Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1937

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Carolyn Gay Taft Farm Letters - Transcribed letters from 1937


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

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[Jan 11, 1937]
To Miss Taft

we had nearly a green xmas as near green as we will ever expect to. see

But to-day the weather is some what changed. it rained all day yesterday + froze over nite. and it terrible slippery max lost the milk coming to house.
max said he dident know how to get water to animals.-to - day

we have all been sick with flu. I had very bad nose bleed's. But are all feeling bettere since the weather has been colder.

we had a nice Xmas. Ronald was overjoyed with his watch.
Here his saying. Miss Taft know's just what I needed. He also recieved a package from alberta which he enjoy playing with to candy pigs + two colts made clear crystal candy.

we killed are pigs thay weighted about 175 a piece.
well I guess the little Daisy heifer is breed. after two trip.

The news is that Mr + Mrs Tom Richards is moveing to Buckley. soon.

mr Clawernce Kroupa was here the other nite wanting to know if you are in market for manure. He said would be $4.00 per ton dilivered right on your farm mostly cow manure.

max got feed you order. the cow have came up a little on there milk.

I guess that all the news.

I made a mistake on Daisy cow max just told me she was not breed. I woul'd have to go again next month. She has been twice to Lou zoulek's. Do you want her to go this time to Tompkins.

Max + Family

[Feb 10, 1937]
To Miss Taft

Everthing is covered with sleet again.

We surely do use all the ashes. that we get. with so many slopes. or we would get any where.

I heard over the radio Feb 4 at 9 oloak. a song by Lullebell + Scoty over W.L.S. Dectated to a little deaf + dum. girl in Jacksonville Ill. The song was whip or will

Max want know if you like to have the two cows with horn's Dehorned - before thay have to be sew up. or he has eye put out. thay are wicked with there horn's. and make live miserable for old cow.
Ray Hooper has Dehorning shear's. Suprise will be fresh. The last of March. Suprise has one tit that gone bad. the milk is pink with blood. some clots of blood. Max milks it on floor. we were wishing we had Dr Book for cow's Max say's its not garge

We are all pretty well. Ronald has not lost very many day's on account of sickness He is out slideing ever day. Cold don't seem to bother him any.

Tom Richard + Family have moved away to Buckley.
Levi Kitchen has truck.

There isent much new's around lasts of sickness

max + Family

P.S. I could not make out you abb. in your lettere.

inclose is little writing it happened to max But only luck it was the thumb of his glove instead. Never left a scratch on thumb

[Mar 15, 1937]
To Miss Taft

Are weather caught cold the water was running like mad. yesterday But its white with snow this morning.

about Levi. he's not shaved for three month. you can hardly tell him from andy Brimmer, and he's gone to trapping. No license for truck. Tom went away and left a Debt on both truck + tractor. if he don't watch out he will loose them both.

We recieved the booklets from Lansing mostly about bang's disease.

We dried Suprise cow up after that. So hopeing she be all right when she freshen's.

We hauled the last two bags of Bran this week. Thay have been up set up to milking Co. after fire so Max only took two bags of bran at a time.

Max seen Mr Yon the other day. he will sell twelve ton at $2.00 per ton. the next thing is to get it hauled.

Max is afraid Daisy cow is not breed again. Will know if a day or two.

Mrs Wilber is home. of much talk she wasent coming back. Mr Wilber has bought the old Peterson place near light house. for son Bud + wife to start a chicken ranch.

No the Gilmore are not in clubs around. but we play 5.00 and bridge both. if you go you have to intertains.

We had a stork shower for Mrs Elmer Crampton. Wednesday.

Mrs Earl Trowbridge Hazel + Mrs Roger Kitchen were there. with out Essie. and I had a real nice visit with them both, especially Hazel. She invited up for a visit to her home.

We have all been sick with flu. Ronald fell and cut his eye brow. any place else he would have to had stitches take. But the Dr was able draw shut with tape.
Just had bandages removed last week Friday.

yes soon will be garden time. I hope we have less weed this yeare.

Well I must get busy.

Max + Family

20731 Dec 25 1936
Peninsula Telephone Company
Mr. Gilmore

Bill 1.05
paid Dec 25-1936
I. A. S.

273-1 Aug 1936
Mr. Taft

July 0.75

July 6 Miss Taft Trav Cit 119 0.10
26 Mrs. Stutman Detroit/Dearborn 0708P 0.65
July 26 Dr Kyselka. T.C. 0.10

Kindly answer and return so I may make plans and send out orders -

1. What garden seeds are there on hand, if any:
1 pd carrots seed, summer squash. beans enough plant one row. of yellow + green.

2. Was there any arsenate of bad left?
6 package at 3 pd per package.

3. Can Levi be depended on to do our hauling?
no license yet no money to get any.

4. I find record of some lime application but was there lime put on the 1936 corn field in 1934 - or 1935?

5. Are the oats in the bin good enough to use for seed for green feed not for ripened grain?
yes there is oats good enough

6. Account of money spent -
On hand Sept- 1936 $5.00 Spent

5 gal Gas 98
5 gal Gas 98
Bernie Kitchen for Driving heifer 0.50
telephone Bill 0.85
Salt 100 pd 1.05
Bernie Kitchen Driving heifer 0.50

[Apr 8, 1937]
To Miss Taft

It looks like to-day we are haveing a little spring weather.

Make's you feel urge of spring cleaning. I am sorry to tell you but house has settled more this spring.

Max has the manure hauled by. Bill Dohm truck at $1.25 per ton. inclose weight for same. To Mr Francis Yon. City #4. Max say to send Mr Yon back the weight bill.

Ronald is very well again with and other scar added to the other three on his forehead.

I am just up from and attack of quinsy. which I have not had for four year's since the last water lakes we had. I am pretty shakey yet. had very hard attack.
My legs ache so that Max think it from house settling more.

Suprise isent fresh yet. but most any time. Daisy is at least breed. to Mr Douglas Tompkins animal.

My letter is short this time.

Max + Family

P.S. Max say to tell you wages are much higher there offering $35.00 40.00 for single men this year. and can not get men to work.

[Apr 14, 1937]
To Miss Taft

We recieved your seed order by mail am sending a slip to. that came with seed. the order is ok.

Max is burning brush - and is going to spread manure this week.

I guess we can travel the old road this week. the water is nearly gone except on the side.

Yes the Dohm truck will do the other trucking. the lime + gates.

Max want to know if your plan's are to put oats + seeeded in the north end of corn field.

Max has not seen A.M. willobee yet about post.

Mrs Lardie don't seem to be very good this spring. a rumor is the place goes up for up sale.

I am haveing a trying time to feel good again from my quinsy. I may have to go to a Dre. yet.

Suprise gave birth to a little boy calf. it books so small. besides the old cow calf. thay are so big. we haven't decide what to do. with it yet. we have not any pig's and dont like to throw out the milk. it just hurts me to have. throw on ground. may keep calf for some veal.

I guess that all the new's

Max + Family

[Apr 20, 1937]
To miss Taft

We had a very heavy white frost last nite. The Frogs began to sing but are frozen under. know

Essie + Joe have a New Dodge pick up truck.

As I hear Tom Richard would not of haul Kitchen cherries this year. any way. he pulled a dirty trick on them last year. max is waiting for Russell Gove to get manure spreader fixed.

I must tell you Mrs Lardie has gone blind. and very ill at her siser at Northport and crying ever day to come to her home.
So May Mills has came home and are bringing her home poor soul.

Max say he don't think it is the sill's that are gone. under house.

Henry Kitchen drove a new dodge truck home from Detroit for wounch farm.

The weight bill was stamped in you had kind turn side way to see the noumber.

Max say he think suprise is one too keep this year she has emproved a lot and the old cow is going back. Daisy will not be fresh till next wintere. would like to put Daisy out side to pasture. ever one around here take from 2 to 4 head out side pasture. the pasture rent is $4.00 to $5.00 a season.

Max order lime and gets this week.
and has seed bought and home.

We are going to Mrs Chase funeral this after noon.

Will close hopeing this will reach in best of health.

Max + Hazel.

[May 3, 1937]
To Miss Taft:

yes we been have just such weather + cold. we had snow last Friday great big flakes. + wet.

Mrs Colerick say you have purchased the upton place. and is turning the keys over to me. will I keep them till you come or send them. Max was over there the other nite and nothing seemed to be broken into

max has orchards [??ise] both ways. and waiting for lime drill. ever one is in use. and Archie Helfrich is so greatly in demand. But max expect it get one this week. The Tompkins spreadere is broken. and the Ray Hooper lime spreader is fixed for a tractor.

we recieved the notice of gates and said would be here Apr 27. But have not come. yet.

Max say he got a bargain on the lime. Kyselka order so much of it planning the high school was going to use so much. but dident so he let Max have it for price of cheaper lime

I understand Mrs Jennison is not going keep a cow. no one to milk it.
Know one around here seem to want a cow. as yet.

Charlie cooper took a cow up to sale and done real well he said. all people that want to buy any this goes to the sale's at. Fair ground's know.
one man said she ought be worth $50.00 up there.

Max had dray teeth turned V

we have had one mess on roads down in here. Max spoke to Fox and told him we had children to take to school. so the trucks brought 7 loads of gravel down by water hole.

I have been rakeing yard till wore a blister on my hand.

Ronald say to tell not to sell the old cow. he likes to milk her. He feel pretty when any animal have to be sold. of place.

Ronald has a bad cold. so croupy. Been such changeable weathere.

The lime + spray material are both here.

Mrs Lardie is selling her place. she was asking $3,000 but know she come down $2,500 she had a spell sunday nite and though she wasen't going pull threw.

Mrs Sanford. (Nora Eiman) say she has run ever one in Detroit ragged going to those faith healers. and spent a lots of money.

Are school will out the last of May.

I suppose Alberta is enjoying her new car. its must be a great thrill to drive a new one.

We are thinking of moving bedroom up stairs if old stair step will stand racket this summer. Ronald need a room of his own.

I must close and get sonny ready for school. He not up yet. he cough so much at nite. He tired in morning

Must close. a get Busy.

Max + Hazel

[May 11, 1937]
To Miss Taft:

Are weather stay cold. it froze ice in water tubs sunday nite may 9.
and very high winds. Needing a good rain to.

Max had a bad time drilling in the lime the wind was so high. But had to take the drill when his turn came. He inhaled so much lime it made him sick. he went to Dr Saturday.

Yes the spray is on.

Bill Dohm truck hauled the 2 ton of lime. at 1 load.

But we hauled the gates as the truck was unable to go that day. we charged you $1.00.

Mrs Colerick said she was going to turn keys over to me. But has not yet.

Max is planning to take the old cow to sale. tuesday - afternoon.

we are going to put in garden's this week.

I have not house clean done yet, as it been so cold.

I guess that all the new's.

Max + Hazel

Grand Traverse Milling Co., Inc. Invoice

April 17, 1937
Mrs. Carolyn B. Taft
302 Woodland Place
Jacksonville, Ill.

20 # Tim Seed $ 2.00
30 # Grim alf 11.50
Bottle Inculate .30

Received by Max Gilmore

[May 18, 1937]
To Miss Taft

Are weathere stay cold-very cold wind's one hardly feels like going out side to work. But are putting in gardens to-day.

Well the old cow was sold at auction sale last Tuesday May 11. for $54.00 and Max put $50.00 in bank Saturday. There were $4.00 expence. $1.80 for putting her thru the sale + Fire insurance.

Mrs Colerick gave me the Keys the othere day. So I put them away for you. till you come.

Ronald is enjoying the papers very much. Thanking you kindly, Ronald will be 7 year old May 22.

The corn field is ready to plant. max planted corn last year May 22.

max says the hay is nearly gone. he says you will have to have 2 ton of hay right away.

We seen a nice Deer down in your woods last Saturday. I ran out there to see her go into ashmore woods and lay down.

I guess that all the news. this week.
So will close at get busy.

Max + Hazel.

[May 25, 1937]
To Miss Taft

Are weather is warming up some. but still cold at nite.

The trucker charged $3.00 for trip not by ton.

Cherrys sweet don't seem to be hurt but dident blossom very heavy like ever body else.

Sour cherry. good heavy blossom. in low spot are hit pretty bad with frost.

The seeding is coming very good so far. with a good rain Friday. but turned So cold aftere the rain.

The Gardens are in. Thank a lot for phlox. I haveing been for getting to thank you.

And we sure appricate you remembering Ronald on his Birthday.

Hazel Kitchen Trowbridge is home with a broken heart. Her Husband got to stepping high wide with othere girls. They are not married a year yet.

excuse the envelope I forgot to get some the last time I was to town.

Max is planting corn to - day.

Max has been waiting for your answer on hay because it was getting very low.

I guess that all the new's

Max + Hazel

[Sep 23, 1937]
To Miss Taft

Are weathere is beautiful aftere so much rain.

Max picked 72 bushel of wealthys and Levi took them in. The packing Co started sorting them out of five bushel there was 1 peck they dident take anything a little blemish on it. So max told him to stop as he would like enough out of them to pay truck driver. So he took them to packing Co. for cider, and has an other load ready. to go.

In close is slip's on pears + crab apple. and also the slip were deposited the money. But we are not guilty of Mrs.
Max is waiting to take in other load of apple and he will get money for both loads of ciders.

Max is husking corn.

Mrs Ida Lardie has moved over to her sister May Mills. thay also keep Mrs Lois Barrett as a nurse for mrs Lardie. Mrs Barrett gets along with Mrs Lardie so well.

Max bought a Level from small auction
Sale of Mrs Lardie for .50

We kept weight bill on pear to alberta in case she haden't recieved them.

I will be so glad to get thru canning
I have grape jell + beet + Sandwith spread yet. I canned 3 1/2 bushel of peaches.

Harry Zang notified max he expected to go after some oats as soon a he heard from this man.

I guess that all the new's

Max + Hazel + Sonny

Growers Delivery Tickets
Max Gilmore
Sept 14
4 crates A Pears 0.85 3.40
2 1/2 " B " 0.40 1.00
pd 9/14/37

Max Gilmore
Sept 23
10 bu crabs 0.50 5.00
1 bu sm " 0.30 .30

Traverse City State Bank
Mrs C G Taft

[Oct 26, 1937]
To Miss Taft

We are hopeing to get some good weathere this week. We sure have had snow + rain enough.

Are neighborhood have been quite upset with death of mr Helfrich + Mr Colerick.

Ronald ricieved letter from Alberta saying she recieved the apple.
Ronald has started a lettere to her But get tired after one line.

Suprise had an othere set back. Saturday Nite she only gave about a cup of milk and Sunday morning about 2 cups. So we called Dr Scott and told him the simptons. He said has she been out and filled up on apples. She was out one day. she is a very hard cow to keep in especially this time of year.
So the Dr said 1 1/2 of Salt So Neomia Salts came in play. But went to Store and got an other pound.

all the apple are picked all has gone but Levi took Baldwins to-day. Levi bill is $6.00 returning all crates. and all. he made 6 trips in all.

So the next time max goes to town he will straight out apple. money.

I havent stared sonny sweater yet I have been waiting for my sister to come home from Detroit.

I guess that all news.

Max + Hazel + Sonny

[Nov 8, 1937}
To Miss Taft

we have had a beautiful day to-day. sunday.

Suprise is coming back to good health again slowly. Max don't let her out only for excercise know she has got be such fence breakere.

yes the murder + sucide had ever one worked up to high pitch. the love afair had been going on for two year and more. So there had to be a climax sometime.

Ronald letter is in mail to alberta.

max is starting the work on cottage this week men have been very scarce.

So many apples to pick. Max brother Curt. has been working steady for $2.50 per day. all fall for Zoulek's. But he is thru know.

Levi took stark up town. and they made him take them back home again. So here thay set. So max went in Saturday again. and made them say when thay. would take them. In middle of week.

We have all weight slips here holding
them up to get them all to-gethere. to straighten all up at once. They sure are funny up to packing Co
and slow.

Levi isen't going away know. this winter

Harry zaug has some oats on buy. $0.40 per bushel dilivered. But Harry wants Max to go out and buy them himself. Max say to tell you $0.35 bushel and $0.05 bushel for hauling.

My sister Millie is home so she is setting up the sweatere for me at last. If I get gray headed I'll know it from kniting

There trucker are in here with straw know and there at $9.00 or $9.50 per Ton

Ronald + I are kind miserable with cold's.

We have some new telephone pole on line from wounch's.

yes your rug has been here since september but would alway for get to tell you.

I guess that all new's. hopeing this reaches you best of health.

Max + Hazel

[Nov 30, 1937]
To Miss Taft

We have lost all are snow. which I dident expect to see. When it snowed so hard for a week.

and the Gilmore are feeling better of cold + Grippe.

I sure was suprised to hear of Rebecca marriage. She seems so small. I hope thay are happy. I am going to get her a little gift soon.

oh yes I am coming swell with the knitting I am working up were you narrow of for shoulder front. It sure looked like a big job before I started it. I run out of yarn. So sent in to Montgomery + Ward Co. again and have a very good match on it.

max has the garage all dug out. With Curtiss Gilmore a day man. at
36 1/2 hours at $0.20 per hour. after thay dug a while thay struck a hard pan that took consiberable time.

Jhon Kroupa was over to visit one day max said. he thought the horses were good horses he say thay never stop never stop. and never step on one an other. Max said. kidding
him. oh you know Jhonnie its lots with man on end of lines. He couldn't
get over bragging them up.

oh yes we expect Leslie Gone to-marrow Saturday Nov 27. Max has called him four time's So max got mad to-day and told if could not spare time to say so. He so busy getting Andy Brimmer Started on Hopkins place Leslie bought.

I have a long letter from Mr + Mrs Frank Pheleps at Britton Mich. thay are staying with Rev + Mrs Priest. thay run a resturant. Mr Pheleps say he runs as much water thru dish washer as Hall Flack does thru his spray rig

Daisy cow sure is makeing bag lately.
Suprise cow seems quite thin. she not her self yet.

If I have good luck with this sweater I would like knit him a blue one.

I guess that all news.

Max + Hazel

Inclose is tickets on apples all but last load. which cant catch up with Levi to get.
No more money on trucking that was encluded in your check to Levi


Cider Apples 9-27-37
C.G. Taft


Cider Apples 10-6-37
C.G. Taft

[Dec 17, 1937]
To miss Taft

We were snowed in for week last week it stormed all week.

yes I have forgot to tell you all the time Max went for oats the day before your check came for oats.

But no straw yet Mr Gore expect a load in soon. and max is going to haul it from Leslie Gore with the sleighs. + horses.

oh yes Daisy cow had a heifer calf Dec 1. the week before she freshened a large soft bunch came by the navel. so max did know about so when to Dr Scott. he said it was natural with young heifer. but said he could give some-thing to clear it up, which is bill inclose at $1.50 So Daisy freshened in two day later. and then thay must clean in 24 hour's and which she diden't So max had to have Dr Scott out. to do job.

Inclose is your slip for apples.

Ronald recieved a large package from Mrs Jennison again this year
we dident expect anything and was quite suprised.

We expect a cut in wages. but not such a big one as we got. It would be alright if living was going down but coming up all the time. The other men around country are getting same wages straight thru.

I am send a package to you next week. I have to finish one sleeve yet and neck on sweater and I will be done. I done more raveling then kniting for a while. but sure is going make a nice heavy sweater.

I sure am enjoying water in house. this wintere.

The walker women are still in hospital yet.

I hear Mrs Ida Lardie has had an other stroke crippling her hands.

I guess that all the news.

Hopeing this find you good health.
Max + Family

Michigan Cherry Growers
C. G. Taft
Stark A's JE

Michigan Cherry Growers
C. G. Taft
Stark B's JE

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