Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1936

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Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1936


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


[Jan 3, 1936]
To Miss Taft

Ronald was very glad to get a package in mail. to untie and thanking you very much for us both.

Are weather is a very heavy snow coming so steady you can hardly see barn.

The sleighing is pretty good. So max goes after Ronald, when weather isnt blowing 90 miles an hour with horses + sleigh. The neighbor had to have. a horse Dr. and Dr said lack of exercise. Suprise cow has her daily exercise. when she come up to water. she will not go in for awhile. We are going down and make a little noise for Mr + Mrs Frank Phelep's to - nite. Mrs Pheleps has been nurseing even there marriage So she just came down in hollow. Sunday to live. you are right Miss Taft of all the dirty talk that Ronald don't come home with is terrible. especially about how he was born.

Thay are haveing hot lunch at noon know. Mrs Blanche Colerick is hired as cook.

Ronald had a nice Xmas. But of course he wanted a new bike. But Santa was to hard up, So he is saveing his penny's in a bank, know.

I am sorry you could not make your trip. (gossip) Mrs Tom Richard is expecting again) I just made Ronald an other blouse out of one alberta blouse.

I have the suit all made for him out of dress of Rebecca and have had several compliment on it.

The boys have got enough lumber out of the county to repair there snow plow. which was $13.00. Mr. Henry Fox say he is going to try and get the road fixed next year if he is in . Ditch and all. and then he says if thare guy's don't stay out of road with there farm machinery. Thay will be something doing.

oh yes we bought the oatmeal by .25 pd at a and p store. because there never seemed to be room where the Family goes. to get more. and we only go twice a month.

I guess that all the new's.

Max & Family

To Miss Taft:

Are weather has keep us very close to home on two good reason. we are snow bound. and very stormy + cold

Ronald + Kitchen children have not been to school. this week.

Mrs. Phelp's called and wondered when we could get out. Thay were out of Buttere + Bread + coffee.

we are all right except when I got grocery's last time I ordered a yeast cake, and when I got home I did not have these. So was kind of shy on bread. But got along. I waited foure day's for sour cream. So it would not sour. So made sweet cream. butter.

The animals are all fine. Ever one else are haveing sick horses around us.

Max say's Daisy the new little cow. look to be a better look. calf then suprise was.
Suprise is a tall as her mother. but not nearly so wide.

Ronald is have hot lunch at school know at noon.

I have two of my wool batts quilted one for Ronald single bed. and one for are double bed. with cover and tied with yarn. and have an other double bed one to make, yet. I said I going to make them up this winter or bust.


Ronald and I have a letter to write to alberta. we sent them a small picture of Ronald for Xmas.

I thought I could not get along an other wintere with my old wintere coat But am still going along with it.

There isent much new's flowing around. Ever thing is warm & full stomach. So I guess all [?]

Max & Family

Back of envelop:
Sangamo chapter, U.S.D.-of 1812- has issued its invitation for this Reciprocity meeting - on Jan,26, 1936 - at the Leland Hotel Sun Room - 12:30 P.M. The luncheon will be $0.60 each. We are anxious to have as large a representation as possible so you may take a friend as your guest if you care to. They would like to know the number to prepare for by Thursday. You may send your acceptance to Mrs Henry Thoma- 1501 S. Douglas Ave.
Springfield - Ill.

[Jan 17, 1936]
To Miss Taft

we are just getting out after being snowed in for two day.

Thanking you very much for Ronald Xmas presents. He recieved so many things for Xmas he hasent read them yet. We had a card + short letter from Miss wood's

yes it was a Kerosene heater that walker woman had. So I knew you had one and did like to say anything.

The Miss + Dr walker are still in hospital with private room with two beds in it and private nurse Mrs May Tompkins Cowan. there not out yet and don't know when thay will be. I heard the other that the Dr walker would be in hospital three month. and figured miss susie wasent burnt so bad she be out of the hospital before this but isent yet.

No the Pheleps have been home since two weeks before Xmas.

oh yes thank for beautiful hanky. it sure was pretty.

and hurrah, the sweater is done. and only a little small ball of yarn left. that pattern wasent such a good pattern to go by when got to sleeves. my sister and I both had time with them I made them by directions and were away to small & short. So raveled them out and my sister started kniting them the way she would. and thay were all right. I done more raveling then kniting for a while But sure is a nice heavy sweater.

I am sorry you think cows are a bill of expence to you but that happens to even old cows. and even human people at birth
Max say he only suggestion would be in next to pear tree's.

I hope we can have some sweet corn next year. I have had to buy three year for canning purpose.

This is suprise bad year she looseing her teeth she only milking 4 quarts a day. for Daisy came in we diden't make any buttere.

we are finding it very expensive to git are son a little education the car expensive
Mrs. [I?dora] Lardie died on expectedly Friday nite.

Max. Hazel

Cash $5.00
Gasaline .50
Rivets & Burs 26
tubular Rivets .15
window Glass .65
telephone Bill Dr Scott .10
Epson Salt for cows .30
Bringing cows feed home. 1.00

the window glass bill were window that were cracked when we came here. and lasted till this year.

[Feb 13, 1936]
To Miss Taft

Lots of wintere and lots more snow then we know what to do with.

We had some very cold weather. The children down in here have no chance to go to school the rest of wintere by look's of things. I suppose we could be worse off.

Essie Kitchen?? & Mrs Harry Christopher are giving Mrs Tom Richard a stork shower. Friday of this week at Richard home.

yes, the new Mrs Phelp's is finding kind of. longs day being showed in.

I have been busy. I have made. two wool batts for double beds and one wool batt for single bed. I quilted them all, and have one with top tied.

all the animal are comfortable at barn. Max carried water to them on real stormy day. (Gossip). Miss Dorothy Griffin is home from Flint and gave birth to a baby girl Saturday. Mrs Bill Dohm was called. and found them with out stitch of cloths for the baby.

Mrs Dudly Griffin has been at County hospital for a month. with sugar Diebitis. and was dying before there was any thing done for her. a neighbor put in a complaint to [C???] Lardie

There doesn't seem to be much news around.

Max & Family

[Feb 24, 1936]
To Miss Taft

yes are weathere has been very bad. But not so bad as other place's, where there as been a lot more suffering.

we did not have such a thing as a road. like a good many other people. This is the hardest winter we have put in since we came here. The celler froze this yeare. all are potatoes and some fruit which never happened before.

I was unable to have extension club, but most likely can have it some other time.
Max has the feed. Tom was going in after some bunk's for his sleigh. It was drought as far as Tom and then max took the team and got it from there. we have a sleigh to carry the other provisions in on. by hand

The animals are all well. Suprise is just growing ever day. She as tall as her mothere. But not nearly so wide yet.
Miss Walker lost two horses, 1 was with foal. and has a new team know. a big paire of black. She is in Florida.

Are weathere has taken a very sudden change to thaw. I don't know how long it will last. I hope. till spring we had enough of wire

Thankeing you very much for Remebering Ronald. He is overe joyed to get a package in mail.

He was very sick all last week. The only way I could keep him quiet was read funny paper to him. Marion Richard gave him three old one's. He love's funny paper I read them so many time that I have them by heart. your Geographic book have been a great past time to us all especially Ronald. I would alway warn him to be carefull of them as miss Taft would not let us take any more if we tore them. So he as been real care full, as he enjoys the pictures.

Some day it a big job for Max to get to barn and back with mild. When weathere was the worse. you stepped right off porch in snow we had no use for step's, as snow was so high.

Have you enjoyed [?????burg] news this wintere that has been my job, this wintere.

I guess that all news.

Max + Family

[Mar 3, 1936]
To Miss Taft

Are snow has melted very fast the last couple days. It sure was a relief to get rid of some it.

Max brough care home to day. the first time in two months.

Ronald was over joyed to get a package in mail. and to get such a nice book. He thinks its pretty nice because its all about farm. He say's he's going color real nice so you'll think it good.

Thanking very

Hazel + Ronald

[Mar 10, 1936]
To Miss Taft:

are weather is getting to be beautiful sunny days and even nite's are beautiful moon light you can hardly sleep.

Ronald say he will so be able to milk suprise
her tits are getting so big. She is rather bosses to her mother around. She takes first drinks and mother waits till suprise get ready to let her come. Max say she getting pretty reckless with her horn's. Ronald has enjoyed the color book very much. He likes pasteing too.

Mr Spruit is fired from high school. He was caught have and affare with and teachere by the name miss Grey by one pupil in school building. Mr Spruit tryed to buy him off. The kid though he would first. by he said was to good to keep, as there was a lot of pupil that disliked him. So the news traveled fast. He was ask to resign But he said no he had a year contract. So they had special meeting of board and fired him. Monday. March 9.

They say Mrs Spruit is nearly crazy.

Max is digging out some cherry tree's. out snow.
Mrs Frank Pheleps seem to be a very agreeable neighbor and pleasent.

I hope spring is just around corner. I hear crow's honking away the other day. I am hopeing we will not have are private Lakes this year. But I suppose we will.

Max + I are trying to figure a way to wash the kitchen. I am afraid to get up so high on the slippery floor. I don't know if new laid floor made us any warmer, or not But they sure are pleasure to clean. + look at. I think Ronald health this year had some to do with new floor. we sure was breathing a lot of dust from old floor.

I guess Mrs Ida Lardie stays one week at Mrs. Minton willobee and one week up town.
There isent much new's
Mrs Tom Richards has new hired girl. she is expecting this month.
Max has a chance to go back to Clawson, Mich to work again on Birning home.
I guess that all new's

Max + Family

[Mar 18, 1936]
To Miss Taft:

Are snow is going real slowly. and sun is real bright.

Max is pruneing apple tree's and getting some tools in shape. for summer.

Max bought 10 ton manure at $2.50 per ton. Francis [?] you, the one you bought team From. your slip is inclosed in letter. on seed

Did I ever tell you. that my squash seed I planted up in little tree's, turned out to be pumpkins. So the cow had a treat.

Mrs. Tom Richard + her four pound son arrived home to-day.

If you ever seen a tickled kid it was Ronald when he seen the package of funny paper's. and says to thank you very much. for them.

I guess Mrs Lardie spent one week in Traverse and one week a willobee.

quite a few neighbor are getting new tractor's this spring. Mr Tom Richard for one. tradeing his colt in.

Max + I are married eight year St patrick day Mar. 17. They had dance at Hill hall for us. and I got gift 1/2 dozen cup + saucer's to match my set dishes I am getting.

Max say to tell you he tickled to piece you are going continue to use Lime + sulphur

Ronald is going to school ever day.

all the animal are fine, and daily excerise in yard.

My few chicken are keeping us busy eating egg. I am makeing about 6 pd butter. Beside we are haveing quite a lot of ice cream. we get are fill of ice cream in winter time any way.

I guess that all new's. Hopeing this finds you in best of Health.

yes thay say it Hazel Kitchen boy Friend.

Max + Hazel + Sonny.

Seeds saved in 1935 for 1936 -

Sweet corn yes
String beans yes
Lima beans yes
Radishes - yes
Cucumber - yes

[Mar 31, 1936]
To Miss Taft

I have neglected to write we have all been sick with grippe. and I nearly had my old trouble of [qui???] Ronald diden't go to school for a week.

The man max was going to get manure from. changed his mind and is [?] it as he is going to rent his place. on # 4. Max has been looking But has not found any more yet.

went to Mrs [Ere????] Kitchen funeral Saturday.

Max + Family

[Apr 9, 1936]
To Miss Taft

I guess we are never going to get spring It has snowed nearly ever day this week. Max finally has big tree's stump up in the cherry orchard burn. He had to turn them so often to keep them burning. He did come home at nite till 9 oloak.

what next I think Ronald has chicken pox. I alway tried to get a big barrel for my tin can [l???] seem there were so many use for them other ways So I never stood a chance. yeh. your garden seed came ok. and was here about three day before your letter. and all seed you order.

Tony has spray pump apart know.

I went down yesterday and took peep at Mary Kitchen use to be. children. she has two boy's. you can see she does not sew for them.

Gossip. Dorothy Griffin had baby this winter and is not married. and they thrw Jane Griffin out of High school. she is expecting in a couple of months mrs Dudley Griffin has been in county Hospital three month's and she not coming back. she ordered her cloths. and wen't to her sister

Max went to Tom Shane for manure, But he sell his by year to Ralph McClusky. and doesn't seem to be able to locate any. yet.

There seem to be quite a lot moveing this spring Mr Will Marshall. has a new team.

I guess that all new's this time

Max + Hazel + Sonny.

[Apr 29, 1936]
To miss Taft

I hope spring as come. we sure have been haveing some snow storm's.

Max has manure nearly all out will finish to-day has Gone manure spread. and ever one else want it to.

Corn ground disc. and orchard's. too

no I have no quilting frame's. But I borrowed Mrs Fay Dohm. I think she would gladly loan them to you.

Mrs Nona Eiman was married Saturday nite. we went to dance to Old Mission. and then after the dance we came back and made some noise for her. Her name know is Mrs Sanford. He is 12 years younger then her.

we were very glad to get raise in wage's which help a lot.

Harry Christophere dilivered the trees, last week and max has them all in.

My hands are so blistered from rakeing leaves I can hardly close my hand to write.

School is out May 22. on Ronald Birthday. He is 6 year's old.
He sure was tickled to get funny paper. in the mail. He was still look at other's. Some (over) kids were here and wanted take them home to read. He say you can if you will bring right back. Thanking very much.

Mrs Frank Phelep's is a very pleasent woman. She know noone in 2 hour's there he does all week.

The man that bargined for precott place did work for [wil???]. His Wife is a Dana girl. I believe Ted Dana Daughtere.

Max was not able to locate any more manure.

Roger Kitchen had a milk Route I guess some of her relatives work there. to the dairy But he said thay dident like the climate there. I have never seen the baby yet. only what I here Essie tell about it.

Suprise cow is showing up pretty good. Max he is very much take'n up with Daisy Cow. she seems to have best quality in her he thinks Suprise is all to-gethere to reckless with those horn's. to be safe.

I guess that all the new's.

yes I have had the same experince on my eye. as you are haveing on your foot.

Max + Family

[May 12, 1936]
To Miss Taft

well I guess spring is here. we have been very hot the last couple day's, and leaves are coming out. fast.

The sweet cherry are in full bloom. The peach trees stood severe winter but the mice gridled one of them.

Max is working on corn ground know. I think you have forgot last year plan on corn. Max transplant once him self. you remember the cut worms were very bad last year. and you told those men to take some corn in case any was out it would make corn feed anyway. excuse the paper as I ran out and forgot to get any in Traverse.

I cleaned the strawberry bed out and it kind looks though we might have a couple of quarts this year.

going to put in garden's to-marrow.

Mr Guy [Kil???ry] + Mr Will Marshall both have new team. Guy has all team he can possible handle. Max told him give work to them that what thay need.

[?nd] Griffin plulled out most of trees on lowere half of his orcard and plowed it.

The were some road men in here looking over the road in here so might stand a chance in getting a better road. Hope so. it sure is ruff this spring.

Suprise cow is maturing into real cow. she has quite a bag know. She is due May 22, on Ronald Birthday. Thay has the School picnic May 22. and also Gerry Burtons Birthday a man teacher Mr natewane So they will have quite a celebration. I will close as it time to help Ronald with his lesson

Max + Hazel + Sonny

[May 27, 1936]
To Miss Taft.

was Ronald tickled to get paper's again. Thanking you very much. He has all paper you have send him. and some day he will go at it look them all over.

He had a very nice lettere from alberta. this week. He tell ever one he had letter from his girl friend.

Max say he a great help in driving team to spray. Bell when she start like to pull to right.

Max is putting on second spray know. Corn all in. sweet corn to. garden up. hopeing cut worms dont take it all. thay are thick.

Suprise cow is not fresh yet But expect her any time.

(News) Miss Hazel Kitchen is to be married in June. I am invited to shower for her this week at Mrs Ray [Hoop?re]. The Bridegroom home. is Trowbridge of Northport
I ask one woman what Essie though of that she says I dont what she thinks. But she going a lot of crying. over

Rodjer Kitchen is working for Henry Kitchen. is spring.

Mrs Dudley Griffin is home after staying four month at County Hospital. she is smaller then Mrs [Nan??y] Griffin.

Max is going to drill in carrots + beets this week
Max has been thrw orchard four times. and Mr Henry Kitchen has not been thrw once yet.

I guess that all the news.

Max + Hazel + Sonny

[Sep 26, 1936]

o miss Taft:

Are weather as been very changeable. lots rain and then very hot. know it is pretty snappy. I was afraid of things in garden the few I have.

I neglected to write I had a very sore thumb I cut in canning, and I am no good with my left hand.

The old cow- was breed Sept 6.

Lou zoulek met max one day. and said I wished you bring a cow for breeding purpose because I feel she has something coming. Max say your right she has.

The seeding is coming fine max say's a good catch.

Mrs Ida Lardie has hardly leaf on her trees and all yellow. So is Mr Dud Griffin + Mr Stevens But yours are green and nice yet.

Mrs Lardie Sold an acre of ground down by road. to Tony Dohm. and he is building a garage. by Tompkins

Ronald went to school the first week three day's and sick the rest. The first attack of asthma for nearly a year. But such changeable weathere its no wonder. But is likeing school very well. The teacher told me he was ahead of ever one in his class.

The cows are going down on there milk But to be expected. I guess.

Mrs Jennison was here the following Saturday and was very sorry to not be there. especially to see Mrs Stutsman as she had so many questions to ask her about farm.
She sold here cow.
Max has corn cut. between shower's.
we are sure enjoying the radio.
Max said Mean to give your grease gun. He said he hoped you could get more. grease thru then he did.

I am sending a book to you that came in mail to -day. I dident get magzine this month you said I might have. But might come next month.

Must close and go to p.t.a. meeting.

Mac + Hazel + Sonny.

[Oct 21, 1936]
To miss Taft

Are weather sure have been rainy. we had one rain that left us without a road nearly.

So Mrs Phelep's had Ladies aid. So Mr Phelep keep after mr Fox till he fixed it up. The day she had aid. Thay made it much wider from. Dudley Griffin house up to the road. two car's can pass. easy. and a couple table-spoon. of gravel.

Max had to have the old cow breed again. back to Tompkins. it was ok.

Max is husking corn. he say's lots of soft. corn.

Max where hunting 1/2 day the first day of hunting season. and shoot 3 rabbits.

I have had a very sore thumb. some infection in it I have been unable to hold a pencil. and I am the only one that write in Gilmore family.

I made. 21 glasses Grape gilly. 1/2 bushel. in all. 2 kinds 1 dark blue. 1 Light blue.

Max mothere spent 2 week with us.

I am cold packing some beets hopeing that the last of canning

Tom Richard as notice from Levy to move. Levy has his girl friend there know. I wouldn't be suprised if that were married know. The girl is one of Mrs Richard hired girl. last spring.

I am glad Alberta + Family are enjoying the apples. Max faced them and did look nice.

we don't ever go out the dance any more on Saturday nite we stay home and listen to the old time dance. we set up Saturday nite till one oclock. had light lunch at midnight. a very enjoyable evening. a radio sure is lots of company.

I guess that all the new's.

Max + Hazel + Sonny

[Nov 9, 1936]
To miss Taft

Are ground is white with snow, and Ronald is very happy. He has been wishing it would snow.

Max is getting ever thing ready for winter barn + house.

no thay only widened the road from. Dud Griffin old house up to main road.
we had are first expence on radio this month. we had to buy 2 new dry batteries But it would be terrible to be with out it. Saturday nite we sat up till 2 oclock. it is especially good on Saturday nite. old time music.

Mrs Jennison was here about two week ago. when she came she wanted 1 gallons of milk. So I said all right. thinking that all she would wan't because we need all for aniimals. When she went back Sunday she wanted to know if she could get an other gallon to take back to Bay City. I dident want to let any more go. but she wouldn't take no for an answer. So I hated to be to rude to her. So let her have it. oh she say what wonderful milk: Mr Jennison + I. Just had have a gallon to take home. with us. Mrs Jennison sold her cow this fall.

Tom Richard don't what he's going to do. Levy is married. three week ago. to Leona Moon. of Buckley.

Max say the rains did harm the seeding except where it settled. down in hollow. It hasent washed the orchard much.

my sore thumb was caused by so much pareing. It got cut in so deep.

I guess that all the new's

Max + Hazel + Ronald.

[Nov 30, 1936]
To Miss

Are weather is very cold with a light fall of snow.

Last Friday was a beautiful day it was so warm + bright sunshine.

Max took little Daisy cow to Lou Zou-lek. He had one terrible time trying to get her anywhere. at last He went over for Max Kitchen. max was not there. So thought Bernie would answer the purpose.
So thay shuved + pulled. till thay got her to Law. He wanted to loud her into truck and bring home for the boy's. But max refused too. The rest of cow was tested again for T.B. I am sending slip inclosed.

We have scarlet fever in hallow. alice Kitchen has it. Ronald is not any more exposed then rest of school. she came down with it Sunday nite.
I feel kind of frightened tho.

Mrs Ida Lardie is going to spend wintere in Detroit with Margeret + Husband. leaving for Northport wednesday then on to Detroit
young Seth Tompkins has bough the Guy Tompkins old place.

There was a scant bushel of carrots off. your row + half in your garden.
Max pulled top and all in other and feed out that way. they not very good quality the sand burrs were so thick you could hardly work.

Well Xmas will so be here again.
I am trying to save a few nickles toward a new coat but thay come very slow.

I guess that all the new's.

Max + Hazel.

[Dec 22, 1936]
To Taft

Are weather is very stormy. we stayed home all day. because we though we might get snowed out you couldn't see the barn some time's. we were invited out for Dinner.

we recieved the package you sent to sonny. for Xma's He is real anxious to see what inside. we are sending you a package monday.

Did you get my last letter. after I had it sent I remember that I did not put the noumber on address The slip was in it for the TB. test on cows by Dr Scott

Max had too take the little daisy Heifer back to Lou Zoulek again this month
Max told him I don't believe your breeding stock any good
By right the heifer was not to go down there on account of Bangs test
So max made a special trip to Douglas Tompkins and told the facts. He said I don't blame you as long got it coming. I won't squeal.

Ronald took smallpox + diptheria shot. This is the third time he's took it. It worked this time He has felt pretty sick. not any to good yet. and such a looking arm.

All the animal are all fine

I was in a negreo play for benfit of adgensburg Lady's aid. I was never so black in my life.
Mrs Jhon Kroupa was Mandy.

Gertrude Kitchen and her two sons are still here yet. Living in little shanty over by Tom Richards garage. Her husband claime he can not find a house to live in.

No we did not have one smell of vension. My sister had some give to her and she was going give me some. But some one stole who business one nite. she had it out side up high in a box.

There two weeks vacation at school. thay are going to repaint in side. and bring toilet up out of basement.

I guess that all the new's.
Wishing you a merry Christmas.

max + Hazel

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