Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1930

Dublin Core


Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1930


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. 7th 19-30

My dear Miss Taft:

The Ladies Journal came to us again this month and I think they kind fairy must be you. I wish to thank you for it and am sorry I didn't know before so I could have said thank you earlier in the season.

We are having very bad weather warm and rains most every one feels it. I'm so sick this minute I can hardly hold my head up. Hazel brought the flu home a week ago and guess I'm coming down with it.

How I would love to see you and have a chat about cherries. what do you think about it. Of course you will get all the details from the papers. So many of the farmers here are all for it while others are afraid to take the big step. I myself think leave good enough alone. The next time we go in town Jos. is going to try & see Geo. Lardie we have lots of confidence in him.

The animals are fine. Jos. would like to have corn ground but it is hardly dry enough to keep without moulding in the sacks.

Will try & write again soon as I must lie down.

Lovingly, Essie

Old Mission, Mich
Jan. 23rd 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

I've intended to write to you every day for a week now & this the nearest I have gotten to it.

The Gore family went to Florida for just a trip & vacation. I'm sure they won't pay any big price to live while there. Joe & I plan such a trip in a few years. I think we deserve a vacation if ever any one did. If we could manage to get away after cherry season we would like to take a trip around by Chicago cross the lake & go north for about 2 weeks but suppose its only a dream as ususal.

We have more snow & real cold weather for over a week now. The bay would freeze over if we had some still weather.

I started this yesterday so will try to finish up today. There isn't any news as yet since I wrote last time. Animals are all well.

I'm feeling better but Roger is having his turn now I suppose Jos. will be next on the list. Hope you stay well.

We are having ideal cherry weather lets hope it continues until after danger of freezing cherries is past. We all need a good year after what we all have had for past 3 seasons.

Harold Lardie said the Mag on engine is worn out and can't be repaired and a new one costs 14 or 15 dollars so he has changed it to run with coil and [batterings??????] Jos. has ordered a hot shot that is the cheaper in the end and starts better. WE can get the Battery from H. M. Lardie at O. M. Harold's Bill is enclosed in your letter.

We have a new telephone operator now Mr. [Costade????] lost out he got too smart with people and tried to run the whole list.

Isadore Larldie is doing the work at the present time & left your bill here for us to send in to you. He would like to have you mail the check to him.

Joseph wants to mail this so I must hurry so as not to keep him waiting on me that is one thing a man hates is to wait on a woman.

I saved last year's State Bnk calendar with the pretty bird for you as you liked it so much.

Must hurry now
Lovingly Essie Kitchen

Old Mission, Mich
Feb. 9th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

This is a beautiful day so nice and warm out. Altho' we have plenty of snow and nights about zero the past few days have been beautiful.

You was wondering what Roy Hooper would do with his sweet cherries I suppose those people will can them the same as Mr. Lardie has. Hooper is very much in favor of this new method also D. Eiman. They always are for any thing new that comes out. But I hope we can all be careful at least.

The bays are frozen over solid and prospects are fine for this Summer so far. Of course lots of things could happen the last minute.

Hazel is sewing as busy as a bee even tho' it is Sunday. I never saw any one that was so fond of a needle & cared so little for books as she does.

How are the rugs coming. I haven't made much this winter I have so little time for myself. And now Spring and Summer sewing is here. It won't seem long now until the robins are back. Are you going to have any thing new? I'm not.

Do you plan on going to Summer school? I plan on picking lots of cherries this summer hope I'm not disapointed. How many can you pick? Hazel never looks forward to that time of the year. Roger is no different. Suppose we can't all be made alike tho.

I can't think of any more to write about.

Oh yes the [Kauer????] cow had her baby last Friday morning and is doing fine John Kroupa is charging $2.00 fees now & Homer Willobee $2.50. [?????] said you sent two dollars to him some time ago and expected more from Joseph. [????] told him his fees at that time was $1.00 per head. I don't see how he could expect more.

Will send an account this time.

Much love. Essie

$2.66 to your credit Dec. 8th 19-29
3.67 expenses
1.01 you owe us

2.25 hot shot battery
.80 for telephone batteries
.42 for 2 gal Gasoline
.20 for 1/2 # salt peter for team
3.67 expenses up until Feb. 9th

Old Mission, Mich
Feb. 23 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

We have had a big change in the weather since I last wrote to you. A week ag tonight it was 6 below zero and tonight our snow is nearly gone the fields & roads are bare. A week ago tomorrow they plowed our road out so we could get out I can hardly beleive there could be such a difference.

We haven't attended many parties this winter as a lot of the time we couldn't get out of here unless we took the team and I dread going out nights with horses. The neighbors understand but we were invited to all the parties until the last two I guess they knew there wasn't any use They don't get home until two and 3 o'clock in the morning. Its pretty hard to climb out in the cold at that hour of the morning.

Thanks for the opportunity of having a vacation. But we have felt that if there was any spare time we should try to keep the place partly up our orchards must have care at least proper spraying. Last of all we did quite a little work on our house after The Allen's and Roger helped Jos. to do all of your work up nicely. We were so afraid you would sell & we wouldn't have the house in shape. The carpenter destroyed some of my flowers. I can hardly wait until they come up to see what is left. I felt pretty blue when going over there to see hills of dirt on them & deep trenches dug but suppose I will have to get toughening into that some time. They put one window in so crooked that we will have to have the work done over. I felt pretty disgusted paying $1.00 an hour. Its so hard to depend on men like that money is what they are after.

Mr. Lardie told Jesse Christopher to not sell his cherries to any one yet that he would do as well as any one by him. We were well satisfied with Geo L. so why change. So many are always so glad to throw aside a good fellow in order to try a new one. Not me [I????] will try to stick.

Will attend to pressure guage the next time we go to T City.

Its past my bed time & I'm tired so must say good night & retire.

Your's with love
Essie K.

P.S. Mr. Lardie doesn't handle seeds.

Old Mission, Mich
March 11th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

How time flies. Mar. will soon be half gone but it seems like Jan. out instead. A terriable blizzard is sweeping down on us tonight. But am thankful for is as the weather was too warm some time back. Altho' it did us no harm so far. The buds look fine in fact couldn't look better. The ice is still in the bay and blanket of snow covers all at present.

We have some pumpkin seeds but perhaps not enouugh as we had no crop last year. The roots are good for the stock and saves a lot it certainly takes lots of feed when every thing [??????] up all summer and winter starts early There won't be enough hay again Altho Jos. is as saving as can be. I find it costs us enough for one small horse it would be cheaper if a person could get on without them as there are so few months a year a person works them But with our hills a crawler tractor is the thing we could use & it costs a fortune to buy one. I get tired of trying to figure out a way to keep going.

Pratt & Cross are having trouble of some kind guess its from being dishonest with some of their buyers.

I find honesty the best policy. And stick to what you know has proven true. Fay Dohm tried to tell Joe what a fool he was not to join the new canning concern as he did. Jos. flew to pieces & told him what he [tought???] about things and said they neighbors didn't run his business. The bunch kind of rub in in because we stay here but why leave you as long as we get on together. Miss. Taft you mean lots to me moe than just a common friend.

I know some times I get [nervous] and perhaps you feel like spanking me but I can't help it. There is so much depends on me. I hope this summer we can have a nice time sitting in the shade.

Mr. Bryte wanted to rent our house for the summer but we wouldn't consider renting to any family as it takes too much for up keep. Children can destroy a lot in fact some young ups don't care what they do. I love to have a place to go & visit some times. You know the pleasure you get out of coming here in the Summer time.

If Mother Nature favors us this Spring I think we will have a good price for our fruit. Perhaps in some way it will help our apple market.

Jos. ordered a new pressure gauge & as the other one wouldn't last. The spray eats them in time until it hardly pays to repair much as they can't last.

Well I'm tired & sleepy so much go to bed.

With love
Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich
Mar. 28th 1930
My dear Miss Taft:
I have wanted to write you a few lines for several days but have been so busy that I kept waiting until it is Sunday again.
The fruit buds haven't started yet as the winds have been so cold and the ground is frozen quite hard. Today it is snowing so have an idea we will have another taste of winter. We don't need warm weather yet. Jos. is busy every day trying to get all the small things done before the rush starts in for good.
I think your new dress must be very nice wish I had one as good my clothes all need new ones too. You always make everything so well. I try hard enough but can't do it. Roger & Hazel went to T. C. last night to see the movies & they are jabbering until I can't think straight.
There is so little to write about this time of year but know you are anxious to hear every thing is all right. Ice still in the bay & hope it will be for some time.
We are afraid Mr. Spruet will loose out at election this year. There is considerble feeling against him at O. M. Mr. Gray is trying hard to take his old place back. We were well pleased Will our new man. But it seems as tho' he has been too friendly with the Pratts and let them get by with things and people have gotten wise to it. So many dislike Pratts for being so dishonest.
[A??] late haven't heard much about cherries. will tell you when anything new comes up.
When did you wish to have the [Kanic???] cow bred? She has did well coming fresh in the winter that doe's away with swollen udder like they have on grass. Of course we will do as you wish about that.
I'll be glad when Spring doe's come as we have had such a long winter
I'm sorry to hear Alberta hasn't been well what seems to be the trouble? She has always beenso healthy. Of course she has studied hard for some time and I think it has been too much for her. I often wonder if it pays to ruin our health in order to gain so much.
Roger was sick two weeks from flu but is better altho' he complains of being tired.
They want me to play a game of cards so will have to give up or leave the house. Hope you are well am glad Mrs. English is better. Enjoyed your letter very much. With love
Essie Kitchen
$6.01 you sent us
.42 gas
4.58 to your credit

Old Mission, Mich
Apr. 6th 1930
My dear Miss Taft:
The last time I wrote to you it was snowing and today the sky looks so over cast and heavy that it may start all over again. We have had two days of real spring weather and the out doors is full of song from little birds. The swamp choir has started also so suppose we will have all kinds of concerts for a while. There is very little snow left in the fields but considerable in the woods and lots of ice in the bays so far. I hope it turns a little cooler soon as we have lots of time for warm weather later in the season. The buds on fruit trees have had little chance so far to grow but a few warm days makes a quick change in all growing things.

You mentioned the little garden plot back of our house all I have planted there is two rows of fox gloves Mrs. Mills gave me last fall. I doubt if any thing would grow well there on account of shade but you are welcome to try it if you wish to. We would like to raise a few potatoes here as its too hard to care for such big gardens up there. Will there be room in the cherry orchard? If not perhaps we can manage some way. While I think of it Mrs. Mills wanted Jos & I to ask you about buying some old straps & harness & of no account but she wanted $5.00 for them it wouldn't be a wise buy so never mentioned it in fact I forgot about it until now. We find it dosen't pay to buy trash it dosen't last & money wasted.

I found on cleaning up the other day that those pieces of sheets or strips I gave 1 or 2 the carpenters some way or other tramped them full of dirt. Joseph layed them on a chair but men never see womens belongings all else is all O.K. its what you had up to the kitchen windows. I thought I had better mention it so you wouldn't think I would destroy any thing you have. One thing mice aren't chewing things up like they did before.

The horses should have shoes on this Spring as Jos. didn't have it did last Fall thought by being [saving????] they would need it most now. Their hoofs need to be taken care of and Jos. has neither tools or things to work with. He couldn't do any thing with Bird she is so wild.

Mrs. Franklin gave me a bird & Hazel is nearly wild with joy she hardly knows where to put her cat now as birds and cats don't & can't get on together. He must stay out side. We bought 3 gold fish last of all & Roger watches them by the hour.

I can't write any longer as I must start dinner. Please come & share it with us. Have a nice chocolate pie. Roger is bringing company home to dinner. He & Hazel are at church just now.

Received the garden seeds and thanks many times will see that Miss Taft enjoys them if the cut worms don't first.

Lovingly, Essie

P.S. Monday Morning. Having a blizzard today and quite cold. Suppose they may have to dig us out of snow banks again.

Old Mission, Mich
Apr. 18th 1930
My dear Miss Taft:
Today is my birthday and will celebrate by writing a few lines to you.

It has rained now for nearly two days & is some what colder tonight the frogs are singing so loud you can hardly hear yourself think.

The fruit buds are swelling quite fact so hope it gets cooler.

Jos. had to buy plow repairs as it was nearly beyond using you couldn't plow with it and do a good job.

We got gasoline & cup grease also for [$].80 worth of oil at Hank Lardies. We got 15 gal. of gas. We will pay for half of it then there will be plenty to pump both water & sprayer to spray with.

Our Ladies Aid is having a contest to see which side can earn the most our side feed 85 school teachers Tues evening. I'm still tired from the long hours of work. Thank goodness thats over for once more.

I've been working dreadfully hard of late trying to get the house in shape for you as I won't have time later on to do it. And still have most of the house cleaning to do here. Its pretty hard to keep two houses up. If I could earn an extra $5 I would paper the two rooms for you but can't seem to make the raise it takes all I can scrape to buy other things. It looks nice and clean up there any way even tho' the walls aren't papered. The next job I'll have is to try & put a rope or some thing along the road to keep people from driving on the sod it will be all cut up. I see they make a nice road all over the grass it soon cuts ruts. May be some time I can have a row of stones along there. You have always been careful but others are not.

Mr. Lardie delivered your order and all work is under way. Both Jos. & Roger are very busy every day.

Jos has the chance to buy two ton of loose hay from [penny????] Christopher but has to haul it himself. It will save truckage. You didn't mention horse shoeing. Do you wish it to be done. Please mention.

I will send the bill in so you will know how things stand and where your money has been paid out. We have [fim?????] for oats left from last years as I got a full pint so have plenty left so need not buy more.

1.00 plow point and two springs for Sprayer
1.00 can cup grease
.25 for bolts
1.75 for plow wheel
.80 oil at H. M. Lardie
.25 asbestor for gasgets
.40 for large file
2.37 gasoline
4.58 on hand
$6.76 To your credit Apr. 18th
With love Essie Kitchen

Old Mission, Mich
Apr. 28th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

All day I have tried to find a few spare minutes to write you a few lines. Here it is supper time so will take a minute off and try again.

We have had snow and cold weather since I last wrote you but no rain and we do need it so badly.

Joseph has the ground all ready for seeding and waiting for rain and warmer weather.

Had a beautiful still day when he put the D. spring on so did a very good job. Hope we see results. I hope the Wunsch people do their spraying this year as it helps to keep our trees clean and healthy.

The new seeding you put in a year ago is coming on very well excepting in one little spot Jos. will do something with that.

Jos. got a chance to buy some hay from [Perry?????] Christopher for $12 a ton its very nice hay and not bailed. It is mostly alfalfa of course Jos. will have to haul it for that price. As long as he could get it so reasonable he took it all as it comes much higher if you buy in T. City or else where. And bailed hay is poor at the best and you don't get your weight.

We got some from Gillmore for our horse before we found out about Perry having their as we didn't have enough feed altho' our mow was full besides our corn fodder.

The hay we bought of Perry comes to $36 and you can send the money to him if you wish.

As ever Essie K.

P. S. The buds are swelling on the sweets will soon burst forth now if it stays warm. Please excuse poor writing as I'm in a hurry.

Old Mission, Mich
Apr. 28th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

Just a line this morning to let you know all is well so far. Having wonderful weather. Jos. put pink spray on Mont. cherries yesterday also apples. I never saw things pop out so fast.

Miss Taft if you roast alive don't complain I'm not going to. For if it turns cold we will all suffer. The cherries are full of good blossoms so far. Will drop a line real often. When will you come to O. M? Or don't you know.

The meadows & pastures look good grass is growing very fast. Seeding is all in now & ready to do its part.

Jos. got new clock for Sprayers from H. M. L. and works good.

Please excuse short note but better than none. Will write more next week am dreadfully busy at present.

Lovingly, Essie K.

Old Mission, Mich
May 21st 19-30

My dear Miss Taft:

Will hurry and write a few lines to you as I know you are anxious to hear how every thing is coming on.

We have had some very cold weather since you last heard from me. But can't see where your cherries are hurt. The petals are falling now so we can soon tell what we will have if nothing more happens later on.

Your oats are up. And corn planted every thing is growing nicely but need rain very much it has turned warm today so perhpas we may get some before long.

The horses have been shod and seed drills paid for.

Jos. Is going to plant [mangle ????] & carrot seeds today and that will end the planting now spraying comes on soon again Sweets were sprayed Sat.

Winter apples look like a light crop and Dutchess & [Meathies ?????] fair. We will wait & see what comes.

I'm sorry Miss Taft but I couldn't wash your spread as I had my heavy laundry did this Spring as I can't stand to lift any more. I have that old trouble worse than ever. Am selling cream also to save so much hard work. All the joy of my 13 Summers in Mich has been spoiled by too much hard work when I should have had rest. I still stay fat but those laceration from 12 years ago pain me considerable am afraid the time is coming when I will have to go to the hospital again.

I love the farm but there is so much hard work for a woman. It seems I'm busy all the while and then can't catch up.

Hope you are well and not too tired these days. Hazel can hardly wait until school is out.

Must hurry as Jos. is in for dinner. Lovingly, Essie

$6.76 left to your credit
.30 pump leathers
1.00 seed drill
1.00 line drill
.50 carrot seed
3.50 horse shoeing
.46 to your credit May 21st 1930

P.S. Roger and I are going in to T. C. tomorrow & I'm going in to Chamber of Commerce & report Altenberg's orchard as its full of worms nests. and they come over to yours. Was in the orchard tonight & cherries look good so far.

Old Mission, Mich
May 26th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

Today is Hazel's birthday & it has been a big day for her she is 12 years old now. It seems but just yesterday she was a baby and now nearly a young lady.

To begin with we had a real white frost last night but no ice. Jos. is afraid the cherries in the lower corner are hurt some. The trees are fairly good so far if too many don't fall off. Some trees area better than others. He is Spraying again today and had a time with the small engine as usual. He had Lardies man come down Sat. and they found the battery we got last winter was dead so Jos. got 4 small dry cells they are cheaper and answer the purpose. We can't get water from the swamp any more because it is low on water altho' Jos. would rather have the warmer water to put on trees our cistern has been dry for some time we have had so little rain that I have used hard water since last Fall unless I melted snow to use.

Jos. ordered 30 bu. of oats you told him last Fall to get them when needed so he did. Your horses won't need grain after the heavy work is done.

I hope it warms up and rains we need it.

Wed Morning:

Well I will try and finish my letter today so as to mail it. I started this Monday and the same evening we had another killing frost prospects look bad at present even to alfalfa was nipped some. We can't tell how badly the cherries are hurt until they fall altho' some peoples orchards are frozen until the cherries are black. Dud Griffin had a full crop & he has complete loss. We all got hurt but can't tell how badly for a few days or perhaps a week. You had a wonderful stand of cherries in fact we all did but it looks pretty blue to all of us today

I looked your orchard over yesterday morning most of the sour cherries have a small brown spot they may not fall will let you know as soon as I can. I dreaded writing this but Miss Taft we are all in the same shoes. The sweet cherries are not so bad they were further advanced. I was looking forward to how many surprises I would have for you and the nice time we might have this Summer. But guess it will be the same as always.

We will hope for the best and try to [feel????] as we do a lot of people find their orchards & lost too. It is for some one higher than us to let us have things they say he knows best. Well Roger is in a hurry to mail this.

Lovingly Essie

Old Mission, Mich
May 29th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

Jos. thinks we may not be hurt as much as we first thot. I'm glad you are not here now you would nearly freeze to death it was 28 down here last night or this morning at 3 a.m. There isn't a chimney on our house so we can't put a stove up for you.

Jos. signed up for electric lights they plan on bringing the line down the center road before long. They need just a few more signers. We will have our house wired as soon as we can if possible so as not to trouble you. The lights you burn won't cost you much. This thing of stumbling about in the dark is horrible expecially at night.

They may not come out but we have $118 put in it now of course if [thi?????] drop out our money is refunded.

Jos. had trouble with the spray rig two cogs broke off from the timing gear. Edd took us in town & we had them [brazed?????] on. We paid for the other repairs ourself. Jos. was just finishing your cherry orchard when that happened. He had Harold come & time it this morning. All is going well again only its so cold we all shiver all the while.

Will write again soon Will look the orchard over often.

Lovingly Essie

.46 to your credit
1.00 for repair of gear
.25 Harness oil
.79 you owe us.

Harold hasn't [beep?????]
Harold hasn't been paid my hands are so cold I can hardly write they feel stiff like sticks.

June 3rd 1930

Dear Miss Taft:

Just a line this morning before I go in town. YOur cherries are looking better every day. Just a few trees down in lower corner look bad [?ou??????] fall isn't too heavy prepare to work hard later on.

I found this morning they are going to start the electric line out here tomorrow or day after. We will try and find an electrician as soon as we can to wire the house so please don't come too soon because they work early & late and you would be in a torn up mess. Harold Lardie is going to find out what he can for us within a day or two. We will have to wait our turn and I would like to have every thing cleaned up for you for a a mess it will be. I'm going to be on the job too not stay down here and let them lay around and charge $1.00 an hour or more.

Please let me hear from you. The hay fields are frozen some but will start to grow if we have any rain. We are drying up here and the sun is blistering hot now.

You will hear me in a day or two again.

All is coming again if [weather????] stays by us.

Lovingly Essie

[June 5, 1930]

My dear Miss Taft:

The cherries are coming wonderful after all our frosts. We are all looking forward to a very busy Summer. And hope we can be prepared to make you comfortable.

Please let me hear from you so I can make my plans.

Your's sincerely

June 10th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

Read your card yesterday and today a letter. Was very glad to hear from you.

That gentleman you mentioned used to work with Bob & Edd. Bob is the one told him about your farm. He is a nice little fellow but hasn't money or perhaps a few hundred dollars. But Edd says he isn't a farmer and spends money as fast as he gets a little ahead for new cars. Just trys to keep up with the times is all. He is like hundreds other fellows thinks he can make a big stake on a farm. He may do well but unless you can get a good down payment be careful for one year of poor managing and your trees would be ruined. Then when a fruit growers orchard is gone there isn't much left. It would be nice if you could sell to some good man and not have these worries all the while. Of course I think we are all better off to have something to care for.

Your cherries are coming along nicely some trees are not so full. But a much better crop than a year ago. I hope you will be pleased with them.

The hay is coming slow after the frosts and dry weather. Oats look good.

I would feel bad to lose my garden here as I didn't plant much over home this year. Perhaps we had better plant some more up there. If you don't sell I'll be glad to share with you what I have.

Its quite expensive to have the lights put in. They are going to change the center road up by our place in order to cut off that corner. It will be nicer for us as it takes the road farther away from the house. They won't work on that until later on. We have to put $118.75 to join the co. and if we hook up within 60 days after the line is completed we get $100 back. and have to pay $10 a pole if we are 150 ft from line so it isn't so cheap. But would cost much more if left until later on.

In time I think they will come down this way altho it would be a lot extra as you would have to pay for poles to run down in here.

The men destroyed some of my Iris last fall but have some left I felt so badly to see every thing destroyed but salvaged some of them. One of them has a bud. It was so nice of you to bring them to me.

Miss Taft it always gives me a flip flop feeling inside to think of ever leaving here of course if you sell I'll have to go. I love my little home but this was my home first and has a tender spot in my heart.

Will try & be ready for you. The men start work up there tomorrow and hope some time in July you can enjoy good lights. They will only cost you what you use.

Lovingly Essie

Old mission, Mich
Sept. 19th 1930
My dear Miss Taft:

I'm sorry I wasn't here the last night you came over here. I had been in town and had my eyes tested and as usual a terriable head ache all day long. So I put my coat & hat on and went down to the bay for a little walk & to be alone. Jos. supposed I had gone to Ernest's place. But am so sorry I missed you.

Well we have had two showers but no real rain to do much good this will help a little.

Jos. is husking out a little of the corn and finds it didn't fill out well at all it won't make very good seed but could be worse.

Mr. Lardie mailed us our other [cent??] on the cherries some people expect another cent at least but it is hard to tell what we will get yet. Haven't heard about our docked cherries. It would be like a Christmas present to receive any thing from them. Will let you know what we hear.

Mr. [Magygrew????] finished your work in a half day & I have the windows all cleaned again.

It has been dreadfully warm here but a little cooler here today wish you could have stayed two weeks longer at least.

Jos.sold one bushel of pears to Mrs. Chase for 75 [cents] but couldn't find sale for the rest of them so had to leave what was left they wasn't very good up in the top of tree perhaps a [bu????] is all there was left any way.

The horse isn't much better yet as we can see.

Mr. Willobee brought some of your hay and still has more to get. We got $66.90 worth and with what we have hope it will be nearly enough.
I have a dreadfu cold and can hardly get a good breath & a mean head ache so will close now hope you are well and not too warm.

With love Essie

There are no changes on the plums.
$10.00 $1.75 paint and puty
2.10 on hand 1.28 Laundry
.75 pears 2.50 [Manyhue]
$12.85 $5.53 expenses
7.32 left on hand

Old Mission, Mich
Sept. 23rd 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

Todays mail brought me one of the very nicest gifts I ever had. I can never tell you how much I appreciate it. And the beautiful part is to think your [owns????] hands helped to make it. How can I every repay you both for your doing all that for me. Miss Taft a gift that you make and give to me means lots more than anything you could just buy it always seems so much more personal to receive a gift that has patience time and thoughts from the given put into it. So thanks again to you both.

Mailel you a letter Sun so hope you have it by now. The weather is very warm in fact what you would call hot. This morning we could scarcely breathe for smoke as there is a forest fire at Buckley and the wind blew the smoke in our dirrection.

The poor fruit trees are coaxing for rain altho they are nice & green there leaves are curled heavenward.

Hazel is getting supper & I can smell it burning so must come to her rescue if I want the fmaily to eat.

The day after you left Hazel started to be a lady & I had quite a time with her as she was dreadfully nervous and had to go to school too. Hope her exzema leaves now.

Must hurry now so as to mail this at O. M. tonight.

Lovingly, Essie

Old Mission, Mich
Oct. 17 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

Our Summer weather has turned cold so we are nearly frozen stiff today. Has snowed some.

Your seeding is coming along good and buds on cherry trees look very much better. Altho' the pasture is pretty slow in coming on.

Joseph is finishing cleaning the apple stumps out & will plow very soon there is lots to do this Fall in order to be ready for Spring.

He wanted me to ask you about buying a roll of roofing of some kind for the pig house the roof leaks so badly we can't put our chickens in there.

There must be something did about the well before winter sets in as the water flow is so small we fear there won't be any in a short time. It may be the check valve but more likely the screen is coated over.

Homer W. hasn't brough all your hay yet but expect him to very soon.

By the way Mrs. Mills has a new husband. They are away on a two weeks honey moon and then going to Florida for the winter. The neighbors say she is a happy blushing bride worse than a sixteen year old. Well its rather nice she has a companion.

Mrs Will Ayers is to be buried tomorrow afternoon and Mrs. John Holmes is very low.

We have electric lights did my ironing up there Tuesday and they worked fine. I may as well get some good out of them as we have to pay $1.00 a month anyway. Of course it will soon be too cold to even iron there in a few weeks from now.

Roger wants to mail this at Old Mission so must hurry as he is waiting on me will write sooner next time.

Lovingly Essie

Old Mission, Mich
Oct. 24th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

We have had a nice little winter since I last wrote to you. I had to get two rolls of roofing at $1.50 a roll. This is not the best but good enough to last a few years perhaps by then some one else will have the farm.

Jos. & Roger finished plowing the D. apple orchard this a.m. it looks very nice now have started down at the woods.

The meadow came on very well after the rain altho' I can hardly see how it would after being so dry.

I went to T. C. over a week ago and ordered brick to have a new chimney Clarence Lardie put it up at $10 a day of course Jos. didn't have to help him with that as he has his own tender. But I can keep warm. Thanks a lot for the offer of the oil stove but won't need to use it as I have a cook stove there now. The chim is the kind they build for a furnace from basement up. That is all we have had done there and all we will until some other year.

We got another 1/2 cent out of our cherries with the promise of more. How about you?

I hardly think the Lardies are going away guess I will ask her now. No they are not going. Mrs. Mills is now Mrs. Ruff and they are going to Florida I must hurry as I have button holes to make in & night shirts for my husband Jos. has a dreadful cold & can hardly keep going.

Must close now as ever with Love Essie

Old Mission, Mich
Nov. 5th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

I have hurried with my work all morning in order find a little time to sew. But find I must write you a few lines first

Your trees came & they are very nice Jos. has them nearly all set now. They are working hard as it is snowing & real chilly out but nor freezing yet.

Jos. started plowing pasture up and had to buy a new part for the plow it is pretty slow & hard going but looks good.

He wanted me to ask you if you saw the cow chains any place he has searched every where & says he can't find them he left them in the shed. It just came to him that you might have put them out of sight. With so many strangers about a person never can tell what they will take. His new pliers are gone and my straw hat has never come to light I can't help but feel those [carmoneys???] took them. Jos. could stake the cows about here and there on nice days and save a mouthful of feed there is some nice green grass out on the front lawn I know it would make the cows smile to have a bit of it.

Mr. Willobee brought the rest of your hay yesterday so will mail you the slips & bill I can't figure it out but perhaps you can on an adding machine if any mistakes just tell him about it. He charged us for 10# of hay we didn't get. I wish some times we had of sold Nellie to the fox farm as it will cost $1.00 to winter her this year. Bird isn't much better do you want to keep her after Fall work is all done? Jos. has the corn under cover but not all husked yet will tell you how many bu later on. It is poor but a wonder there was any. There was 4 1/2 bu carrots and 4 bu. of mangles. That reminds me I haven't my table carrots in from up home yet.

Well must hurry as I want to take a stitch before noon if I can please excuse this mess guess you can make it out.

How I wish I could carry the lights down here for the winter as we have to pay just the same. They are going thru on the shore road now with them. Mr. W. talks of putting them to his farm but let me tell you it costs a lot of good hard money we will be paying $140 besides no fixtures at all what will it take if barns & garage were all wired. They are nice but a big expense.

Much love, Essie K.

2.10 left Aug 12th 1930
10.00 check
$1.67 on hand Nov. 5th 1930

2.50 May hay
1.75 paint & putty
3.00 for 2 rolls roofing at $1.50 per roll
1.90 plow repairs

Old Mission, Mich
Nov. 30th 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

We are having a grand cold winter and lots of snow. Come on up we can play snow ball now instead of picking cherries. Our weather chaged very suddenly and looks as tho' winter is here in earnest.

Joseph got all the Fall work done up very nicely before the change came but didn't get the storm windows and doors up so we nearly froze.

We still have Bird yet Jos. doesn't like to dispose of her and run chances of picking up another horse in the Spring. She isn't any better. Horses are so hard to buy here unless you pay a big price for them and then they may die with in a years time. He has kept them busy up until last week.

You need not worry about your orchard it has gone into the winter looking fine the leaves froze up on the trees and no cherry blossoms showed up here. We will have to wait and see what the Spring brings forth for us. But all is well so far. Every one says we will take less for our cherries another year if there is a crop at all.

The Alfalfa hay Homer W. brought is not good hay and Jos. is going to tell him so he opened up a bale & it is very dusty. But the [$22?????] hay is very good but isn't alfalfa. We are going to try and buy our hay else where another year if we can It was so scarce this Fall and hard to buy or most farmers were trying to hold for better prices. I suppose we would do the same thing our selves.

Yes lots of the neighbors went on the deer chase but Jos. never leaves the place unless it is to go up to work on his own farm. Roger has looked every where for a job but can't find one he feels kind of blue about it. We paid him while he helped us. But that is only for a few months and then its too late to get a steady job.

I'm glad Alberta is getting on so well and am sure her vacation means more to her than the money she can earn down there.

It certainly will be nice if you do have the elctric lights put down here but it will cost a lot as you would need a transformer all yourself. Marian and Fay Dohmns had to do that way. It certainly is nice to step inside a door and turn on a switch. You would be surprised how much oil it takes to turn lamps and lanterns here for a winter. I would much rather pay for electricity.

I know your rug will be pretty when finished. I have mine all done & it looks nice.

The wind is howling and more snow falling so suppose it will be a [?rand????] day tomorrow.

Must get supper now so will try to write again later on.

With love, Essie K.

Old Mission Mich
Dec. 21st 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

As usual I have intended to write you a letter a week ago but am so busy every day I keep waiting until another day so here I am at last.

We have been having wonderful weather for the past week. There are a few inches of snow left on the ground yet enough to protect the seeding.

Joseph had Tom R. haul the feed as he charges [$].15 per hundred do you wish me to pay the bill or would you rather I would. I got a sack of stock salt when in town.

The horse had another poor spell and we tried to dispose of her at the Fox farm and they would pay one cent a pound for fat horses but wouldn't take them unless they were so Jos. put her out of her misery before she ate a lot more expensive feed. He said he was sure that is what you would wish him to do if you could see for yourself.

We have tried to get some one to look after the well but haven't so far. But manage to get on quite nicely.

I know how mean it is to have your salary [shoped????] into for some one else who is too lazy to help them selves. Miss Taft while the rest of us have been sweating and doing without some or most of the city people have been living high and grand. Now a few months of hard times come along they are down flat. Jos. and I had to do without all pleasures out side our own family in order to get a little home such as it is. While other neighbors have put on a big showing its pretty hard to put ones pride in their pocket all the time. But hope the sky will look brighter from now on.

Made my mince meat Friday and oh boy but it is good I'll let you sample it next Summer. It isn't all meat like some people like it. But lots of fruit and a little ___ in it. Your's looks fine wish you had your canned fruit for winter use.

Am so glad Alberta is getting along so well with her drawiang. I don't suppose Hazel will ever have half a chance. She is having a hard time at school. Her change is giving her trouble so she isn't well at all and then with her school work and a poor eye is out of luck. I worry until I nearly go mad some times altho' it don't help a bit. No one knows the trials of a mother until they raise a family of their own. I'll never foget poor Mrs. Stutsman its a wonder she didn't have a nervous break down.

Well Christmas is nearly here and I hardly know what to give this year. I remembered my mother but none of the rest as I can't buy expensive gifts and don't have the time to make them.

Your new dress is very pretty and it is the shade you look so well in. How did the one wear you purchased at the Globe store? That was so very nice looking. I'm still wearing my old one. I must try and do some sewing after Christmas.

I haven't been able to catch any one who knows about coming down here with elecricity as they won't do more until Spring. Most all of the farmers are well pleased. It cost us $15 for our share of poles It cost us $138.75 for wiring and all expense of poles and all. It isn't much but enough I think. I settled with the bank yesterday.

Well I must get dinner as I expect Roger & Hazel will come from church any minute.

With love, Essie K.

Wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Old Mission Mich
Dec. 23rd 1930

My dear Miss Taft:

We received a package from you and we couldn't wait until Christmas to open it.

We all wish to thank you for the contents it is just what we have all been wishing for as our old cards are nearlay worn out.

No one here plays bridge but I would like to learn they play what you call 500 and have lots of fun. It's a nice way to pass the long evenings and keeps our children at home.

Roger feels [????] quite bad to think he hasn't more money to make the Christmas rounds this year but none of us have.

Again we all wish to thank you for the lovely gift we will all think of you these long snowy evenings.

Lovingly your's
Essie K.

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