Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1929

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Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1929


Old Mission Peninsula (Mich.)
Crops and climate


Carolyn Gay Taft (1873-1952), was the owner of a small cherry farm on Old Mission Peninsula in the early 1900’s. While she spent her summers on the Peninsula, her primary job as a teacher at the Illinois
State School for the Deaf required hired hands to run the farm in her absence. These farmers, and their families, lived on the farm and sent frequent written reports to Ms. Taft. Most letters are written by the
farmer’s wives, and provide a record of both
agricultural and social history.


Ralph Kitchen, Joseph Kitchen, Essie Kitchen, Max Gilmore, Hazel Gilmore


Collection donated to Peninsula Community Library by the surviving members of the Taft family.


Peninsula Community Library




Mary T Morgan


This document is protected by copyright law. Contact the Peninsula Community Library for permission to reproduce, display, or transmit this document.










LHC 010


Traverse City, Peninsula Township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan

PDF Text


Old Mission, Mich.
Jan. 19th 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:

I have been so busy since I got home that I find it hard to scare up time for to write a letter. Evenings Roger and Jos. want Hazel and I to play cards so of course letters go unanswered.

Yes Miss Taft going away did me more good than any thing else could have. It is so hard to keep on going year in and year out like a piece of machinery even that will either wear out/or need repairs and with me it was a little vacation or change.

The mean prank my kind neighbor did last Summer in cherry time made me feel worse than you can imagine. Some people will stoop to do any thing regardless of how it hurts the other person. If it hadn't of been for my little family I would never have stayed here near Joseph's people as long as I have. I know I'm not any better but when a person tries to link my name with another man that makes me feel like doing some-thing dreadful. That is one of the reasons I would rather not live down here near them. They are Evil and think the same of others. Think of Don going on that trip with Henry Gon last Summer with out any one with here She is still unmarried and who knows may always be.

We had a dreadful snow storm and lots of cold weather since I last wrote to you. But has been some warmer during the past week.

Joseph has been looking for a horse for you has one in view but doesn't know price or tried it with Queen but will let you know later on.

When I was up north I happened to get acquainted with a farmer from down in Illinois. That was up north on a hunting trip. I was telling him about our beautiful Mich. and he was very anxious to hear all he could about it. Also asked about farms and prices. I mentioned your's and he said in case he sold out there he would want to buy some place he took our address so if he happens to write this Spring I will put him on your track. He seemed so interested in the Mich. property especially a fruit farm. Nothing may come of it but there is always a chance. We will see an way. I wrote his name and address down and lost it I would give myself a booting for that.

I guess the Marshall boys will go on with the old home the same as always.

I can't think of any more to write only Mrs. Lardie called up and as usual we exchanged neighborhoood gossip she said she had heard from Mrs. Stutsman and that they were all well.

Would you please send me the last items of the account I sent you so I will know where I left off. And I will then mail you the rest in my nesxt letter. Hope you stay well. Love, Essie

Miss Taft when I saw my sisters beaver coat I thot of you My brother caught the furs for it Makeing coat over $200 alone. It is the geniume beaver worth between 8 or 900 dollars I never saw such beautiful things in my life as she had.

Old Mission, Mich
Feb. 13th 1929

My Dear Miss Taft-

Received your letter tonight and was very glad to receive it. It was so nice had a fine time reading it and enjoyed every word.

The bays are all frozen over and we are having steady cold weather about like we had 11 years ago here is hoping we a nice Summer after this.

The packing co is talking of paying dividends to stock holders in May or June I asked Mr. Einman so as to give you some sort of deffinate answer.

We have heard that some one is trying to lease land on penn???? for oil. We wouldn't lease ours if they should ask us. Will tell you if we hear any more about it.

Yes Roger would be very glad of the book you mentioned and I would also like the quilt block pattern and thanks so much for the kind thoughts.

Madam Leighton passed away a week or so ago we will all miss here.

My mother had an operation for gall stones the 5th of Feb. had a telegram saying she was doing nicely and the letter tonight said her fever was gone and doing as well as could be expected she is in a hospital in Iron wood Mich. I was there while up north as my sisters live near there. Mother's health has been very poor for some time so hope this helps her. Am so glad I could see her last Fall.

John Kroupa's oldest daughter Maggie has a new pair of twins a boy and a girl

Joseph hasn't been very well has had those fainting spells again hope he feels better in a few days the rest of the family are all well.

All day I have been thinking about the rug I plan to make if I can squeeze out the time to do it. I have quilts to look after for another winter as I sold all of mine but two so that means for me to make more or Joe's toes will be cold before long.

I think your coat very pretty I wish I could sew like you do but I can't try as I might. My sister Angeline can make most any thing but I am dumb.

Joseph bought a manure scoop to clean the barn as the other one was all gone up also some rivets to repair harness. And nails for sheet rock. The room is all finished now and looks nice.

Well I can't think of another thing to say so will retire for the night.

barn shovel 2.00
nails .40
rivets .40

5.00 to your credit
$2.20 left to your credit Feb 13th 1929

Lovingly Essie

Old Mission, Mich.
Mar. 10th 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

Your fine letter received and will now try and answer it. Altho' there isn't any news this time.

I had a letter from mother yesteday and she is doing nicely now. But far from well there was a growth on the liver they removed the gall bladder entirely also appendix. Of couse they can't do any thing for her heart They found it was enlarged. I can't help but worry some and feel anxious all the while. As I will never have another mother when this one is gone. I think it so nice for you to plan on going East this Summer.

Joseph has been out looking for a horse. The one he was most interested in was a bay that Geo. Swaney has she isn't old and about 100# lighter than Queen. But not so fast I don't think you can get a horse to go with Queen unless you pay a big price. This horse is held at $75. Jos. is still looking for another. What are you willing to pay then we will have some idea of what to look for.

Have had another bad storm last week filled the roads full no mail for 3 days. Suppose you had rain there. We have had some here but not much.

The cherry buds look fine so far and heaps of snow to help keep them. And the thickest ice in bays that there has been for several years.

About 50 or 60 people gathered at Holmer Willobees the 1st day of March and gave as a wedding anniversary shower. We had a lovely time and got very nice gifts. Will show them to you this Summer when you come out. It is 15 years ago since Joe got me to torment him. And what do you think of it I was remarried in a calico gown. We didn't know about the party so I had a plain little house dress on.

Had a nice letter from Aunt Alice Haywood a few days ago and she is as busy as ever.

Well there is too much noise here for me to write much. Andy Brimmer and his family are here this after noon will write again before long. I want to mail this in the morning.

Your letter was so good and we enjoyed it so much.

As ever yours with love.


Old Mission, Mich
Mar. 22nd 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

Received your letter yesterday and will hasten to reply.

The children thank you for package of funnies also the book of poems we all enjoy that. As I love poetry.

Am sorry to hear about Alberta. Roger plans on school again this Fall I hope Jos. doen't get worse as the poor boy wants to go so badly and I want him to. Roger has always been a good boy and deserves something nice in his life. He visited high school 2 days this week and enjoyed it very much.

Joseph is going to see Harry Christopher about one of his horses it isn't young but will do for a few years maybe by then you will not have your farm. He will do the best he can for you. Horses are scarce here in early Spring we could get $100 for Nellie but won't let her go. Also had a chance to sell our farm but think we will keep it for a while yet. I hope to live there some day.

Joseph says another load of hay will be a great plenty. Our winter has been a long cold one and a late Spring is on the way. The trees look fine for fruit so far. The ice is breaking in the bay. But there is quite a little snow yet.

The apples have been pruned now Jos. will haul brush before long and get every thing under way.

Had a letter from mother a week or so ago and she is home from the hospital but very weak and her heart troubles her a lot. Having ones gall bladder removed is no joke besides other things done.

Am so glad you are well this winter.

I am working on a quilt and some other work for my sister.

Well it is late and I have my family to bathe.

Thanks for the nice newsy letter. Lovingly Essie

Jos. had Queen shod

$2.20 on hand Feb 11th
2.00 horse shoeing
.40 salt petre
.35 curry comb
.35 axle grease

$3.10 expenses
2.20 on hand
.90 you owe me

With love, Essie

Old Mission, Mich.
Apr. 4th 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

Since I wrote you we have had quite a change in the weather Sun. and Monday we had a blizzard and nearly froze up here. Don't think the fruit buds were far enough advanced to be injured any.

Monday was election day and we had quite a change in officers. Mr. Spruit is our Supervisor in Will Grays place. Archie Helpick road commissioner. Mr Van Gleason's took Alex Carols office. We will see how things come along now.

I wish to thank you for your trouble about the medicine and will be very glad to get it as I have that trouble every few weeks. Some times quite bad.

Your new dress is very pretty I never had any thing that I liked as well as the little dress I had of that kind of material it is all worn out now and miss it dreadfully.

Am quilting a quilt that I made of lavender and white. I think you will like it. But oh boy I am tired and my fingers are all picked to pieces have it nearly finished now. Want to make my rug yet this Spring. Oh dear I have so much planned out to do.

Joseph found a horse that will do it is one of the black ones that Fay Dohm used to have when he worked the Stutsman place she isn't old but not as gentle as Queen. All the other horses for sale about here are big heavy plugs and you wouldn't want them. Isadore Lardie owns this horse now and wants 85$ for her so if you send the check to us Jos. can go and bring her home. He spoke to Archie about hay.

Joseph says it is best to have Mr. Lardie haul the fertilizer as the roads are very poor for wagons and teams.

Miss Taft I feel very sorry about your mother some day I will have the same experience and I don't know how soon. If your mother's health was poor as most old peoples are she is far better off. We must all think the very best we can about those things. You can at least think now that her life's work is done she has raised her family and has now gone to rest. Isn't it wonderful after all?

Do you plan on going to teachers conventions this Spring?

It has been very beautiful today since the storm cleared away. The snow plows were out Tues. so as to open the roads we had no mail Monday.

I can't think of any more to write now so will go to bed as I'm dreadfully tired.

As ever with Love Essie

Old Mission, Mich.
Apr. 16th 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

Received the little package and thanks so much for same please take out the cost in our next check.

We had Mr. Lardie haul the Ford Fertilizer the price came up and they charged $20 for #5-00 Roger went down to OM today and paid him for it. Mr. Lardie gave him a receipt for it. We got 5 gal. of gas out of our own money but must get more. The lime has been put on and use of drill paid for. Archie Helfick's drill was in use so Jos. got Murray Tompkin's instead.

Yes we had about a week of real warm weather and thunderstorms then it turned cold and snowed again. Have a white frost every night lately. The fuit buds started some but not hurt any as we can see.

Archie brought the hay so will send that bill in with the rest.

Oh dear but every cent we can scrape goes out on that farm. Some times it would try the patience of a Saint. And we always have Doctor bills. Joseph Doctor all the while I wish he could go to Ann Arbor and see some good ones and perhaps they could tell him what ails him. I have felt so much better after going away on a little vacation. I still get nervous about the way things go but have to hang on and be patient.

There is too much work for me during the Summer but if everything goes right I'm not going to work so hard this year. I dearly love to pick cherries and will do all I can if I'm well enough

The [auer?] cow had her calf some time ago and it was dead when Jos. found it in the morning. Altho' it hadn't been born very long.

We hear there is a new canning factory going up at Elk Rapids I hope so it means more for we farmers here. They are talking [$.06] cherries here perhaps [$.06 1/2]. Mr Wunch is setting 900 trees again this Spring.

Jos. is coming along nicely with the Spring work. And I think you will like the new horse. She needs to have shoes on as her hoofs are broken up a little from going barefoot. Fay will give Jos. her old shoes so that will save buying new ones.

Well I can't think of more to write aobut.

[3,1,90#] hay at $19 per ton=$30.30
$20 you sent me
20 paid for fertilizer
1.00 paid lime drill
.90 you owed me
1.90 you owe me

With love as ever Essie

Old Mission, Mich.
Apr. 28th 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

Today is Sunday and I promised myself I would write you a letter and the day is nearly gone so I must get right busy or I won't get it done.

Your new seeding looks good and promises to do some thing this year if the weather holds good. The fruit buds are fine so far but are much farther advanced than they should be. A few days of good warm weather would bring them [sweet cherries] out in full bloom. Mr. Lardie was as early as usual with lime and sulphur but were just a few days too late Jos. got a barrel from him before the car came in but the buds were so far that he was afraid of burning them that would be worse than nothing. He always does the same by you that we would for ourselves. He will give everything a very good pink spray. Have not see the bee man this Spring we have bees ordered too. In fact a great many people have so hopes he comes along before very long. Joseph hasn't worked the cherry orchard yet as he doesn't want to make things pop too soon. There is nothing much in apple orchards so he will plow them up later on.

Joseph and I went in T.C. a while ago and he took the screen in for spray tank and got new brass screen and a new bottom on Spraying Gas tank all for $1.00 that is the cheapest thing we have had done for a long time. They charge about $2.50 for a new screen so that is one way to save a little There was 15 or 16 holes rusted in Spraying tank so now have that all ready unless some unforseen thing happens to it.

He wants to put oats and grass seed in but will wait until the weather is warmer they will grow faster and not turn so yellow. I will treat the oats the same as last year I felt pretty proud of that job Mr La Batt said they were the cleanest he had seen last year.

Don't blame Mr. Eiman for the papers not having our items in it. The editor is to blame for that she gets very put out about it but may as well hold her breath.

You will see by the paper that Mr. Ladd passed away last Tues evening after a long illness we will miss him Roger was especially fond of him as he was very interested in all boys and girls.

Mrs. Jesses Christopher had an accident some time ago with her oil stove it had been troubling her for some time about blazing up and smoking and one morning she had just lighted it when it exploded and blew burning oil and flames all over the kitchen her house was in a terriable mess and they nearly burned up Mr C happened to be right there so they got the burning stove out side he got burned some. Its a wonder she wasn't killed instantly it was one of these expensive Superfex oil ranges. Now let me tell you if this ever acts up I'll drag it down to the swamp and push it over the bank for good too.

Joseph and Roger are coming along fine with the work. Now please pray for cool weather so we don't freeze out later on. We must all have cherries if we can.

Jos. got the oil and well pump leather at H. M. Lardies so will send you an itemized account when we get our slip this month. I'm very sorry about the fertilizer as we didn't know how much you had ordered. We got ours of Geo. Lardies for $65 a ton we haven't paid for ours yet perhaps he will soak us too. Miss Taft I find it very hard to make all ends meet there are 4 of us to feed and clothe besides trying to keep up the farm.

We would like a Mexican perhaps later on we can see our way clear to get it.

I'm going to have a new rug some day if all goes well it will be out of those clothes you left for me last Fall. I have it started but oh how slow it does go. I've been trying to work out of doors My berries needed cleaning out and tying up so I have that done I'm not going to raise such a large garden as its too hard for me to have so much work to do. And I must stay off my feet more as that hard work makes me worse. I'm as fat as ever but don't feel like I did when sixteen.

I can't think of more to write today so will close hope you are well as ever

with love Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich.
May 8th 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

There isn't much to write about but never the less I'm going to drop you a few lines to let you know the fruit is safe so far. A few more days and the sweet cherries will be in blossom but last night we had another white frost of course your orchard is high so that helps. Joseph thinks the South east corner may be harmed some but not sure. He worked the orchard today and has every-thing ready in fine shape.

We got the bill from the store so can send your bill to you. Miss Taft you forgot to deduct the price of that medicine from Joseph's check.

Oh yes Dr Smith is coming through before long to test the cows for T.B. They have found a number of them on the penn. so we are going to have ours tested. I think it wise don't you? Leslie Gore and Harry Christopher both had one. It costs very little. Of course we will pay for our own cow.

Joseph wants to get a little pig for fall use we can't afford to buy meat from the meat markets. If we got one we can keep it away from the barns or else take it over to our own place. If you wouldn't let us keep it here. It would be pretty hard to feed it over to the other place. And a man that works hard has to have something besides vegetables. The Doctor told Joseph to eat beef steak every day to make him have more blood but we can't buy it at the present price.

Well, I must close now and go to bed you will hear from me soon. As ever with love Essie

1 gal light oil one gal heavy oil $1.60
pump leather .60
Formulin 1 pt .50
Seed drill 1.00
Owed me from other time 1.90
Horse shoeing 1.50
Snaps for harness .20
carrot seed .50
soldering 1.00

$11.20 to your credit

Mr. Lardie miss understood me and got 1 pt. formulin instead of 1/2 pt. I had him get it some time ago so as to be sure and have it here when needed. have the oats and seeding in now.

Old Mission, Mich.
May. 14th 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

Received your letter tonight so will hasten to reply as I know you are anxious to hear about everything.

The cherries are all right so far because we have examined them closely.

Your seeding is coming very nicely considering the cool weather we have had altho' we have had lots of rain so far.

By the way Jos. likes the new horse just fine so am thankful for that.

Sweet cherries have started to blossom and the monts will be too before very long. I almost think the cherries will be earlier this year than they were last. If you would have to stay East for any length of time you wouldn't have much rest before cherry picking comes on.

I'm aftraid if Rebecca is cross she will be quite a case for you. Hazel used to be like that but since I was home I have give her to understand other people has feelings too as well as her self. She has been dreadfully nervous and helped to wear me out every Summer. But has changed to be quite a nice young lady and more considerate of me.

We bought 20 gal. of gas and 10 gal of it we paid for as our share am sending you the receipts of it.

Your's with love,

Essie Kitchen

Old Mission, Mich.
May 22nd 1929

My Dear Miss Taft:-

I have had the Ladies Aid here today and am very tired but will write you a few lines and tell you what little I can.

We have had three frosts in the past few nights the sweet cherries are harmed some but we think not very much the monts are in the pink Jos. sprayed them today. I pray we don't have a frost any more. The grass seed is up but oats are coming slow as it is so very cold out the 16th we had a snow storm and the coldest winds it burned the leaves that were coming out on the sweet cherries and some of the petals.

Jos. wants to buy Queen some worm medicine as soon as he sees Dr. Scott as she is full of them. She eats a lot but doesn't get fat and she passes worms of late so know she must have lots of them they are long white ones. I love Queen more and more I think she is so inteligent for a horse.

The carrots and corn are planted and all farm work doing nicely.

I'll try and report once a week regular and oftener if any thing comes up as I know how you feel.

Your's as ever, Essie

The bees have been here for several days but can't work much on account of its being so cold and wet it is raining this morning.

Old Mission, Mich.
June 3rd 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

Well I'll try and drop you a few lines tonight but am pretty tired as I have worked out doors all day. Every bone aches.

The cherries look pretty good so far I can say more in a few days. We had wonderful blossoming weather. It was very warm and dry. The petals have fallen but can't fully decide yet. The sweets are fair you know we had snow storm and frosts when they were in bloom it nearly ruined my raspberries as the leaves were so tender.

We haven't had a good rain for 2 weeks so are quite in need of it now as the ground is very dry. We would like to have some soon

Joseph had an invitation to the banquet in T. City but was spraying the sour cherries that day and couldn't get through in time so he could go.

If we have rain your new meadow will do some thing but if not it won't as the ground gets so dry and hard.

Last Fri. evening it turned cold again and had another light frost last night. Will write again before long.

As ever your's with love


Old Mission, Mich.
June 9th 1929

My Dear Miss. Taft:-

Received your letter Saturday and this is Sun. I wonder if you received the last letter I sent to Illinois.

It is hard to decide on the cherry crop it doesn't pay to estimate when they are so far back as they are now. It is nearly two weeks ago since they blossomed and they had wonderful weather for that. But it turned so cold and we have had frosts until the corn froze so I can't estimate. There are lots of small cherries in the husks but they are not growing so may all fall off. We looked at our own cherries today and they look about the same. The apples look pretty good. In another week we can tell you more about it. But at present I can't say.

The mercury has been down to 40 in the morning about 9 o'clock and cold enough for to freeze down here in the hollow. Mr. Wunsch's cherries are very poor can't even find small cherries in husks on his trees. I think we may have a fair crop a week ago we all had fine hopes but must wait now and see.

We had a shower since I last wrote you. The hay won't be ready to cut before you get here.

Jos. had to replant nearly the whole corn field and I haven't but very little garden so far as the worms eat it up.

Queen chews tobacco every day with Joseph and it chases the worms out by the handful she looks like a new horse. As slick as a button. She coaxes for a chew and thinks it is very good. I think it dreadfully nasty stuff for any thing to like either man or beast.

I wish you would let me know when you are coming as I haven't the house ready I have used the couch all winter and still am so will have to bring it over there. I can't clean the windows with shutters on so will leave that for you to do if you care to do it. But will dust and clean the rest. perhaps you would rather unpack your dishes as I hardly know what you want to use. Joseph will remove his disc and lever dray from the garage also crates. we have used it to store things in and find it pretty handy. So you see we would like to know how much time there is to have every thing ready for you. I'm so busy I have to plan like a good fellow to get every thing done as I work out of doors quite a little.

It is past bed time so must roll in

with love, Essie Kitchen

Old Mission, Mich.
June 16th 1929

My dear Miss. Taft:-

Today is Sunday and I am dead tired it has been dreadfully warm after our several days rain.

We have looked the cherries over several times during the past few days and there is going to be a fair crop on most of the trees. Ours are the same not nearly so heavy as last years. But we can all be very thankful for these. They were wonderful for the chance they had. With freezing winds a great many of the small cherries didn't mature. Of course they look better as they go on.

Fay Dohm had one finger cut off yesterday and 8 crushed with the spray rig. he is in the hospital at present.

Hope to see you in the near future.



Old Mission,
Aug. 21st 1929

My dear Miss Taft,

I wonder if you will receive this note before you go.

We had planned on going on a fishing trip Sun. so if you should come and we are not here your keys will be under a pail on the back porch of your own place.

The door was unlocked at our place when Joe and Edd went over there the yale lock was turned off so it didn't lock when the door was closed.

My but it will seem good to see you again.

Roger and the boys are working on the road so are waiting to mail this. Mr. Allen is working at the mill on our farm today.

Lovingly Essie

Old Mission, Mich.
Sept. 8th 1929

My dear Miss. Taft:-

You will think it queer to hear from me so soon but today is Sunday and I have thought about you nearly all the time so will drop you a few lines. We got very little rain Thurs. not enough to do any good so its just as dry as ever here but a little cooler than it was.

Thursday I was taken sick with chills and fever and a dreadfully sore throat didn't get about until Sat morning. Wed eve I didn't feel well but got thru some how. I'm better again but still have sore throat yet

Joseph sent the 1st load of cider apples into Morgan's yesterday and there wasn't any peelers in that lot he took every thing clean so little was left on the ground. But all they are paying is ($).25 per 100# I don't know if we will pick ours or not its hardly worth while at that price.

Your corn will soon be ready to cut isn't that nice? I was afraid it wouldn't ripen.

By the way there was a man here to look at your farm Thursday right after you left. We gave him your address so expect you will hear from him or have heard by now. If he should manage to buy or make plans to we would be very glad to hear about it as soon as you know.

Hope you had a safe trip and are not too tired to start your hard grind. If you are here another summer I hope we can see more of each other or you won't have so much traveling at least.

We may look at truck as well as a car but guess we had better wait until we see how things come along. 4,950# is what this load of apples weighed. Will send you the rest as soon as it is all done.

You will find an account on other side of this.

Lovingly, Essie

$0.65 for salt
0.20 file
0.68 Laundry
2.00 paid Christophers for T. labor
0.76 for kerosene
2.10 for 7 suppers @$0.30 each

Weigh bill 4,950 @ $0.25 per 100#

Old Mission, Mich
Sept 16th 19-29

My dear Miss. Taft:

Received your letter Saturday and was glad to know you reached Ill. safe and sound.

Joseph and I was over to the farm closing the house the morning Mr. Berry came over to look at the farm. The way he talked to Roger he wouldn't pay any more than he had to for the farm. He had an Idea he could buy pretty cheap. Rog. said he seemed to be a nice sort of fellow but may not have much money to finance the deal for any length of time.

Jos. found the Dutchess such a mess that he didn't sort them as there wasn't any use. But Morgan is buying apples at the Harbor his week so Jos. can haul the winter apples himself that will save truckage on them. He will wait a while now so they will have time to color up and grow some more too as there is no size to them yet. We had such a heavy wind Tues. that many of the best apples were blown off. Am having a few days of rain after our dry season.

Mr. Burkhart paid $1.25 per bu. for Bartlett pears tree run so Jos. got 2 bu off from your trees so you are $2.50 richer than you thought you were. I haven't asked Tom what he charged for hauling them but will find out soon. You can send him the pay for hauling apples and I'll charge the other to your account

The telephone needs new batteries these have lasted for nearly two years. Wish I could get more like them. Mr. Cortade had these on hand from the switch board.

The eave spouts are here and will soon be in service.

Jos. will cut corn this coming week. I can't even think tonight as I'm so dreadfully tired.

I'm so glad to get your nice letters as it is rather lonesome here.

Your's with love, Essie.

4950# first load apples
2735# Second "
2025# Third "

10.61 Sept 8th 1929
2.50 for pears

Old Mission, Mich.
Sept. 18th 19.29

My dear Miss. Taft:-

I talked with Mrs. Hall Flack in regards to the Berry family. This Mr. Berry that wishes to buy the farm is buying it for his son Bill that works for Mr. Flack his wife is Ethel Tompkins and they have four children. That is Tink Tompkins relation they worked for Mr. Vaught also for John Tompkins at Old Mission they destroy every thing they get their hands onto so if you don't get a good cash payment down your place will be nothing in a years time. They even tore the doors off from the Tompkins house Now please don't think im poking my nose in but I think far too much of you and your intrests for to see you suffer like that.They want to buy for a small price if he can deal with you for 6,000 its a pity we couldn't have bought it for that price ourselves. I talked to Mrs. Flack this morning so will hurry this right off in the mail. The father to this Bill Berry is a widdower. Must hurry this right off so please excuse my hurrying.

Lovingly, Essie

Please answer as soon as you know.

Old Mission, Mich.
Sept. 24th 1929

My dear Miss. Taft:-

Your letter received tonight and was very glad to hear from you also to know that you heard from me. I made a mistake right now so please excuse it. About the time I try to write Roger and Hazel are chewing the rag until I can't think of what I'm saying.

Mr. Berry seems quite sure you will come to his terms the little girl was telling Hazel all about it today at school. The right party will come along and you will get your price you have put a lot into this farm and you have it in a position to bring you a nice profit of a good year.

Both cows are all right. Mr. Kroupa charges $1.00 per head. It was closer for Jos. than to wade the snow drifts away over to Homer Willobees.

These other pears wasn't fit for market the dry hot weather ruined them. I didn't can any at all but would like to beg a few qts of Napoleon Sweets next Summer I love them in pie. Am very glad you were pleased with the pears.

I don't know of any one we could sell the buggy to but will keep my ears open.

I haven't been in town yet so haven't deposited your apple money but will very soon. The wealthy apples have been harvested but Mr. Morgan will not give us a fair price. We are going to see some one else when we go in town. We must try and get more for the winter crop. The Wealthies were very small and poor but Jos. sorted them all out carefully. And hauled them himself so that will save a little.

I paid Mr Myers for your honey last Sat. Jos. got nails down to Mr Lardies for to repair the porch also some fence staples to mend the fence.They say its a poor farmer that has his fences down so lets look up at least.

Your letter was very good and I enjoyed every word of it.

Mr. Jameson passed away last Wed. evening after having pneumonia three times since Christmas he was 87 years old. We will all miss him as he was a very dear old man.

It is past my bed time so will say good night you will hear from me quite often.

As ever with love Essie

P.S. Am sorry but Hazel thought you had left the small tablet in there for her and has it partly used up. I'll pay Alberta for it. The crabs have been sen't.

$0.65 binding twine
0.20 pear hauling
0.53 postage on crabs
1.50 for honey
2.88 expenses

10.23 left

1900# Wealthies @ $0.30
325# $5.70 @ $0.070
1195# $5.87 @ $0.30
$11.57 wealthy crop

Old Mission, Mich.
Oct. 15th 1929

My dear Miss. Taft:-

Your nice letter reached me today and thanks many times I wish I had the ability to write good letters like that perhaps I would feel different and you would hear more often from me.

Joseph sorted the crabs very carefully for Mrs. Stutsman and I have some very fine pickles, jelly too. Am so glad she thot' them so fine.

I haven't mailed the bank receipt for your apples but will enclose it in this letter. Jos. took the pippins down to the Harbor they came to $3.39 will take the slip in when the others are ready they are very small on account of so little rain. We haven't had enough to make them grow. The corn is fair but not so large and [rank] as most seasons. Your cherry trees are green as can be and autumn every where else. That looks fine for another year. Your count was correct for apple trees the grimes golden apples are fair this fall.

We will inquire about hay and let you know as nearly as we can Jos. and I like Henry Lardie best for our selves we though he got very good hay this Spring. Its very difficult to say exactly how much hay you need but will estimate as closely as we can.

The new seeding is coming on pretty qood.

Miss. Taft talk about expenses it makes me feel sick. Jos. wrecked the kitchen and hired a carpenter to build the frame part and he said we should have the house raised and a foundation put under it. We are having a cement block foundation put under the whole thing can you imagine the expense it will be. Jos. hasn't the time to do it all and not the right tools either so will have to hire a man for a few days his charges are $10 per day. There will be a nice little kichen there with plenty of light and I hope with a level floor this time. We hired J. Christopher to haul our sand and gravel. Here I am telling you every thing about our affairs. Perhaps the mice won't have quite so much freedom from now on. We can't afford to complete the out side of the house this year but maybe another fall we can do a little more on it. By raising the house up it will save the sills and the floor will be much drier. We may put some new windows in the front part and a new door.

Every thing on the farm is fine so you need not worry. I made my blanket over as I told you I had planned on. Used a plain blue and quilted it with rose colored pearl cotton no.5 It is quite pretty altho' I should have made it a little larger than I did. Would love to see your rugs progress have you finished the pretty one I was so fond of. I would like to undertake one my self but even sewing has brought the pain back to my shoulders. Well its bedtime for tired little girls so must get ready to retire. Lovingly Essie

2 picking baskets $0.40
nails for back porch 0.60
Fence staples 0.45
rip saw 2.50

3.95 expenses
$6.28 to your credit

Old Mission, Mich
Nov. 29th 1929

My dear Miss. Taft:-

Received your letter yesterday.

Talk about storms its been terriable for nearly two weeks now snow every day just like Jan.

We got the hay from Homer Willobee instead of Lardie we got a little over 8 ton at $16.50 per ton it is nice hay too. Jos. wouldn't have gotten what he did but every Spring we run short There was 16,685# @ [$.825] per 100 which came to $137.54 I'll try and write a letter in a few days. Jos got the hay cheaper this way than from town must hurry as I'm going to T. City and its past 8 o'clock

Lovingly Essie

Old Mission, Mich.
Dec. 6th 1929

My dear Miss Taft:-

Received your letter also order for grain. Joseph may not have the opportunity to go in T. C. himself but would be just as cheap to have Mr. Lardie bring it out for us.

All is going well on the farm our cold spell has let up for the present at least We nearly froze for over a week the wind blew so hard that you couldn't keep the house warm at all. We still have a nice blanket of snow all over the fields.

Miss Taft I know how you have to stretch every dollar and make it go as far as it will we are in the same boat. It always keeps us with our nose to the grindstone too. Some of our busy neighbors would like to see us get a nice car leave your farm and swing high with the rest. We don't want to tie up all our money in a car. I would rather have my home more comfortable. If you live up there another Summer I hope the mice won't steal your muffins again. There is still a lot more to have done but Jos. is going to complete the cellar after we move up there. Also have a screened porch the full length on the back for Summer and glass windows for winter The toilet and bath will have to wait for a few years yet. Altho we are going to move the toilet from its present place and have it out by the barn then it won't smell so badly. We have only had the place 3 years. so can't expect to do it all yet. It takes both time and lots of money we had to pay our men $10 a day for their labor besides dinner. The only reason we kept Bob and Edd here was the board money helped pay for our own groceries.

Why don't you go to Florida it would help you a lot and shorten up the winter. You need the change the same as I did a year ago when I went home I was a nervous wreck but came back fresh and ready to start the new year in right.

You said you saw Hurley news in the Chicago paper. That is nothing new My sisters husband rented his place last Spring and moved out to their Summer home at Mercer then went South for the winter. There isn't any more evil there than in our own neighborhood only that place is watched and the Pratts are not. I think they make booze over there during the Fall months. Well no one cares as they don't molest us any with their drunken brawls.

Mrs. Lardie, Kittie Bartlett and Mrs. Mills took their trip to Niagra Falls as they had planned. Mrs. Edd Emory was brought back here from Detroit for burial last Wed. George Christopher is to be buried Sat morning. Mrs Ayers is very sick and will never get well again. Pluma Kitchen that Henrys wife has another baby a boy this time. Mrs cook who was primary teacher last year lost her little baby son last week. I guess this is all the local news for this time Oh we expect lots of new babies this Fall hope I'm not on the list too.

I was very glad to hear about the Clearys Its too bad he is so miserable and still has to drag along. I don't think Jos. will ever be as well as he used to be his side gets sore now and it never used to. Unless you go to good Doctors outside of here its hard to get to the bottom of ones ailments. I feel fine so far this winter. Hazel's eczema has been a lot better so far.

Joseph repaired the porch we had to buy new sheeting for it as the other was spoiled clear through and fell to pieces. If ever you intend to do much repairing I suggest to wreck the building and put up new. its nearly as cheap in the end and then its the way you want it. We have gone thru the mill and know what the expenses are. I got the cheapest material for the porch I could so hope you don't think we have caused you unnecessary expense.

If you get a reasonable price for your farm I would say let it go because in a few more years it will take a lot to repair the house. Its your home and I know you love it but along with your teaching its a burden to you some of the time. Can't you squeeze out of going to Summer school? Altho' the teachers here had to go or loose out. Mr. Hamilton didn't have the money to go on with so had to give up a good salary [???] he 6.00 and some [???] has lost the last part [???] it over again. Well winter [???] started in all over again I guess it won't break up until Spring if it keeps going at this rate.

You will think I'm rather cheap to use such poor paper but am out and using some of Hazel's. It will answer the purpose so suppose it all O.K.

Hope you are well by now

Lovingly Essie

$6.25 To your credit Oct. 15th 1929
$2.66 To your credit Dec. 8th 19-29

$0.10 poke root
3.52 for porch Lumber
$3.62 expenses

Old Mission, Mich
Dec. 30th 1929

My dear Miss Taft:-

We will soon be ready to start a new year I wonder what it holds forth for us?

Mrs. Lardie told me that she was keeping you posted on the new cherry business every one is talking about. Some are for it while others are not. I don't like the idea of one party having all to say about our fruit. It seems to me people would be wiser to have several canning factories instead of trying something new. I haven't heard very much about it only what is in the papers. What is your opinion?

Am so sorry to hear about your eyes. I think you would be wise to drop all sewing and simply rest. My glasses are not right now so will have to keep on trying altho' it costs so dreadfully all the time.

Our snow is nearly gone. and a strong south wind has been blowing, 40 degrees for several hours. No ice in the bay so far. Here is hoping it snows more and turns colder. Have had lots of snow up until the past two days.

Was Santa Claus kind to you? He was more than generous to us.

The engine is at Harold Lardies getting repaired. The trouble was mostly in the magneets. I will send you the bill when it is all repaired. Am sorry to have to have the extra expense count up. I know the taxes were much higher this year.

We have good good prospects so far for a good cherry crop. The trees went into the winter looking good and are full of buds. We all hope to have some thing for another year.

Roger wants me to play cards with him so now I guess I will there isn't any thing more to write about.

Lovingly, Essie Kitchen

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