 19 of December. Now tell Annie I will write to her next, and I hope to hear from you soon again,
Love to all,
March 26, 1939
I suppose by this time you are enjoying nice spring weather. We had no snow all winter till last week and now we are having real winter weather, it snow all last Sunday, and turned cold, and now we have good sleigh roads. It stopped the cars, the first time this winter. We were to church today with the horse and sleigh, and it seemed so slow after being used to the car. There was only a few out to church this morning, they just wonít go to church in the morning, but at night we have a big crowd. We try to go every Sunday, if we can get away.
I have just finished hooking my second mat, it was a good big one. So now I will quit and think about housecleaning. Some of our smart neighbors are done housecleaning, but I always wait till it gets warm so we can take down the extra stoves.
The excitement of the hockey is about over for this winter, and now they are going crazy over credit union. I donít know if it is going to be any benefit or not. The government gave relief money to the fishermen this winter, and there were men getting it that did not even own a boat. It was about 12 dollars a month. Last week there was a young couple get married, he paid the wedding expenses with relief money. Now I wonder what they think they are going to live on. I suppose they think that they can live on love, but I am afraid they will find out soon that it takes work as well as love to make a home. I think you are very wise to wait till you have something to live on before you take the leap into wedded life. If all your brothers lived here, they would all be married with about 8-12 kids. I often think of them and wonder about all of them being single. In a few days I am sending a small parcel to Annie, in it is a pair of old vases, they were your grandmothers, not my mother but your Fatherís Mother. Some day show them to your father and ask him if he remembers them, they are only small and very old and I thought you might like them for your hope chest. Alice tells me she has no hope chest. I guess that her time is short for fancy work. But I know she does some nice work. You are both extra good at fancy work. I can tell by what you have sent me.
Love to all,
August 6, 1939
This is a lovely cool Sunday after a big rain yesterday. We were over three weeks without a drop of rain and everything was burning up. But yesterday it started to rain and kept it up all day. We have extra good crops this year. The grain is as high as the fence, and the potatoes are wonderful, if they only donít take the late blight. A dry year we always have a good crop for our land is so wet. We finished haymaking last week. We had 65 big loads and left a lot standing for to cut for hayseed. One year we sold $200.00 worth of hay seed.
So far the army worm has not turned up and I think it is getting late for them. It will be a great blessing if we escape, for last year they were terrible. I hope the weather man has been good to you and that you will all have an extra crop. I suppose the children are having a great time with no school. Our school has two months vacation this year and no two weeks in the fall like they used to have. We have a lot of young teachers that canít get schools, every year there is a lot of new ones coming in and no schools for them.
Have you a good crop of wild berries this year? We have very few blueberries and no wild raspberries. The late frost killed the bloom. We have some cherries and the apples are a good crop. Do you grow cherries, I just love them, and they are very easy to grow. We have had new beets and carrots and beans. It is very early for us to have new vegetables. I bet your father had them long ago. In about another week we will have new potatoes, and they canít come any to soon for our old ones are getting bad.
We sold our spring pigs last week, we got $11.40 a hundred for them. Last year we got $14.00, and it makes a lot of difference on a lot of pigs. We had 14 little pigs last week. I wish you were here to take in our big exhibition, it starts next Monday and lasts till Friday. It is a big affair open to the Dominion, so a lot of the exhibits comes from far away. The fancy work is wonderful and the flowers. I am going in for a day this year. It is four years since I was to an exhibition. I did not go to see the King, but Hampden did, it was a terrible rain storm and they drove through the streets so fast that the people only got a fleeting glance at them. It was the largest crowd that was ever in Charlottetown. All the good clothes and hats that got ruined that day. I wonder how many times the King and Queen had there pictures taken this summer.
I thought you were going to take some snaps of Annies children with your new camera for me this summer. I want to see how big they are. You know it will soon be time for me to start my knitting, for Xmas will soon be here. How are you getting on with your bedspread? If you are as busy as I am you donít get much time for fancy work. It seems there is always something going on.
There was a big tea party at the Harbour and boat race. They made over a thousand dollars, and still they will say there is hard times. They spend all they make in the summer and go on relief in the winter. Write soon.
Love to All,
October 7, 1939
Your welcome letter and snaps arrived not long ago, my the snaps are great. I am sure proud to have so good looking nieces and nephews. I had no idea Walter was so tall. it only seems a few years since he was a baby. I think the snap of Gordon and Shirley is lovely. I bet they did not like to part with there puppies.
Charlie is very like brother Benís Herbert. I cant tell you how sorrie I was to hear that the dry weather had taken your crop and there was such good prospects for a good crop. It does not seem right to take a persons crop year after year, when they need it so bad. W never had so dry a summer, we had no rain till about two weeks ago. But we had a lot the first of the summer and our land is very heavy and damp. So we had an extra good crop. We were digging potatoes two days this week. We had six pickers besides Hampden and our hired man and O, my, how they eat. The potatoes are a good crop this year and so dry. Last year they were so wet they were not fit to eat.
Has Will (Aunt Pansy calls Bill, Will. Bill is Mary Mashonís Brother) entered into wedded bliss yet? Perhaps if one boy gets married all the rest will follow. I hope they will have a very happy married life.
I do hope this terrible war will not take any of our loved ones. There are a lot of boys from here gone so far. Glad to hear that your Mother is doing well after her operation, she will likely be better than she has been for a long time. She sure got on great for a woman of her years. I just know how your father felt when they took her to the hospitable (hospital). He just felt that the bottom had dropped out of everything.
When I was into the exhibition in town I got a few hankies so am sending one to you and Annie. Tell Annie I will write to her next as I have no news for two letters at the same time. Write when you can, I love to hear from you.
(first part of letter missing)
had them the 4th of July, and I can get a good few off them yet. I started a big bed of raspberries this spring, so next year I will have a lot. We have very few cherries this year, a heavy frost came when they were in bloom, and they nearly all fell off. I like cherries best of all.
I am sending this letter to Dorothy and I suppose you are at Annies, but it will get to you in time. With lots of love to you all.
I got the surprise of my life when I received your letter. I had been expecting to hear that Alice was married, but I never thought of you. Well I wish you both a long wedded life of joy and happiness. When a young couple starts out with lots of love for one another, and good health, nothing else matters. It is not wealth and having everything you want that brings happiness (rest of letter is missing)
Aug. 14, 1940
I intended to write you last week. But there was a terrible accident, two young fishermen were drowned, Vernon Jordan and Jack White. Jordan leaves five children and White has a young wife, only twenty, and two babies. They were coming in with a boat-load of fish and a gale of wind struck them, and swamped them. They got Jacks body the next day but they are still trying for Jordans body. It is 47 years since there was a drownding accident. Jack White worked with us for the last 14 years, not all the time, but when we wanted an extra man. He was five years with us at one time. So we both are feeling very sad for we thought a lot of him. How is married life coming? I do hope your new hubby will not have to go to the war. Do you have showers for all the newlyweds? Down here they give them all kinds of presents, lots of the young couples have nothing to start with only what they pick up at the shower.
I am sending you this little bill to get something for your new home. The $2.50 gold piece was given to me when I got married for a good luck piece, so I am passing it on to you and I hope it brings you lots of good luck.
Later I am going to send you one of my patchwork quilts I made last winter. What is the matter with Alice? I have not heard from her for a long time. I hope I did not say something to make her mad. She used to be the best one to write. The days are getting cool now. It will soon be winter. We had a very hot, dry July and part of August, but this week we had a big rain. The first for a long time. The crops are all good and the vegetables are extra. I wish your Father could see our acre of garden. We have over 3000 cabbage and the carrots and beets and parsnips are wonderful this year. Now please write me all the wedding news.
This is my first letter in the New Year. Your lovely scarf arrived last week and I have seen a lot of very pretty scarfs, but I never saw one as lovely as the one you sent. You can get the prettiest things I ever saw. A thousand thanks for your kindness. I suppose you had a very Happy Xmas. There is always a good time at Xmas when there is a big family like yours. I had a long letter from Annie, she says Gordon is no better and I was very sorrie to hear it. It is strange why she is so set on not taking Gordon to a good Dr. It is all right for her to pray for him, but he needs more than prayers. She sure has a strange religion, but donít tell her that I ever said anything about her outlook on life. We have had a very cold Fall, but very little snow. The cars are still going, and I hope they will be able to run another month. That would make the winter a lot shorter. I just hate to drive after a horse. It seems so slow.
Well I have all my geese, ducks and chicken sold for this fall. There was good sale this year. I sold my geese for 20 cents a lb dressed, ducks a dollar a piece, and chicken, 21 to 23 cents a lb. I got $37.00 for 34 chickens So I did good this fall. We get 37cents a lb for cream and 32cents for eggs, but potatoes are only 25 cents a bushel, and we have a lot for sale, but they may go up before spring.
We are milking 10 cows this winter so we get a lot of cream. I always like to milk in the winter, but I sure hate to have to milk a bunch of cows in the hot summer when the flys are bad.
I suppose Walter has his 30 days training in by this time, a lot of our boys of the 23 year class, are going for there 30 days the 10th of January. I wonder if old Hitler will be put off the map in 1941. I hope he gets what he deserves, and that will be H--- fire for that is what is coming to him. Now write and tell me all about your Xmas, and what your are doing. I think I will hook a mat this winter, if my eyes donít get too bad when the white snow comes. Now I hope you will have happiness in the New Year.
March 3, 1941
This is just a few lines to tell you that you nearly lost your Aunt Pansy since I last wrote to you. The third week of January I was taken ill with spinal mengetis (meningitis). There was a big snow storm on at the time and they could not get me to the hospitable (hospital) by train. They thought perhaps a plane could make it but the storm was too bad. So the best they could do was get our Dr. and a trained nurse, I fought a good fight, and am now on the road__________page was cut off_________was with me three weeks. I have been five weeks in bed but am getting up now. But I am terrible weak, but still have much to be thankful for. I am not going to be crippled anyway. Lots of people never walk again, but thank the Lord I am OK.
Blanch LeLacheur, Aunt Maria Howeís daughter stayed and done the housework for a month. She was wonderful, so kind and nice, she left her own boys to look after themselves. We were always like sisters. I have_______page cut off______if she will only stay.
The Dr. says I will have to rest for 6 months. But I know that I will have to work long before that. My eyes are very weak. When I get able, I am going to town for glasses. No one will ever know where I got the germ. I was no place and no one was here. The next case was 20 miles away. I think I just took it out of the air. There has been a lot of cases in town. Some died with it. All the cases was far apart. It seems so strange for me not to be able to fly around and do the work.
I received your letter and nice valentines. Many thanks, I do hope your father is over the flue. For it sure takes the good out of a person. You can give this letter to Alice. I will write to her before long. If I could read and write, the time would not seem so long, but the orders are complete rest or suffer for it later. So goodbye for the present.
Love to all,
No post date for this letter, am assuming it was before Alices marriage and before Pansyís anniversary
Dear Alice (Maryís sister)
This is another wet Sunday, it has rained all day, so we did not get to church and the day is so long when one has to stay home all day. The radio is good company, but we get tired of it.
Well the snow is nearly all gone, you may say we had not snow this winter, and our coldest day was only 2 below zero. So take it all round we had a very mild winter, but we will likely have a cold wet spring.
The cars have been running all winter but when the frost comes out they will have to stop till the roads dry up.
I suppose by this time you are getting a lot more trade at the store. Round here the spring is the busy time at the stores. So meny fishermen getting ready for there spring work.
In your last letter you asked me if I played cards. When mother was a girl, playing cards and dancing were not allowed in the methodist church. Therefore she was always true to her church, and brought me up the same way. But I can see no harm in a game of cards, if there is no betting and cheating. As for dancing, if I was younger I would take dancing lessons, for I just love to see good dancing. As a rule the Machons are not given to music. How about your family? How meny of you can sing or play?
In one of your letters you spoke of Will (Bill) as your second oldest brother, I always thought Albert was next to Charlie. Some time when you have time I wish you would send me a list of all your names and ages so I can see just how you all stand.
I have hooked two nice rugs this winter, and now it is nearly housecleaning time and after that the springs work will be on again, ducks, geese, chickens and everything all at once. I do hope we will not have armyworms to fight this summer, for they are worst pest yet. Now I hope your Father and Mother and all the family are well. So far we have both been well all winter.
April 25, 1941
I was glad to get your letter, also one from Annie. She says Gordon is doing great this winter, but she still thinks the Dr. nearly killed him and I think it was the Dr. helped him. I am sorrie she has gone off on that healing by prayer. I believe in prayer, but you have to make a ___? for your life, prayer alone without Dr. and medicine will not save a person. I know if I had not had a good old Dr. right at the first of my sickness, I would have been dead in about two days. I am feeling a lot better, than I was before I took sick. I always had a terrible headache, and the tablets I took for the Spinal cured the headache, and it is great not to be always suffering. There has been several new cases of spinal on the Island and two more deaths from it. It is strange there are never two cases in the one place. Always 20- 30 miles apart. I think it is in the air, for I was no place to get it. Well the long snowey winter is over, the snow is all gone, only a few old banks. Today is a big rainstorm, the cars are on the go. We will take ours out next week. Then I will be able to go to town for my glasses, and lower teeth. I just hate to get my teeth for it is terrible till a person gets used to them.
I have been housecleaning, but I have to go slow, but I got two rooms papered and fixed up last week. This week I am going to paper the dining room. Every room is just black. We had so much extra fires on this winter, but by doing a little at a time and stopping when I get tired, I will get it all done soon. I had a good woman for two months, but now the lobster factorys are starting, you canít get a girl, anyway I would rather do the work myself, than be always telling a girl what to do.
I made two braided rugs and finished a quilt while I was not able to do any work. I just canít be idel (idle) , that is the trouble with the Machonís. Aunt Maria Howe is 84 and she is up the first every morning. I wish our hired boy was half as smart for we have to call him four or five times before he will get up, he has an old car and travels half the night and the next day is as lazy as sin, but boys are hard to get now so we have to put up with him. Nearly all the young men have gone to the war, and if it keeps on, I donít know what the end will be.
I suppose your father is busy getting his garden in. I am very glad he got all over his flu, and I hope your mother is feeling better by this.
It will be about two weeks before we will be able to work on the land. Last week the men were grading potatoes, we have about 400 bags full, but they are only 30 cents a bushel, strange when a person has a good crop, the price goes down. We are getting 36 cents for cream, 18 cents for the ---? eggs and (illegible). We had 9 cows milking all winter and we made good out of them. Now I must close, write soon.
August 17, 1941
It is long ago I should have answered your last letter, but better late than never. Thanks for the snaps they are extra good. I sent the one of your six brothers away to get enlarged. Tell your Father he has done a lot for his King and country when he is the father of six as fine looking boys as he has, to say nothing of the three nice girls, he has every reason to be proud of you all.
I wonder what kind of weather you are having. We never had so much rain, we started the hay early and got it in, but the people that left it till later are not done yet. We will have one fine day, then three days rain. Our grain is all lying down and if it keeps on up we will never get a binder on. The water is laying in the potatoe drills. Our vegetables are extra good, if only we had a few days warm weather. I wish you could see our 3000 cabbages, they are wonderful. It is strange, one part of Canada burning up and other parts being flooded out.
We sold our pigs last week they are $13.75 a hundred, our young sow had 14 little pigs and saved them all. They are three weeks old and large for there age.
We are getting 35cents for cream and 32cents for eggs. That is a lot better than last year, but everything we have to buy has gone up so a person is no better off.
I suppose you are busy making jam and canning. I put a lot of strawberries and some raspberries, and gooseberries,, I only had four bottles of cherries this year. I just love cherry jam. There is going to be a lot of plums and apples. Last year there were no apples, and how we did miss them.
I got dinner ready for company today, my cousins from Charlottetown, I got up a big chicken dinner, and now it is a thunderstorm, so I will have to get another dinner for next Sunday. We will be eating chicken for the next three days. I have over a hundred nice big chickens, and 20 geese, and do they eat.
I have not heard from Annie for a long time. I do hope they will keep on Dr.ing Gordon. She has a long tale of woe about the Dr. making him worse, but she should know that the Dr. will help him, her cure by prayer may be allright but it will never cure Gordon.
Last week I had a spell housecleaning, I painted the kitchen and poarch, it is a funny time of the year to be housecleaning. But in the Fall we always have a lot of extra work with the vegetables and the potatoes. So I thought now is the time when there is a slack spell.
I feel a lot more like working now than I did this time last year. My headache has never came back and it is like heaven to be rid of it. I am really in better health, than I was before I took sick. But I have to go easy, for if I get too smart, I tire out and my legs get sore. So I take my time, and am able to keep my work well in hand. The fishermen have had a good summer, they got a good price for there lobsters, and now they are doing will with the cod and hake. Some days they get over a ton to a boat, they get a cent a lb out of the boat, but if they dry them they get six cents a lb, but the weather is so wet they canít get them dryed.
Did Walter have to go for the four months training yet? Nearly all our boys are gone now, and the first thing they do is get married, I wonder after the war is over what they will all do to keep there families. Now I hope you are all well and happy. My next letter will be to Alice.
Love to all,
Jan 2, 1942
Your lovely gift arrived a few days before Xmas, and a thousand thanks. I have wanted a lace tablecloth for a long time, but everytime I thought of buying one there was always something else that had to be got. What kind of a day had you Xmas? It was very quiet here, a dark rainy day. Since Xmas we have had fine weather. There was a three day snow storm the third week of Dec. but the snow has gone, only a few banks left and we are going to the Harbour tonight with the car. Well we have got all our geese, ducks and chickens sold for this year. I got 22 cents lb for the geese. The 17 made $44.50, and the ducks, 20 cents a lb and chickens, 24 cents a lb. Our hens are laying good all winter, eggs are 37cent for grade "A".
Last week H. (Hampden) sold all the pigs but two, so we will have a rest now for a few weeks. H. was cutting firewood last week. We burn all wood for we have lots on our own land. Now I am sending this to Dorothy, for I am not sure where you are, I will write more next time, this is just a thank-you note. Happy New Year to you both.
Feb 9, 1942
Do you know that I have not had a letter from you since a long while before Xmas. I wonder if you got the little box I sent you for Xmas. I had a letter from Annie and one from Alice but if you wrote your letter has gone astray.
We are having a rainstorm today, but we have had a cold snowy winter, but a lot better than last winter.
I have been wondering if Walter has been called yet, a lot of the boys around here, got there call last week. I wonder when it will be all over, not for a long time yet, it may take years. Tell your father that Aunt Maria Howe, is not very well, she is just fading out. She was 84 in January and was right smart until last fall. She is the last of the old Machon family. It donít take long to get old I am 50 in April, but I donít feel that old, it only seems like a few years ago that you and Alice was little kids and now you are all married, and Annie has a girl old enough to be married. Time sure goes fast.
Had a letter from Ethel Dixon, brother Benís girl, she has three girls, the youngest is 15. They are called Elizabeth, Evelyn and Eleanor, She was strong on the "E"s. They were nice looking, very dark with black eyes, there father is dark, he looks like he had some foreign blood in him. Now write soon, and tell me all the news.
July 18, 1942
I was never so long before that I have not had a letter from some of you. I wrote to Alice about a month ago, but she never answered. So I am beginning to wonder what is going on. Did Jim have to go to the army yet, I hope not. Nearly all the boys around here have been called. Some of them got a postponement for a few months. It is just impossible to get a man to do a days work, Hampden and Dingwell have had to make all the hay, themselves. I drive the horse in the hayfork, and help all I can. It has been wonderful weather for haymaking, but we never had as dry a summer. We have had no rain for weeks, everything is drying up, and the crops looked so good before the dry weather. We now know what you fokes have gone through in the way of drought. It gets ready to rain and just gives a few drops, and then no more for another week. But I suppose we are so better off than lots of the poor people in the war countries, that we should not find fault with the weather. There are seven warships out in the gulf today, not far off shore. They are on the lookout for German subs. The Airplanes goes ahead of our two car ferry boats, every trip they make so you see that even our little Island is in danger, if they got our car ferry boat, then the Island would be cut off from the mainland. We have no war plants or factories on the Island, but there is a large airport at Summerside. I wonder what the end will be. We just have to win, but sometimes I just loose heart, for everything looks so dark at the present.
Our old sow that had the 19 little pigs in the spring had 18 last week, so she is doing all she can to win the war.
It has been a wonderful year for the fishermen, first they did good at the lobsters, and now some of them make 50 and 60 dollars a day. One man yesterday had $100.00 worth. They are a good price 2 1/2 cents at the boat. Last year was a poor year, and a lot of them had a hard time to keep going.
Tell your Father that Perly Harris is dead, he is Aunt Fannie Machonís boy and a first cousin of your father and me. He was 70 years old and took cancer in his head, he had three operations, but the last one was two handy his brain (too handy to his brain?) The hospital bill is terrible, he was there so long, it will be a way over a thousand, they charge $5.00 a day for a room and $5.00 for a nurse for 12 hours.
Aunt Maria Howe is very poorly. She donít get up now, her heart is bad. So some day soon she will be passing on. One of our neighbors died this week in the hayfield with a heart attack.
I do hope little Gordon is better this summer. I have not heard from Annie for ages. I suppose she is too busy to write, but they will soon have lots of help, it donít take long for kiddies to grow up.
Now I hope you will write soon and tell me all the news.
Love to all,
Dec 19, 1942
It is nearly six weeks since I sent to Eatons for your Xmas gift and yesterday they sent my money back and told me they could not fill my order. So this little gift is just all I could get at the present, if you have lots of towels you can give it to someone.
Well we have had a week of terrible cold weather, we never had it so cold this time of the year. It was 10 below zero today, and the wind is just a gale. We just had enough snow to make hard drifts to stop the cars, it is going to be a long winter when it started so early. I suppose you will be home for Xmas? Did Jim have to go to the army yet? The war is looking brighter and I hope that before next Xmas it will be over.
There is hardly a young man left around here, and if you hire a little boy, they want a mans pay. I had a letter from Alice last week and she said that your father was not feeling very good. I do hope he is better now. I bet he is feeling blue over Frank going to the army. It is not every man that has nine children, and have them all home for Xmas for so many years. If you lived down here you would have been all scattered long ago. How is Wills (Bill) little baby, I suppose it is running around by this time. I wish you would send me some snaps of Annies children, till I see how they are growing, I suppose Grace will be the next to get married, time goes so fast.
Now you must write after Xmas and tell me all about what kind of a good time you had. Now I hope that you and Jim have a very happy Xmas and a prosperous New Year.
No date, but before Henryís death in 1943
I hope this quilt will keep you nice and warm this wnter. I am sending this old picture to your father, it is Grandfather and Grandmother Machon. He would remember them, but they were both dead before I was born. Grandfather was six years old when they came to the Island from the Island of Gurnsey. Off the coast of France. They settled on the farm I am now living on. It was all forest then. They cut down the trees and made a log house. My father(Charles Copp Machon) was born in the old log house and they cut down the forest and stumped the land. At first they (rest of letter is missing)
April 1, 1943
Your letter received and thanks a million for the snaps, they are dandy. I am getting the one of Grace and Shirley enlarged, it is the most true to life picture I ever saw. I am sure if you sent the film to the Family Herald they would pay for it, that is the kind of pictures they want.
My, I got the surprise of my life when I heard Annie had another baby. I kind of thought Shirley was the last. It makes me feel very old when I think of Annie having a daughter old enough to be married, by her picture I would say she is a very nice looking young lady. There is few men got as nice a looking family as your father has. He can well be proud of them.
I know he feels terrible about Frank going, he has had all his family with him for so long, that it makes it all the harder to part with some of them now. It looks as though Alice is going to get ahead of you in the family line, hope you are not going to take after me in the family line. It has always been a great disappointment to me to have no family, but it just couldnít be helped. I see that they are going to keep you busy by the time you help them all. You never say a word about Bills little boy, he must be a nice little fellow by this time.
We did not have a stormy winter like you had. We had a few very cold days but Feb was nice and mild the 22 of Feb, I went down to the swamp and picked cranberries, but March has been colder, but the ground is bare and good car roads.
Last week our old sow had 19 little pigs, that is 56 she has had in three litters, but she can only look after 14, and that is a lot for her to feed. The last pigs we sold we got $16.20 a hundred for them. Cream is 49 cents. We milked nine good cows all winter. We always like our cows to milk in the winter, the price is always better, and it is good and cool to do the milking.
My two geese are laying, I set a hen on six goose eggs last week. I have about 85 hens, they have layed good all winter, but the price is down to 30 cents for the best grade. Potatoes are $1.10 a bushel. We had a good crop, but they had a lot of rot in them.
How many lambs have you this spring. We do not keep sheep, but there is good money in them, yarn is very dear now and very hard to get, I do not like to knit. Mother always did the knitting, so I did not start young enough.
Everyone is crazy over your coushin, it is lovely. I wish I had good eyesight for I love to do fancy work. I have made a very pretty quilt this winter, and braided two mats, I do a lot of work at the barn to help H. Our boy cut his foot and was home all winter so I had to do extra work. Write when you can.
Sept 23, 1943
Your letter rec. some time ago, and I was very glad to get the snaps of your Dad, for I had only one poor snap of him taken years ago, but these are good ones of him. I bet you had a hard job to get him to stand for to have his picture taken, for all the Machons I ever knew fled when they saw a camera coming.
I was very sorrie to hear that Frank had been on the sick list but I hope he is better by this time, and that he will soon be back home for good. The war is looking brighter but I think it is a long way from being over.
Well we know now what it is like to be hailed out. The third week of August a big thunder storm came up and then it got as dark as night, and then it started to hail. The fields were as white as winter, in some places the grain was left not fit to cut, our grain was hurt some and the vegetables were all cut, and the tops cut right off the potatoes. It is the first time we ever had the like on the Island, and I hope we will never have another storm like it.
There is a very poor crop of potatoes this year, they blighted early then we had several heavy frosts. Take it all round, we have had a funny summer and now it will soon be winter. How is Alice and the baby, it is a long time since I had a letter from her. I guess she has her hands full. I wonder if she got my last letter, I put a dollar bill in it for the baby. I have not heard from Annie since the baby was two weeks old, it must be a dear little baby by now. Is Grace going to school this year? We are very short of teachers on the Island, so many have gone to war jobs. There is a lot of schools closed this year.
Well, there is one job we will not get tired doing this fall, and that is making jam, my but it is terrible to have so little sugar, and fruit is not very plenty this year. Blueberries were going at 14 cents a lb, and they used to be as low as 2 cents. There is a good crop of apples and plums, my, I eat a lot of apples. I could just live on them.
Pears and peaches are 10 cents for one, so I just pass them by. The stores had no rasins all summer, last week they had a few boxes but they lasted about a day.
Did you drive the binder this harvest? It is so hard to get help. We have a hired man all the time, he has been with us eight years, but if we want an extra man, we have a hard job to get one, and the wages are so high. I do a lot of outside work. I have six calves this year. About a month ago we had a pair of twin calves, both heifers, so we kept them. My, but they are pretty, black and white and you canít tell them apart.
We are milking 9 cows this fall. Cream is 45 cents for best grade, and eggs are 45 cents for first grade. Our hens-------a day. Chicken has been 35 cents a lb. But it will be cheaper from now on. I had 95 chickens this summer, and 14 ducks, and 16 geese, and when they all get hungry, I often wish they were someplace else.
Last week a car went over my pet collie dog, and I miss him terrible, I will have to get another. There is a few fools around here with cars that goes about 90 and they donít care what they kill.
Now I hope you are all well and that I will hear from your or Alice soon.
December 9, 1943
Another year has passed away, and again it is Xmas. I sent to Eatons for gifts for you and Alice, and my money came back. You just canít get a thing you send for, so I am sending this little bill and you can get some little thing, that you want. It does not feel like Xmas this year, the weather has been so mild and very little snow. This time last year it was real winter. I suppose you will all be home for Xmas, poor Frank will be a lonesome boy this Xmas. You have been together so many years. But we hope he will be home for good before next Xmas. How is your father, I sent him a card and little bill for his birthday, I wonder if he got it.
Well a person will not get tired baken sweetcakes this Xmas, for we canít get sugar. I have a hard time to make the ration do. I can get on all right with the tea, for I always drink water myself. The men are cutting wood. It is great to have plenty of wood, for coal is so dear $11.00 a ton, and not good coal at that. We use all wood.
I have a terrible poor pen all it will do is blot. I hope you will take some snaps this Xmas. Can you get films, we canít. I would love a snap of Alices baby. She never sent me a picture of Chris yet. I suppose Annies baby will soon be walking time goes so fast.
Now I hope you all have a very Happy Xmas and I will be looking for a letter from you after Xmas.
December 28, 1943
Your letter arrived yesterday, also one from Alice, and my heart goes out to you all in this time of deep sorrow. I just know how you are all feeling, for I have passed through the same sorrow, it comes to us all. But donít think of your Father as being dead. He has only passed into a better world where there is no sorrow or pain, and it will not be long till our turn will come, and what a joy it will be to be safe with our loved ones again. I hope your mother is feeling better. It will take her a long time to get over the shock of your Fathers death. I suppose they have been married nearly fifty years.
There has been some flue around this winter, but not very bad. I do hope we can keep clear of it. About 20 years ago Hampdens Mother died with it, and his brother nearly died too. H. went and looked after them but he did not take it himself.
Where is Frank? Poor boy, he will feel so bad, and none of his own to talk about his sorrow. I do hope he will be spared to come back. There is two of our boys killed in(?)last week. I wonder when it will be over for it is terrible to think of what the poor boys are going through.
I suppose Annie is home yet, it was nice she got home before her father passed away. You always had a Happy Xmas, so many of you all together. This is the first year that you did not have a big day.
I suppose our two new babys are getting to be nice little lads by this time. It will not be long till they will be walking. How is Gordon, it is a long time since I have heard from him. I do hope he is getting better as he gets older.
We are having very cold windy weather, but not very much snow. The cars are running yet. Now this letter will do for you all if you are all home.
Tell Annie I received her lovely gift from Simpsons. She should not spend so much on me, when she has so many places for her money. I wonder if she got the little parcel I sent. Now I must close with love to you all.
(letter from Mrs. Bertha Plante, daughter of C. Herbert Marshon from Charlestown, MA)
January 10, 1944
Dear Cousin Mary:
Received your letter Dec.28 and were all very sorry to hear the news of Dadís brother and your Motherís sorrow. They took a lovely picture together for his age as he did work hard all his life. My father says heís(Henry) a few years older than him(C.Herbert). Dad is now 71 years old and still working doing carpenter work. He would never have a picture taken of himself all his life. I wish he would. We could send one to you. The boys are all wonderful in there pictures. Mother says for them to hurry up and get married, to keep the family name up. What is the matter with Charlie, are all the women scarce down there? I only have one brother and he is married. Just married five years. They have no family. Your cousin Herbert is married more than ten years and he has no family yet. We have just four in the family, three girls and one boy. Two boys died when babies, My oldest sister 46 years old is a nun in South America. She is gone 25 years last August. Dad didnít approve of her going but the world today is a blessing she did go. My other sister Celia is married and has two girls and a boy. The boy died when he was 13 years. If he had lived, he would be with all the young boys in the service. Bertha, myself, married, one girl. She has gone to work in telephone. She is an information operator. Celiaís oldest girl is 21. Just married.
Mother wants to know if you were all brought up Catholics. We are still praying for Dad to be one. We are having quite a lot of sickness around here like influenza. Many people are dying. I do hope mother will be all right and spared to you all. She is very pretty. Dad remembers Mr. Powell you spoke of. He stood up for him when he got married. Wishing all a Happy New Year and I remain you loving cousin, Mrs. Bertha Plante.
8 Cordis St.
January 9, 1944
Your lovely gifts came yesterday. They are both as pretty as they can be. The scarf is a beauty, and I will always treasure it for it is your fathers last present. Everyone is crazy over your coushins. There is none like them around here. So a thousand thanks. You are far too good to me. I do hope your Mother is getting better. You sure have had your share of trouble this Xmas. The flu is going around, but so far we have not got it. We are both well, and I hope we stay that way. I wrote to Herbert and told him about your father, so he will tell C. Herbert. I just hear from young Herbert once a year at Xmas.
I think of you all so often for I know just how you feel. You will miss your father so much, he was always there that you will look for him everytime you go home. It was so nice you could all be with him when he was sick.
March 6, 1944
Last week I received your letter and snaps. My, but I was glad to get the snaps and see the children. I think Willís (Bill"s) boy is a lovely child. Alice sent me a nice picture of her baby at Xmas. He is a very bright looking baby. And Annieís wee lady is very small but she will pull out later. I was so sorrie to hear that she has the exzema, fir it is a terrible thing when it gets bad, and so hard to get rid of. It may be caused by something she is eating, oatmeal gives it to a lot of children.
Do you know I never had a letter from Annie since the baby was two weeks old. I thought she would write at Xmas, but so far I have received no letter, I have written two or three letters to her. I wish you would find out what the matter is. I donít know of saying or doing anything to offend her. I hope your Mother is home before this, and that she is feeling better. I donít see why the army donít send Frank back to the farm, he would be doing a lot more to help the war than doing odd jobs in England, and if he was home he would soon get better. The climate in England is so damp, that half the boy gets is rheumatism. I do hope the war will soon end, for it is terrible, all the poor young men that are getting killed. Well we have had a cold stormy winter. Nearly every day in Feb. was stormy. Last week the train was stopped with snow for two days, and the mail man missed three days last week. We have only one car ferry steamer now, and she is laid up this week, with a broken propeller, So the only way to get off the Island is by plane. They are going to have a new steamer ready for next winter, but at present we are pretty well cut off from the outside. There is about 350 cars of freight waiting to come over.
My Aunt Pensy passed away two weeks ago, she was Mothers youngest sister, she has been in Boston for over forty years but she came home to her old home this fall. She was 80 years old. I was named after her, Pensy Tweedy. I only have one Aunt living now, Aunt Maria Howe, Dadís youngest sister, she is 86 but right smart and bright, I always take all the snaps you send up to her and she does enjoy looking at them.
I have made two quilts this winter, one for myself and one for the red cross, and now I am braiding some mats, by the time I get them finished, it will be time to start housecleaning. Now, write when you get time, I love to hear from you all.
February 6, 1947
I was so glad to get you last letter, also one from Alice and Grace, they all gave me good news, that you were some better, and I hope you are still on the up grade. Do try and take a good rest. I know how hard it is to see the work piling up and not be able to go to it. But you know there is a time when a person has to slow up. I have been through it so I just know how you feel. But keep your courage up and try and see the bright side of life, it helps a lot, donít give in and in time things will come your way. You know you have been doing far too much, they all look to you to help them out.
Have you much snow this winter? We have no snow now, the little we had is all gone the cars are still running.
Now I hope you will drop me a few lines, and let me know how you are.
March 1, 1947
You last letter received, also one from Alice, telling me about the children all having the scarlet fever, my, she must have had a terrible time. She also said that little Charles had it too. I hope he got all over it, for it often leaves something behind. A lot have bad ears and eyes. It is strange that you have had such a bad winter, and we had a real nice winter, only a few bad days. if it does get down below zero, it soon breaks down and gets mild.
My, but you are having a terrible time with Annie. I think you must be a smart nurse, to keep all her medicines right and not get them mixed up. It is strange that some of the Drs. canít do her good. Poor Jack must have a hard time, and poor little Gordon, I am so sorrie for him. How many children has Grace? You sent me a snap of the first baby, and he was a lovely baby, I have no snaps of the rest.
Well, it will soon be spring, that means that I will be housecleaning and looking after chicken and ducks. We had 12 little pigs last week, she saved them all, and it was a very cold day, that they came. Everything is going down in price, but what a person has to buy is still high. This little bill is for a treat for Charles, he is a lovely little man, you are sure lucky to have him, and I hope he will have a sister to play with. I always pity an only child. I know how lonesome they can be. Write when you can get time.
March 24, 1947
My but I was glad to get your letter and to hear that you are getting better and I do hope that you will obey the Dr.ís orders and not go to work too soon. It is far better to take a rest now and get your health back. I know how hard it is to see the work pileing up and everything going to the dogs. For I have had sick spells too and I started to work far too soon. There is a girl handy here with spinal mengitis, like I had. I am staying close to home for I donít want to take the chance of getting it again.
I hope your mother is getting better, it was just too bad that she had to get hurt, it is so hard for a person of her age to get over a bad break like she had. We had a lot of sleet this winter and I donít know how it was that I did not get my bones broke for I had lots of falls. We hear over the radio about the terrible time you are having in Alberta with the floods. Our gulf would have to rise a lot to overflow its banks. The bank along our farm is 60 ft. high, so I don think we need worrie over getting flooded.
Our young sow had 16 little pigs today, I hope she will save most of them for young pigs are a big price this spring. We have had five calves this spring, and expect more soon. I have seven calves drinking milk, but some are a year old. We are going to sell two soon. I hope you have good luck with your lambs. We do not keep sheep. I buy a fleece of wool and get it carded at the mill. I send in the wool and they send out the yarn. It is a lot cheaper than buying the yarn by the lb.
I braided three good sized mats for my kitchen last fall. I got wall board and covered the walls of my kitchen and papered it and I also got new doors and finish in douglas fir, and I just varnished it and now I have a nice new kitchen. We hope to have the electric lights this summer.
Thanks for the snap of baby Bruce, he is a darling. Grace sent me a picture of herself and husband, by, but Grace is nice looking. I think I have a fine looking lot of kinsman out west. I am sure proud of you all. Now write when you can and look in the sonnie side of life.
November 14, 1947
Your letter with the good news arrived a few days ago. It went astray and got to Montague, but after a long time it got to me, and I was sure glad to hear the baby had arrived and that you were both doing well. You are a very lucky girl to get better of your big sickness, and have a nice baby boy. I am very glad you called it Charles, it is an old Machon name and I hope you will call your first girl Elizabeth, after Mother. How many years have you been married? I had given up hopes long ago of you ever having a family, but you have been so good to Annieís and Aliceís children, that the Lord thought you deserved a family of your own. Last week I received a picture of Aliceís baby, my, but he is a dear little fellow. She has three lovely babys and I do hope the next will be a girl. How is Grace, I have not heard anything about her for a long time, also poor little Gordon, hope he is doing better. It will be nice for Alice to have Shirley with her for the winter.
Well it will soon be Xmas, how fast the time goes, please donít send me anything this year, for you have had a lot of extra expense this year. And everything is so dear and hard to get. This little bill is to get some thing for the baby. Did you get the little parcel I sent. Didnít Mother have a job to make that dress, with so many tucks. Well, we have had a lovely fall, dry and warm. We have all our work rounded up for the winter. So now I will close for this time and be good to yourself.
(no year for this letter, I am assuming it is 1948)
I have looked for a letter from you for months. It was long before Christmas that I heard from you. A few weeks before Xmas I sent you a letter with a little bill in it. I wonder if you ever got it? I registered the letter. I wonder if you have had as bad a winter as we have, just one big snow storm after the other, the roads just get shoveled out and the next day it will storm again, but it has not been very cold. There is one thing to be thankful for we have had no colds this winter. I often wonder if you ever got all your grain. We read in the paper about all the grain that is till in the fields.
How is Annie? is she still home, I sent her a parcel Xmas, but I never heard if she got it. I thought she might be able to write to me but so far I have had no letter. What a terrible life the poor girl has, to not be able to look after herself.
If I only had good eyesight, I could do lots of fancy work when it is so stormy, but I only can do a little at a time. So far I have made a quilt, and braided two mats, we now have electric power, my the lights are great, I got my gas washer turned into an electric. Later, I will get some more things to make work easier. It is great to have lots of light in the barn. How I pity the poor farmers that are loosing (losing) all there stock with the foot and mouth plague.
How is our little man, I bet he is some boy by this time, it will not be long till he will be off to school, have you a school handy?
Now it may be three days before I get this letter posted, for it is a raging snowstorm, the male (mail) missed three days last week. Hope to hear from you soon.
Love to all
June 18, 1951
I was very glad to get your letter and snaps. I think the snaps are all extra good. You made an extra good job of takeing them. They are all so clear, I think little prince Charles is a darling, and the new baby is just sweet. I see by the pictures you have on the walls, that you are like me, a lover of pictures, every nice picture I get, I frame it. I donít think a house is home without pictures and flowers, my, but you have a pretty carpet on the floor and nice coushions. So I think you have a very nice home. I was glad to get Annieís picture, but it nearly broke my heart to see her like she is. it is very strange why she had to loose (lose) her health when she was so badly needed. I donít know what would have happened if she did not have you and Alice to look after her, you have been a wonderful sister to her and the Lord will reward you for it before you die.
My, but Charles is growing, he is quite a man with his nice suit. It is great you can sew so nice. It saves a lot when cloths are so dear.
Well, we have had funny weather, no snow, a warm spring, we got all the grain in and the potatoes then it started to rain, and for two weeks we did not get on the land, rain every day. This week so far has been fine. We got the turnips in today, there is going to be wonderful hay this year, so much rain. Last night was the first night our young cattle stayed out, it was so wet and cold, we put them in every night. Beef is a terrible price, I donít know how they live in towns when everything is so high. I have 125 chickens, they were early, so I will have fall eggs. They are 55cents a dozen now. But if you have to buy feed, it takes the most of it.
The fox took my two old ducks, and I only have 25 young ones so far. The woods is full of foxes. When the price went down a lot of the ranchers opened the doors and let them go. (Fox ranches) Now they come right to the yard and take the ducks and hens. there is also a lot of skunks on the go. So it is hard to keep poultry. We are milking ten cows and raising 6 calves. Now I hope you are all well and that your Mother is feeling better. Now that the winter is over. This little bill is for a treat of candy or ice cream for the family. My, but I love ice cream. Write when you get time, but you must be a busy girl.
Love to all, Pansy
October 19, 1952
I never was so long looking for a letter from you. I wrote to you after I got your last letter and sent a little bill to Charles. I wonder if you ever received the letter. I often wonder how things are going. I suppose you had a good crop this year. We see by the papers about the big grain crop out west. We had a good crop of everything this year, the hay was wonderful, the grain good, and an extra crop of potatoes. We finished digging yesterday. We had 90 loads, they are $2.25 a bag and that is a big price for this time of year. We did not have as many vegetables in as last year, but what we had were good. How is Annie? I think of her so often and wonder how she spends her time. It must be terrible to see so many jobs that wants doing, and not be able to do them. Poor Jack, he must have it hard. I suppose Charles is a real cowboy by this time, he will soon be going to school, how you will miss him, it is too bad you are so far away from the school.
My, how fast time flys, it seems so short a time since Charles was a baby, it is high time he had a sister or brother for to play with, how I pity an only child. We have had a lovely fine summer and fall, no frost yet, my flowers are still blooming, we had a big wind storm, but it did not last long, and very little rain.
Now if you get this letter, I hope you will take a few minutes off and write and tell me what is going on
Love to all
(there is no year on this letter, assuming it is 1952)
Just a few lines to thank you for the lovely picture it came OK. My but I love to get pretty pictures. So you sent the very thing that I like best. I am always framing every nice picture, and there is nothing so nice as the Rockies. Some day I hope to see the real Rockies.
Well your big Xmas is over for another year. I hope you had better weather than you had last year. For the last month we have had real winter, cold and lots of snow, a person finds it cold after having so warm a fall. Last year we really had no winter, and when spring came it could not stop raining.
I had a short letter from Herbert Machon, Benís son, and he told me that brother Herbert and his wife both died over a year ago. I think they must be a strange bunch that they did not let me know and I am his only sister, you would think that Herbert would have sent me word. I wonder what happened him, he was 79. I am going to write to Herbert and find out and if he answers my letter, I will send his letter on to you, my three brothers are gone now. None of them lived to be old. Herbert was the only one I ever saw and he looked that much like me, that you would think we were twins. Your father had gone away before I was born and Ben was home when I was a baby. So they were strangers to me. Only for your brother Albert writing to Mother, we would never have met up with you folks. I have always been thankful that he wrote. I suppose Charles has had a big time lately, and what of poor Annie, how is she coming? If she could only walk, it is so hard for Jack to try and keep things going. Well I hope the New Year will bring you health and Happiness.
July 4, 1953
It is with a breaking heart that I am writing these few lines to tell you that Hampden passed away last Monday. He was in good health up to a week ago when he took a sick stomach and dysentery, we thought it was just what was going, he kept going round and doing some work, but he did not get his appetite back. So last Monday he was going to Murray River, and I got him to go and see the Dr. he said he thought it was just what was going, and that the worst was over, his blood was a little low, but not bad. He came home and ate not a bad dinner, then laid on the couch for a while, and then went out and did some work. Later he milked with me and did up the nights work and came in and went to bed. I got the paper for him and his glasses, then I went out to put my ducks in for the night. I was out about ten minutes and I came in a spoke to him, and he did not answer, so I went in and he was dead. He never moved a finger, just passed away, and he never had a thing wrong with his heart. I donít think I will ever get over the shock. If he had of been sick, I would have been looking for trouble, but for things to happen so quick, it is more than I can stand. I donít know what I will do, but one thing sure I will keep my home. We have a good hired boy that has been with H. for 16 years, so he knows how to farm. Now this is all I can write now. You tell Alice and the rest of the family. I will write later when I feel better.
November 28, 1953
It will not be long now till Xmas will be with us again, so I thought I had better send you this little bill to get something you would like for Xmas. I will send a box to Annie before long. I just hate to see Xmas come, for I am alone, and Oh, so lonely. You have no idea how I miss Hampden, and it seems to be getting worse all the time. I donít know how I am going to live through the long, lonely winter. As far as the farm work goes, we are getting on all right. I have a good man, he has been with us for 18 years. So he knows how to do all the work. I pay him $88.00 a month. We have had a lovely Nov. it has been so warm, the trees are coming in leaf again, no frost or snow yet. It will help to make the winter shorter. I have been in to town four times getting the estate settled up and as my heart has been kicking up all fall, I thought I had better settle up my own business. So I made my own will, and settled everything up so there will be no trouble if I should drop out in a hurry.
Now I hope you are all well and that you have a very Happy Xmas. I suppose that Charles will have a great time this Xmas, he is just the right age to enjoy Xmas.
Love to all, Pansy
January 14, 1954
I wonder if I ever wrote to you to thank you for your nice Xmas gift, it is so pretty and easy to keep clean, thanks a million. Well Xmas is over and I am glad, for it was a very sad and lonely Xmas for me. It was a nice warm day, we have had a very mild fall. Today is our first snowstorm but it is not cold, so I donít think the snow will stay. Last week we had rain for five days. You could not get a day to wash.
My, but you live a long way from school. I think you had better come to the Island to live, then you would have only one mile to go, and at the Harbor, they have a three roomed school and at Montague, they have a grade 11. You could make a good living and have a nice home, with all modern improvements, running water and electric lights, free for the taking. I think some of you fokes should plan to come next summer, just to see what a lovely place PEI is. It would not take long, and then you could say that you saw your Aunt Pansy. I may not be here very long for I have a very, very bad heart, and it has been kicking up bad lately. But I many live to be a 100. That is one thing we donít know, it is all in Gods hands.
I wonder if Annie got the parcel I sent? I sent it early so as she would have it for Xmas. I have had two letters from Herbert Machon. He wants me to go to Boston for a few weeks, but I canít leave the stock to the care of a hired man.
(no year on letter, assuming it is 1954)
Your last letter received, and I was very glad to her from you. I wrote to you twice since I sent the mat. I got one letter from you right after you got the mat. So your last letter never reached me. I wonder what gets some of your letters, and it is ages since I heard from Alice, I answered her last letter, but never heard from her. We have a good post office, I think it is at your end the trouble is.
Well we had a terrible hot dry summer, no rain in August and no sign of any yet. The ground is just like hot ashes and there is a terrible fire on the west end of the Island. So meny left without homes or anything. Its is too far away to reach us, but still it worries me.
The roads are so dusty, the pavement only comes two miles from us. So we still have the dust. Last week we had a bad car accident about a 1/4 mile away, a big truck ran into a car in the dust: one girl was hurt bad. Dingwell had to help get a Dr. and take some of them to the hospital, I donít know how they were not all killed, for the car was smashed to bits. Too much speed. They go like the wind.
Well school has started, and they built a large school in Montague 20 miles away, and all the grade 9-12 had to go to it by bus. I wonder how they will get there if there is a lot of snow this winter. We have a good crop of everything this year. The spring was so early, that the crops got a good start before the dry weather came. Everything is about a month ahead of other years. I wonder if Xmas will be a month early? If it is I will not be ready for it. I made a nice dresden plate quilt this summer, and now I have started another just to keep busy. I canít take it easy, like some people can, too much Machon in me.
I was glad to hear that your Mother was able to be back home. I had a card from Herbert and Lottie, I thought that they would be down to see me this year, but Lottie was not very well, she is not very well at any time. I like Herbert very much.
We have no polio around this year, and that is one thing to be thankful for. Dingwell got a combine this year, not a big one, but it made a good job of our grain, we could not get anyone to hire so we thought the best thing to do was get a combine and we have a bailer (baler). So Ding is all set.
Love to all, Pansy
March 12, 1955
Your last letter received and many thanks for the snaps. My but the children are growing up fast. Alices boys will soon be young men. I was so glad to get the snaps of Danís wedding. I think she is very nice looking and Dan seems to be very happy looking. I think he done a very wise thing to get married and have someone to look after him, and keep his house. I wish Charlie and Albert would get bit with the love bug too.
Well we have had a very long winter and you have had the same, only you had it ever since the last of Oct. I get letters from the Rev. W. MacPherson, he is in Wainwright and he gives me the weather report and he says it has been a long cold winter, de does not like the west, I think when his time is up he is coming back to the Island. His wife was born in Sask. but she is homesick for the Island. We have a nice minister now, he comes from Newfoundland, he has a wife and one little boy six years old.
What do you get for beef, I have some good steers this winter and buyer was here last week and his best price was 12 cents a lb, live weight, I did not sell, as I hope it will go up later. Pork is 23 cents a lb, the only thing that is good is cream. We have got 67 cents all winter for good sweet cream for to make ice cream. Eggs are 34 cents for the best grade but they cut a person on so many grades that you donít get much for a case. I have not got very much to show for my winters work. I made a braided mat and some pillow cases, but the snow is so hard on the eyes. I got new glasses with tinted lens. and he charged me 42.00 for them, my last was 27.00. When a person gets up in years, it takes a lot for repairs.
Love to all, Pansy
June 27, 1955
I was very glad to get your letter and many thanks for the snaps. They are just great, it is the only way I have of keeping tabs on the children. They grow up so fast, It is hard to think that Annie has grandchildren nearly grown up.
Well, we are having some fine days now, but it was a terrible, wet, cold spring, and still the crops look good. We had a very bad thunder storm last Sunday. I was in church when it started. I do not like thunderstorms.
It is two years the 29 since Hampden passed away. I sent to town for some carnations and Mums for the church, just a token of remembrance. They were very lovely. After the service I gave them to a shut-in lady. Last year our minister left us and went to Wainwright, Alberta, he and his wife Douglas are coming back for his vacation. They are all homesick. She was born in Saskatoon, but they donít like the west. Our next minister was an English lad, just out of college, the first thing he done was fall in love with a nurse, so he was married last week. You will be glad, I know, when school closes, so you can stay home, it must be a very hard way to live. One gets so behind with your work. You would think that they would soon get a school nearer to you. My, but Charles is growing fast, you will soon have no little boy, he will be a young man. Well I have kept my old home for two years, and got on very well, not that I have to, but because I do not want to leave my old home. I have a good hired man, he has been over 20 years with us. I got a milking machine this spring, I could not keep up the milking with my heart. We are milking 11 this year. Cream is 62 cents and pork, 30 cents. We have 6 to go this week. Eggs are 36 cents, potatoes went to $4.25 a bag but are down now to $1.50 a bag. I have 100 chicks and 30 ducks, so you see I am busy for I have to go slow, by blood is still around 250, the Dr. says I will have to quit work before it will go down. You know I am alone now and it would be the best thing that could happen of the Lord would take me the same as Hampden, before I get old and have to end my days in a home.
I hope you are feeling better, I pity you, having to get you teeth out. It is a grim job, I had mine out years ago, but will soon get used to the new ones.
Love to you all,
September 14, 1955
I received your letter Saturday and I know I should have written to both you and Alice long ago, but I donít seem to be able to get up enough energy to even write. I just feel like I was frozen, it is the shock my nerves got. I hope you never have to go though what I have, to be talking to your hubby and everything OK and to go back in ten minutes later and find him dead. I donít think I will ever live to even half forget, but the Lord has given me strength to live so far, and perhaps as time goes on I will get back some of my pep. But no one knows how lonely it is here all alone, I have the same hired boy, but he likes to go away at nights. I suppose you think I am foolish not to sell the farm and live on my money, but I just canít sell my old home. But if any of my kinsmen out west would take the farm, 156 acres of lovely land and everything on it, and just let me live on like I am doing, I would hand it over quick.
Well that is enough woe. I suppose you are well on with the harvest, we are all done cutting and this week we are pulling in. We had a heavy harvest, we have our hayseed cut and thrashed, about 2 ton of seed, but the price is down, only 7 cents a lb. Last year it was 11 cents. Everything a person has to sell is down, except pork, it is 34 cents, beef is only 16 cents for steers alive, and old cows they donít want at any price. Eggs have been good all year. They were 60 cents. They are still laying good, over 3 dozen a day, and I only have about 75. The pullets will soon be laying.
We had a terrible wind storm, I thought we were going to be blowed away, but there was very little damage, my flowers were wonderful. I wish you could have seen my flox (phlox), and when the storm was over, I had no flowers, they were all beaten off. But now they are trying to pick up but it is too late in the season. It will not be long now, till Charles will be getting ready for Xmas, I will try and drop you a few lines oftener.
Love to all, Pansy
December 31, 1955
I am writing the last letter in 1955 to you. I wonder what the new Year has in store for all of us. Today I received your box of cookies, only I would call it a box of candy. They are lovely. I just love anything with chocolate on it. You could not have sent me anything I would like better, and the pretty box will make a sewing box. So all I can say is very meny (many) thanks.
Hope you got my little bill in time for Xmas. I also sent a picture book to Charles, did he get it? There is so much mail at Xmas that sometimes it goes astray, I sent a parcel to Annie and one to Alice, hope they got there in time, I posted them the 12 of Dec. Well we never had as cold a Dec. every day was cold, 10 below some days and that is terrible cold for here, and lots of snow, more than we had for all the winter, last year. The snowplow is kept busy, I did not get to church for the Xmas service, and I was so sorrie, for they had extra singers, it is not often I miss a service, Hampden always went to church, in all kinds of weather, but this year the roads were blocked. I am so sorrie that Alice had trouble with her eye, but I hope she will be OK. I am always scared of going blind. Grandfather Machon (Henry Machon?) was right blind for years. I have been wearing glasses since I was 12 years old, and I got to get my eyes tested as soon as I can get to town, that will be $30.00, perhaps more. Last night our old sow had 10 little pigs, and she still has the 10. She never kills any, we have 10 ready to sell now. The price is low, only 22 cents for the last we shipped. Beef is 15 cents alive for steers, and old cows are only 6 to 8 cents, but if you get meat from the butchers, they ask from 35-50 cents a lb. Cream is the only thing that keeps up, 63 cents, eggs are down to 40 cents, potatoes were 50 cents a 75lb bag, but they are up to 70cents a bag this week, the weather was so cold that people could not ship. I sold 100 bags today at 70 cents, if they would only go to a dollar, but the crop was so large that it is good to get them off at any price. It is great that Charles can go to school by bus, for it made it very hard for you when you had to take him, I hope Jimís hands are better, a person can suffer so much with a burn. How did he get them burnt? My blood pressure is still high and now I have low blood.
Happy New Year to you all,
January 30, 1956
Meny (many) thanks for the calendar. I think it is sweet, I always frame pretty pictures that come on calendars. We did not get meny this year. Well, we got through the terrible sleet storm, it was bad enough here, but nothing like they had at the west end of the Island. In someplaces they are still without electric power. In one place not one pole standing in 40 miles. We can never get flooded for we are 60í above sea level. So we are safe, we have had a very strange winter. December nearly froze us to death, then we had rain for two weeks in January, now it is colder with snow. Last week there was two oil tankers went up to Charlottetown with oil and they will take loads of potatoes away, that is very late for boats, it is very seldom they get up the gulf in Dec. Potatoes are up to 90 cents a bag. They were 50 all fall, but the bad roads put the price up. They will go back to 50 or 60 when the roads get fit to haul.
I was glad to hear that Jimís hands are better. He might of been burnt to death, and the buildings might of all been burnt, gass and fire donít go good together.
I had to buy a new tractor this winter, so I am pretty poor now. They are a terrible price. I got a Ford, like the old one, only a size larger.
Had a letter from Herbert Machon last week, he is well, had a birthday last week, he is 60. I suppose your brother Charlie is nearly that old. Time flys so fast that we are all getting old. Now, I hope you are all well.
Love to all, Pansy
October 1, 1956
I was very glad to get your letter, for it was so long, and I did not hear from any of you. Well the summer is gone for another year, and it was a very cool, wet summer, and now it is very dry. It is a long time since we had a good rain, but it has been great weather for the harvest. We are all done but one small piece of late oats. The grain is extra good this year, so well filled.
The last of July I had a visit from Herbert and Lottie Machon. They came to Nova Scotia by car, then took a plane to the Island, it made the trip easyer (easier) for Lottie, she gets so tired in the car. Herbert was not feeling too good when he was here. He has ulcers of the stomach, but I had a letter from him last week and he is feeling fine now. He is a very nice man, and they are no trouble for he always helps, he is used to doing the housework when Lottie is sick so often. He would love to go west to see you all, but is too far for Lottie, and he wonít go without her. When he was a young boy, he was out west on a harvest excursion.
I had a short visit from the Rev.D.W. MacPherson and his wife. He is still in Wainwright, but they donít like the west, so I think they will be back before long. She was born in Sask. and it is funny she donít like the west. We have a very fine minister in our church now, he is from Newfoundland, so is his wife. They have one dear little boy, 6 years old. For the last two weeks we have had evangelistic meetings, a full church every night, and the singing was wonderful. They are starting to build a church hall. It will cost $6000., so we will have to do some work to make the money. Last week I had the Happy Workers club out for their meeting. There were 16 came. They are going to give a thousand to the hall. They have $700. in the bank and have to make the other 300 by spring.
I was sorrie to hear that Alice has trouble with he eye. That is one thing I am scared of is going blind. Grandfather Machon (Henry?) was blind for years. My, but Alices family is growing up fast, so is your little boy. I suppose poor Annie is just the same, I think of her so often. Well, next week will be potatoe digging, I have 5 acres and they are a lovely crop, only very large. I do hope the price will be better than last year, they are only 90 cents a 75 lb bag, and turnips are 45 for 50lbs. Everything is down in price. I was to see the Dr. not long ago, my pressure is up to 240, it was down to 220, but it is up again. I donít think it will ever go down. Now I hope you are all well, Write when you can, I love to hear from all of you.
January 6, 1957
Meny (many) thanks for your Xmas gift, it is something new in the line of a candy dish.
Well I suppose you have Xmas and New Years all over for another year. And your two weddings, you must have had a busy time. I donít know how you get enough cooked, of course I never cooked for a big crowd. What does Shirleyís man do for a living. He sure has an Irish name. I must be getting terrible old when Annieís children are nearly all married.
Well we have had a lovely fall and winter so far. We have very little snow and only two days that it got below zero. Not much like last winter.
The first week of Dec. I got a woman to keep house for me and I went to Cherry Valley for a week with my cousins, the first vacation I ever had in 64 years. I had a nice time but I was glad to get home. But the rest and change did me a lot of good. My blood pressure is still high, 230, and of course whyle (while) it is so high, it keeps my heart bad, but I am thankful to be as well as I am. I am still farming, the same man is with me, he has been with us for 24 year. So he is one of the family. This Xmas he gave his girlfriend a lovely dimind (diamond) ring. I donít think he plans to marry for some time. She is a nice girl, and a good girl. And good girls are scarce now. Do you ever paint pictures by numbers? I have some very nice pictures . I like painting very much, it is good company when I am alone at night. Now when you get time, write and tell me about your weddings, and I hope 1957 will be kind to you all.
September 1, 1957
I received your last letter a short time ago. I think that you are not getting my letters. In you letter you said that Alice had not heard from me for a long time. Well, I wrote a long letter to Alice and told her to let you read it and it would do for you both. I have been thinking for a long while that all my letters do not reach you. I wonder if you have had any rain yet? We had a very dry summer till it got time to haymake. Then it rained some part of every day. What a time we had to get our hay saved. We have a bailer (baler) of our own, so that makes it easier. We had a good crop, and the grain is good to and the potatoes are extra good. But I suppose that the price will be low when the crop is good. they are 30cents a lb now but beef is down to about 15cents for good beef, but just to go to buy a piece and you pay from 45cents to 80cents for it.
There is a great crop of fruit this year. As for raspberries, I never saw them so thick, and a good crop of apples. Last year the apple crop was very poor. It has been a very short summer. The spring was so late, and we only had a few hot days, and now it is fall and in a short time it will be Xmas again, and you have so meny children in your family that it must be a job to get a present for them all. I was sorrie to hear that John was having trouble with his ears, but I hope by now, that he is OK.
I was glad to hear about Betty taken piano lesson, as a rule there is very little music in the Machons. She must get it from her father. I suppose Charles is growing up fast, your little boy will soon be a man, but it is so nice that you have him.
I do hope that you do not get hailed out this year. That is one thing we never have is hail, it must be terrible to have a crop and in a few minutes to have it all cut off.
You know my hired man that has been here 24 years got married last spring, and his wife is living with me, so far everything is going fine, She is a good worker both in the house and outside. An she is nice, not young, 38, Ding is 42. I think I am very lucky to have them, and I intend to be good to them. A person just canít get anyone to work on the farm now, for a farmer canít give stamps, and that is all they want is stamps to get the unemployment. Then they lay round all winter and do nothing. My health is about the same, sometimes good and sometimes not too good. My pressure is still 255 and that keeps my heart bad. But I am thankful to be able to carry on. So now I will say goodnight.
Love to all, Pansy
January 12, 1958
Just a few lines to say thanks a million for your nice Xmas gift and an extra thanks for the pictures. I just canít believe that my little kiddies are all growed up. My, Aliceís boys are young men, and Bettyís picture looks like a girl of 15, and your young man is a happy looking lad. And Viola is a young woman, my she was so small when she was a baby. I had no idea Willís (Billís)family were so growed up. So it is good you sent the pictures or I would think that they were still little kids.
Well, we had a very warm Xmas, no snow and the roads were so muddy, a person just had to stay home. I spent Xmas in Vernon River with my cousins, the first time I was ever away for Xmas in my life, I stayed 10 days, and was I ever glad to get home. Now that I have Dingís wife in the house with me, I can go away for she can carry on. I was not very good this fall, my blood pressure went up to 240 and my low blood was below 50, but last week I had a check up, and I am now 220 and my low is up to 80. So I think I will feel better. My heart is better since my pressure started to go down, but it is 50 points too high yet. Well I suppose you had a big time Xmas, when you would all get togeather, you would sure have a full house, I wonder if Annie got the parcel I sent? It did not seem like Xmas, with no snow and so warm, we have had no winter yet, perhaps we will not have any this year. Are the people out west crazy over T.V.? Nearly everyone around here has a set, I donít like it. It is too hard on the eyes.
Now I hope the New Year will be good to you all.
January 12, 1959
It is about time I was writing to you, and say meny thanks for the lovely coushion. I am going to make a form for it right away, and put it on my dew devonport (davenport?)
that I got last summer, do you remember a pink satin coushion with two white swans on it that you sent me years ago. Well, I have used it ever since, and last summer it was getting pretty soiled so I got some warm water and soap flakes, and it came out just as good as new. It was always so pretty, and now it will do for a long time yet.
Dingwell and his wife went to the woods and got a Xmas tree and Ada trimmed it, she made a lovely job of it. That is the first Xmas tree, that was ever in this old house. Santa was good to us all, and we had a real nice Xmas.
For the last six weeks, we have had terrible cold weather, never a break, just cold every day. So far we have not had very much snow. Last winter there was only one night that they had ice at the rink. This winter they were skating the first of Dec. The last of Nov. I took stomach flue, then when I got over that I took the flue, and it lasted for weeks, so I do not feel any too good, never do when the weather is cold. Perhaps spring will come early. All the kiddies in our school has had the measles, did Charles ever have them? They are nasty this time of year. The last time you wrote to me you told me about your collection of salt and pepper shakers. So I am sending you these, they are over 100 years old for they were my grandmothers and they were old when Mother came to live here 72 years ago. The little round one was given to me well over 50 years ago, so I thought you might like to have them, and they will still be in the Machon family when I am gone, there will be no one to leave any old things to, for I am the last of the Machon family round here. As for the pencils, I just could not get my hands on one with P.E.I. on it, so a short while ago, I found these two they are not very good but they have P.E.I. on them. I am sending you a Island road map, so as you can see what our Island is like, and I hope you will make a big try to come and see me, before I get too old to know who you are.
This little bill is for a treat for Charles. I suppose he had a great time Xmas, you always have a big gathering of the clan. I am so glad that Walters little girl is well enough to be home. How many children has Walter? I hope your Mother is keeping well this winter, there has been a lot of old people passed away this winter.
The gulf is packed with heavy ice this winter, last winter we had no ice. The price of potatoes is poor, only 85c for a 75lb bag, beef is high and pork is down to 25c and eggs 35c for the best grade, cream is good extra special 71c and not 68c a lb. We have 10 milk cows and a good bunch of young ones to sell. Now I must close. Thanks a million for my Xmas gift.
Love to all,
April 20, 1959
I should have answered your letter long ago, but I have not been very well this winter, and two weeks ago we all took the bad flu. Dingwell took it first, then Ada and I, we sure had a sick time. Ding and Ada got over it good, but I just canít get my strength back and my heart is very bad, but now that spring his here, I hope to get able to go out and do a few jobs. I just canít sit down and do nothing. I like to work, and I find the time long, when I canít keep going . The flue has been terrible.
Did I ever thank you for your snaps of your pepper and salt collection, also the pumpkins. My but you had a lot of them. What did you do with them? For you could not eat them all. I think your braided mat has lasted wonderful. I must try and make you a new one, when you have been so good to the first one.
How is your Motherís eyes? Did she have her operation yet? I hope she will have her sight as long as she lives. I am so scared of going blind. Grandfather Machon was blind for years. It must be terrible to be in darkness.
I think it is just wonderful that Marlene has done so well, and to think that she is able to go to school. Her Father and Mother must be very thankful that she is doing so well.
Do you ever paint by number? I do and I just love to paint. Last Xmas I got a present of a plastic foam kit for making flowers, I make corsages, and sell them at the church bazaars. Sometime I will send you one. They are easy to make and sell well. They put up a new church hall last year. So now we have to have lots of bazaars to help pay for it.
Potatoes were down to 50c for a 75lb bag, but are up to 80c now. Pork is down to the poor price 25c. Cream is high, 70c and beef is good 21c live. Eggs are only from35c down to 20c for smalls.
So you see the farmer is not going to get rich fast. Now I hope you are all well and the flu bug keeps away from you.
November 1, 1959
You will think it is Xmas when you see this letter coming. But I like to send your little bill early, so you can get yourself something for Xmas.
We are having a very wet spell of weather. We got all our harvest saved, and the potatoes are all in, a very big crop and the price is good, $1.60 a bag. That is just twice what they were last fall. There is some turnips out yet. We sold 600 bags. They are only 40c for a 50lb bag. They are______? Even a 40c a person can make a lot off an acre and they donít take much work, it is just impossible to get a man to work on the farm, because the farmer canít give stamps. Ding could not get a man. So Ada works out. She can do a lot to help him and she drives the tractor and truck. She was not brought up on a farm, but she just loves farm work. She looked after 11 calves and a lot of chickens and ducks. I do most of the housework, but it donít take much work to tire me out this summer. My high blood is up to 240 and then have low blood too and the both together gives me a bad heart. I have taken enough pills to sink a ship, but they donít seem to cure me. So I just have to make the best of the little bit of health I have.
Have you got your bathroom yet? You will find it a great blessing. I would like to make a set of braided mats for your bathroom if you would like to have them, let me know what colors you would like them, and I would make them in the winter. I just love to be making things. At present I am making corsages out of foam for the coming bazaar, they are easy to make and sell fast.
I am very glad your Mother has her eyesight back, it is so nice for an old lady to be able to see. Hampdens brother Waldo had his eye operated on and got on great, he was just home a week when he dropped dead out in the yard. Just the same as Hampden did, only he has had a very bad heart for years. Hampden never had anything wrong with his heart. Waldo was 73 and Hampden was 72 when he died, only one left of all the family now, and she is in Boston, over 80.
I am so glad you got your wheat saved before the snow came. I hope you had all your grain saved. So now I had better sign off.
Love to all, Pansy.
March 6, 1960
I was glad to get your letter, but very sorrie to hear that your Mother was in the hospital. But I do hope she is back home now and feeling better. Do you have the new hospital insurance? I think it is a great thing, the rates are so high that a person would soon spend all he had. Now everything is payed but your Dr., and if you want a private room, it is a few dollars extra. It costs me $24.00 a year, but what would twenty four dollars pay for, if you had to pay for everything.
Well we have had a wonderful winter, not even ice in the gulf this winter and very little snow. Last week I saw some little spring buds, hope they did not come too soon, for we may have cold weather yet.
I have braided two mats, and made a quilt so far this winter. I will send your mat sometime in April, hope you will like it, I canít do any hard work, so have time for fancywork. I am so thankful to have Ding and Ada with me, and they are very good to me, and Ada is a good worker, both in and out, my pressure is still high, 230 and that leaves my heart bad, but I will have to get used to it for nothing takes my pressure down.
Had a letter from Herbert Machon. He is fine now, had a sick spell last fall but is great now. How is Marlene. I sent her a parcel at Xmas, but I didnít even get a card this year. I wonder if she ever got the parcel. You must have a busy time at Xmas, to get enough cooked for your big celebration. Does Charles play hockey? Every one around here is hockey crazy. They have a big rink and they play all winter.
March 27, 1960
Glad to get your letter and hear that your Mother is getting better. She must have been a very strong woman, for she has had a lot of sickness in the last few years.
Well we had no winter in Jan. and Feb. but the last two weeks has been real winter and the gulf is full of ice now, and at the west end of the island, the ice is just covered with seals. Some men got as high as 600, they get $4.50 for a skin. They loaded two freight cars Last week, valued at $27,000.00. It is a very dangerous job, when the ice is drift ice. This is the first time for seals to be in the Island waters, other years they are down near Newfoundland.
Last week we put in a new built in cupboard in our pantry. We have a big pantry about 9 x 10, but it was very out of date. So we thought this was a good time to get it made over while the price of potatoes is up $2.50 a bag. This time last year we were only getting a dollar a bag. When a person gets one room fixed up, it makes the other rooms looks so bad, that a person will have to keep on painting and papering. The price of wall paper is sky high, what you would get a few years ago for 50c a roll, is now $1.50 and some $3.00. About four years ago I put in a bathroom, a real good one, and it cost me five hundred, it is up stares (stairs), and I sleep downstairs and now I canít go upstairs with my heart, so I had a good big bedroom with a good sized closet. So I got a toilet and basin in the closet, and it cost me $250. So what would a big bathroom cost now, when the two pieces cost that much, the same pipes does for the two, but I hope to get a lot of good out of it.
I have a bad pen as you can see.
Has Marlene any brothers or sisters, or is she the only child? She looks to be a very happy little girl by her picture. You said that Dan had taken a little girl, have they no children of there own? I wish that I had good health, so as I could take a trip out to see you all, for I have given up hopes that any of you fokes (folks) will ever take time off to come to see me. I have a big glass cake plate here, it was your Grandmother Machonís, and I was wondering if I could send it to you when I send your braided mat. Do you think it would get broken if I packed it well and then put the mat around it? I would like you to have it. How are you coming with your salt and peppers.
Well I must close as my paper is getting short.
Love to all
April 24, 1960
At long last, I got your parcel off, mailed it yesterday, hope it reaches you without getting broken, the big glass cake plate, was your Grandmothers, your Fathers Mother, it was in the house, when my mother was married and that is 75 years ago, So I think it is near the hundred. The little old plate was Mothers, it came from Yorkshire, England well over a hundred years ago, and the little glass plate is one of Motherís wedding presents, they did not give big presents in the long ago, for they did not have the money. I have so much old things and no one to give them to, I know the mat will be badly wrinkled, but lay it on the floor and smooth it out, if it wonít stay flat put a few tacks in it till it get the wrinkles out of it. We finished putting in the crop this week. It was a good spring to get work done, very little rain, I hope your Mother is able to be home with you. It is so lonesome in a hospital. Did I ever say Thankyou for the snaps? It was so good to see you all. Think of all the baby bonuses your father would have got if it had of been in force when you were small.
Let me know when you get the box.
Jan 26, 1961
Meny thanks for your Xmas gift, also was glad to get your letter. I also got a letter from Alice. It has been a long time since I heard from her.
We are having a real old time winter, it is hardly ever above zero, but as long as a person keeps well they have a lot to be thankful for. The school bus has a hard time to get through. Last week the bus was 2 hours in a snow bank, with 25 kids but they were all safe when they were found.
How is your Mother? There has been a lot of old people passed on this year. Have you got Gracieís family with you yet? You seem to be a Mother to them all. How is Annie? I often wonder how she is. What a life she has had, poor girl. Wish I could drop out of the sky and visit with you all.
June 11, 1961
Your letter came last week and I am sure I answered your last letter. But I was very glad to hear from you. I also had a letter from Herbert Machon, if all goes well, he is coming to see me in July. I did not think Lottie would ever come to the Island again, for she is a very frail little woman, she has a lot of sickness in her life, I know you would love Herbert if you knew him. He is a very nice man. Well, we had a bad winter, and the spring started good and we got a good bit of the crop in , then it started to rain, and it rains nearly every day. I sometimes wonder if it will ever stop. The lobster season opened the first day of May, and the gulf was packed with ice, and they did not get the traps out till the 25 of May. So they will have a short season, and there are very few lobsters, they hate cold water. I was very sorrie to hear that Shirley has not been too good, but I hope she is O.K. by now.
Is Viola going to train for a nurse? Nurses get high pay, after they get through training, and it is terrible the wages a school teacher gets, all the high grades from 9-12 are taken by bus to Montague, about 20 miles from here, there was lots of days they missed this winter, I think the old way is best, let every place have its own school and let the children stay in there own school. They just hate to go to Montague.
Well at last we have finished housecleaning, we had a lot of painting and papering to do this spring, every room seemed to want doing, but next spring we should have only one room to do. Paper is very high in price, but you can wash most of the paper you get now. Everything a person has to buy is so dear, but what you have to sell is down in price, the only thing that is a good price is cream, it is 70c a lb for butterfat. Eggs are only 26c and pork 24c and beef is around 20 or 22c alive. Ding is milking 12 this summer and we keep all the calves, potatoes were only around a dollar all spring, they are a little higher now when a person is sold out.
I think your Mother is wonderful to be able to go places at her age, I donít go far from home. My pressure is still high, and my heart is not good, I do some little jobs when I feel like it. If I only had good health, I would take a trip west by air, but I donít think I ever will be well enough, so it is up to you to come to see me. You need a vacation and you can travel fast.
Love to all, Pansy
August 20, 1961
It is a long time since I have had a letter from the west, I do hope the weather man has been good to you. We have had a terrible lot of rain, so hard to get the hay saved. I hope the rain will get over before harvest, for the land is too wet to put the combine on, it would sink out of sight.
How is Annie? In you last letter you said she was taking treatment, did it help her? How is Viola getting on with her training, I hope she likes her job. I suppose Aliceís Frank is out of school now, time goes so fast.
Did your crop miss the hale (hail)? I saw by the papers, that in some places the crops were badly hailed out. I do hope that you have a good crop. The Island has a wonderful grain crop, if the weather will only dry up for a few weeks.
There was a great crop of strawberries. We picked 20 bottles of wild strawberry jam, and there is lots of blueberries, but hardly any raspberries. I just love to pick berries.
I suppose Charles will be back to school the first of Sept., what grade is he in? The children round here have to go to the regional High School in Montague, by buss. (bus).
Now I hope you and your Mother and all the rest are well. I am about the same, but it is good to be as well as I am. Love Pansy
November 27, 1961
Xmas is getting near, so I thought I had better send you your little bill, so you can get yourself some little extra for a Xmas present. It is so mild, that it is not a bit like Dec. We have had no frost yet, some flowers in the Garden still in bloom. I wish it would stay like this all winter, we had a hot summer, but the crops were all good and the potatoes were extra good. but the price is only 55c a bag, and it takes that to grow them, eggs are so scarce that the price is up to 88c a doz. When the price of eggs went so low, nearly everyone did away with there hens. Ada has 90 hens and we get 65 eggs a day. Ada had 50 ducks this year, they are nearly all sold now, we are putting 10 in the deepfreeze and 10 chicken. We canned a lot of chicken and sold it by the case.
I suppose you will have a busy time getting ready for Xmas. You always have so meny for Xmas. I hope your Mother is feeling good, and that she will be able to enjoy the Xmas season. I was very glad to hear that Viola is training for a nurse, a nurse gets good pay, it donít seem long since she was a tiny little baby, time goes so fast, and Aliceís boys are young men now. How is Annie, I think of her so often, she has had a hard life, both for herself and the ones that look after her. Now I hope you are all well, and that you all have a Happy Xmas.
Love to you all, Aunt Pansy
January 14, 1962
I received your pictures at Xmas, and was very glad to get them, and to see you all looking so well. Frank is grown up, how fast time flys. It donít seem long, since Mother used to get snaps of you and Alice and your brothers, now Aliceís family is grown up. I had a letter from Marlenes Mother with a snap of Marlene. I think she looks like your Charles. I suppose by now he is nearly a young man.
Well so far we have had a nice winter, very little snow and not very cold, just nice.
Well we had a good crop last year, it was a great year for potatoes, and now the price is down to 65c for a 75lb bag and they are not wanted at that price. Ungraded eggs are down to 25c a doz. So it s going to be hard on the farmer. Cream is the only thing that keeps up, is 69c. Pork is 26c, We have 25 ready to ship now. I have braided one rug this winter. Last summer we had a family from Halifax camping on our lower farm, and this winter Mrs. Grant wrote and asked me to braid her a rug. She sent me the rags, it is in three shades of blue, and is very pretty, it is large, about 54x36. This Xmas Dingwell and Ada got a TV set, they enjoy it very much, I canít look at it, I find it very hard on my heart, so we put it in the parlor, and they can enjoy it without worrying me. Everyone around here had TV but us.
Last spring we got a deepfreeze and we can now keep our meat and chickens and ducks, the year round. The meat dealers charged so high for meat, a person could not buy from them. So now we put everything in the freezer, it is great for peas and beans and all kinds of berries.
The first of Feb, I am going to Vernon River, about 40 miles away to keep house for my cousin, while his wife goes to Boston. She will be away about 3 weeks, I hope that I donít get sick while I am away, my blood is down to 220, but I have not been feeling good all fall, just old age catching up with me, I will be 70 in April.
Love to you all, Pansy
March 21, 1962
Your letter came a few days ago, and what a terrible time you have had, with two bad fires, but there is one thing to be thankful for, that no one was burnt to death, It is a wonder that Annie was able to save herself, but it is terrible to loose (lose) your house and all your housekeeping things. And I am so sorrie for Albert and Frank, I had no idea that they had a large store. I thought they had a small store and just kept a few groceries. I am glad they are not going to let the fire down them. They have the old Machon spirit, they never gave in, look how your Father kept going and year after year he would loose (lose) his crop, but he always had hopes for the next year, in his day there was no help in the way of baby bonuses or unemployment.
I am sending you this money for to get a few things for Annie, you know what she needs the most. If I were handy, I could give her lots of things, wish I could give the boys lumber for to help build again, I have a lot of wood land, but as I canít I can only wish them luck.
Well, we have had a lovely winter, a good bit of snow in Feb. but March has been fine every day. I hope we get some snow or rain soon, for the land is dry. Now, sometime drop me a few lines and let me know what is going on, have not heard from Alice for ages.
December 3, 1962
I was very glad to get your letter for it was a long time since I had a letter from any of you. We had a bad summer and fall. Last week was fine, the first fine week since August, we got all our harvest safe, but lots of people have all there grain out yet, and the ground is too wet to put the tractors on, prehaps (perhaps) when the ground freezes, they will get some of the grain. But wet or fine, Xmas will soon be here, so I am sending you this $10. Five for a Xmas treat for yourself and the other $5.00 I want you to get something for Annie for Xmas, You know what she needs. I have to cut my Xmas box out his year, for I have not been well, and I spent last week in the hospital. The Dr. said I did not need an operation but I have to go back again for treatment. So I did not feel like Xmas, and I am going to send money and later I will send a box to Alices children. They are getting so big now that it is hard to know what to send. I was glad that Charles did so well in his exams. Your little boy will soon be a man. Thanks for the snap of the children, I donít think the Beck name will die out by the looks of all those little children.
Had a letter from Herbert Machon, not long ago, they are both well. They did not come to see me last summer, but I hope that they will come next year. I wish you could take a trip to the Island, you sure have earned a vacation. Now I hope you are all well, and that you have a very Happy Xmas.
Love to all.
No date to this letter.
Names of Henry Machonís Family:
Elizabeth Machon Dec. 25, 1831
Margaret Machon Jan. 20, 1833
Daniel Machon Mar. 6, 1834
Francis Machon Feb. 26, 1836
Henry Machon Oct. 1, 1837
James Machon Dec. 27, 1839
Charles Copps Machon (my father)Aug, 13, 1842
Sarah Machon May 7, 1845
Ben Machon Nov. 18, 1850
Marie Machon Jan. 7, 1858
The above is my Grandfathers family.
My father was married to Elizabeth MacIntosh, Jan. 31, 1867. There were four in his first family.
Ben Machon Nov. 7, 1867
Henry Machon Nov. 10, 1869
Herbert Machon Oct 17, 1872
Drusilla Machon Sept. 26, 1874
Drusilla died when she was a baby. Fathers first wife died June 10, 1887, aged 51 and a year later he married my Mother, Elizabeth Tweedy.
The first baby died at birth, a little girl.
Cedric was born June 30, 1890
Pansy Elizabeth Tweedy Machon was born April 13, 1892. Cedric died Sept 8, 1899, aged 9 years. My father died May 14, 1918 and Mother died Jan. 29, 1929, age 77.
I am the only one alive out of all the family. The first family was gone away before I was born. The only one I ever saw was Ben, he was home when I was a baby. Benís boy Herbert comes to see me, he lives in Boston. He has one sister Ethel. She is married to a Dixon and has three girls. Two of them are married. My brother Cedric died with appendix, they did not operate for it then, if you took it, you just had to die, now it is not a serious operation.
Sometime I will go to the old cemetery and get the dates of Grandfather and Grandmother, they are not in the family Bible. There used to be an old bible, but some of the family took it. I hope in the near future that you will come to the Island while I am able to enjoy your visit, it would not take long, the way a person can travel now.
Some of our young men that are working in Ont. think no more of coming home than I do going to town, forty miles away. So make up your mind to come.
Aunt Pansy died in 1963.
The following letters are from Dingwellís wife Ada, who continued to correspond with Mary.
Murray Harbor, P.E.I.
June 17, 1963
I wish you folks could have some of the rain we are getting. Ding has all the grain sowed on the farm here, but has about 20 acres rented. He worked till eleven-thirty Saturday night get that field ready to sow today. And of course Sunday it would have to rain really hard all day so we are really getting our share. The weather here is real cold too.
We havenít got our garden planted yet but some of our neighbors have, the only thing that is coming up is beets. We donít have trouble with grasshoppers or gophers here. This year we are hoping to spray the grain for weeds.
We had some of Pansyís relations to visit us yesterday. George Tweedy, he is a judge and lives in Charlottetown. He visited her every day while she was in the hospital there and really kept her room full of flowers. Well her funeral was Friday May 31 from the United Church in Murray Harbor. She left a letter of instructions when she went to the hospital, it was marked to be open in case of her death. It was a great help for us as we had all the arrangements to make. She had the hymns picked out and also the pallbearers selected. There were not too many flowers but I think enough. She got a pillow of roses and there were four other sprays. We had the flowers put in the grave, I took it upon my self to have her wedding ring and another ring that Hampden had given her put on her fingers. I have helped her in any way in the past 6 years I have lived here and I shall be eternally grateful for that, for I know she did a lot for me and was awfully good to me.
There is nothing we can do for her now except plant flowers on her grave, and for as long as I live within driving distance of the cemetery I will do that.
Your cousin Herbert and his wife were here for the funeral and there were folks over from Halifax, N.S. on Thursday. Well I had better close fir now as Ding will soon be in for dinner.
Guernsey Cove, P.E.I.
November 25, 1963
Donít think too badly of me for not writing before but I didnít seem to want to write anyone. I started to write several times, but always ended up burning the letter. You mentioned salt and pepper shakers. Pansy didnít have many except the ones you sent her, that was a set like little copper button saucepans. And there is a set in the dining room china cabinet about 1 1/2 inches high like pelicans if you would like them I will send them on.
I intend to gather up some of her things and send them on to you. There will be nothing valuable as its mostly things that we gave her and we were under orders from her not to get anything expensive. Mostly I would have to tell her what we payed for anything we got her. There is a little Timex watch that we got her for her birthday and although it wasnít worth much, she was very proud of it.
So I will gather up some of her things and send them on, they will make keep-sakes for you folks, and if you would like those pelicans, let me know and I will send them too.
We had good weather for haying and had a good crop of grain also. We are remodeling the barn a bit, we have to have a plumber for the waterbowls and the only one we can get comes at night, after hours, but we are getting the work done and that is what counts.
We bale all our hay and straw and our granaries are up loft, so the grain goes up in an auger, it sure saves a lot of work. I didnít work at the haying this year, if they were late I did the barn work. My niece was with us during vacation and she drove the tractor and the baler. She goes to high school.
Pansy told me about offering the farm to a lot of different people. She also said at the time the local gossips had told her that Ding was leaving. I wished at first we could leave, but I learned a long time ago that one canít run away from memories. And now I wonder why I could want to, as my memories of Pansy certainly are not unhappy ones.
Well I must close now and get my hens fed. I have the lights come on about 3 oíclock in the morning in the hen house, but I donít give them any light at night. I promise to write sooner the next time.
January 8, 1964
Thankyou for the Christmas gift. I was very sweet of you to remember us. I will get those things sent soon, we are having quite a time with the mail here. There is no train from Charlottetown, the mail comes by truck. For instance no mail went from the post office from Dec. 18 until the 23rd.
We are having a lot of snow. We had a big storm the 19th or 20th of Dec., but the Monday before Xmas was fine and we got the truck out across the fields and finished our shopping. We had a storm start again about 10 a.m. Xmas eve, so by the time we got the outside jobs finished, it was too stormy to get a tree. But it got finer after supper and Ding took the tractor and went for a tree. You can imagine the mess it was with snow, so we put it in the porch and left the kitchen door open. When we came in from the barn, there was about an inch of water over the floor.
Well we finished trimming the tree and I finished scrubbing about 11:30. We both go to the barn, I do the milking (by machine) while Ding feeds the young cattle their grain, and takes care of the mare and pigs. Then Ding feeds the milk cows there grain and I feed part of the young cattle their hay and take care of the separator, then we feed the calves their milk and Ding feeds the rest of the young cattle hay and I feed the milk cows hay. It takes about an hour and a half.
Like you I have never had anything to do with a will, but from what I can find out it takes about one year to settle an estate. I donít think you will get your share until about early June. All wills go through probate court. Yours will be last to settle as everything else will be settled , then the money thats left will be divided between you, Alice and Annie I think. You see I am not too sure about this but I know you donít have to get in touch with anyone.
We still miss Pansy so much and especially at Christmas. Santa was good to both of us. And boxing day we got a nice new calf. Lucky it was a bull as it was crossbred Holstein and Hereford. We bought a nice purebred heifer (holstein) if we are lucky she will make a good cow. Well I must close for now, thank you again for the stationary.
Guernsey Cove, P.E.I.
January 6, 1969
Its so long since I wrote you I hardly know where to begin. Your husband and son had an accident just then, did the boy lose his life? That must be three years ago in March of that year. Dings younger sister died. I guess it was a form of cancer she had. She filled up with lumps and as fast as the doctors would remove one, it would grow right back. And when they removed one another would bleed. She was just in her thirties and left a lovely little boy and very nice husband. Then in June that same year my brother died very sudden with his heart, but I guess he had attacks before and just ignored them. Then on Halloween in 67, Dingís stepfather died, not unexpected for we all knew his hear was very bad. Then this fall Dingís mother went to the hospital in Sept first and they found she had leukemia, so she passed away around the 23 of October.
We all have our bad spells but its something we must face. I know what its like to lose your Mother. I lost Mom when I was in my early teens, and being the only girl I had to take over the housework for 5 men. And then you might say I lost 2 mothers for Pansy was a near to a mother as I had for a good many years.
Well I expect all of you hear about the poverty on P.E.I. we are getting along fine, not rich of course but able to pay our bills and get some luxuries and I think thats enough for anyone. If they think there is poverty now, they should have been around in the thirties.
We had a real good crop of grain this year and good weather for combining. In 67 the grain was very poor here and almost no barley. It was affected with root rot. We have 35 head of cattle and 48 pigs. I guess that doesnít seem like many cattle to you compared to what they keep out in your country. But our barn is so full its almost bulging. We sure have a lot of hens too, I grade the eggs and deliver direct to the customers once a week. I get a fair price for eggs that way. Ding got a new tractor last spring, a 5000 ford.
Dingís sister and her 5 children were with us most of last winter. Imagine what it would be like, for us not used to children and suddenly have 5 in the house from 3 to 12 years of age.
Ding got a used truck this fall, a ton Ford. With the half ton truck he was always going to the mill but with the big one he can bring enough at one time to last for a while. Ding was not very well last spring, the Dr. found he had ulcers but he is feeling very good now. I had housemaids , hurt my knee in harvest time so I was laid up and my 2 nieces hauled in the grain, one drove the truck and the other ran the tractor. She hauled all the hay for Ding last year too.
They have gone to Moncton N.B. now. Bea is working at Eatons and Ada is going to school learning office work. Well I must close now and hang the wash out, it a lovely sunny day and the temp is up to nearly 30,(f) so it should be a good drying day.
Hope you had a nice Christmas and the best of everything for this year.