Saturday, November 19, 2011



Main Street, North Wilbraham
Collins Mill, North Wilbraham
Springfield Art Museum

1900, Jan. 23

Postmark Jan 23 1900 North Wilbraham 11 AM

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Southern Pines
North Carolina

My dear Walter,

The record of current events from my diary for the past week will not prove very interesting reading, but it has been the most satisfactory work in some respects that I have had in a long time, for I have had a few evenings to myself. Last Monday night we
[l]isenssed [?]the Stocks and everything connected with the Stock Exchange nearly the entire evening and to my surprise , I found it very interesting. Tomorrow night we review it and have the effect of the Norman Conquest on the language, manners, customs etc. of the English beside the events of the past week. I have to look up and tell about Lanframe [?]. Last night I played duplicate whist at Mr. Willis Cutler’s and my partner and I were beaten three points on six hands. . Do you play duplicate? The other seems very tame and uninteresting after it. I was much interested in your trip to Carthage and am glad it resulted so satisfactorily for you. I am surprised that you, presumably a good Yankee, should have allowed [the] hostess to burn those geese or goose feathers when they could have been utilized in filling a sofa pillow. Carthage was one of the places to which I never got but never mind. I did go to Roseland. Of all the misnomers that name is the most. This past week we have had elegant sleighing and moonlight nights, a most delightful combination. The cresting [crusting?] and skating was fine too but I have not tried the latter. Yesterday we had a warm rain and the snow and ice have entirely disappeared.  If the storms will only wait three weeks longer I don’t care how severe they are then. I shall be glad of a vacation, as the past week has fretted me more than any previous one. I am getting a class of five ready to take exams at the end of this term, when they are not due until June, and it is hard on us all, and I do not approve, but that is the decree. I have come to have quite a little respect for the Jones boy. He gives me very little trouble and works very well. He is very large for his age and I think has grown so fast that his mind has suffered and I know from his manner that he has been scolded  and nagged until he expects it. How grateful your family will be to know that your avoirdupois has increased to such an extent that your weight is disastrous to a bench holding only four others. It was a very good one, but hard on you. I have not read Pembroke, but enjoy Mary Wilkin’s [?] stories. I  have enjoyed the Outlook very much and find it a great help in preparing myself  for Monday nights. I should miss it very much, but am willing to subscribe for it myself. I wrote to Mrs. Gregory yesterday and felt so ashamed to have neglected her so long. Are the[illegible]  read in the paper the first of the week of the death of that Colonel  at Pinehurst.  He was from Worcester and his picture was with a long article in the Springfield paper. Last week Viola Allen was in Springfield in The Christian, and how I did want to see it, but as usual it was not convenient. Our drama was very well received in Ludlow [Sudlow?] but it did not go as well at home, but no one in the audience would have noticed the breaks. We had half of the receipts which was nearly forty dollars, so both performances have given the Ladies’ Society  about seventy dollars. The enclosed program  will give you an idea of the play and sometime you may read it. But what is your reference to ‘the leaders of the choir”? I don’t understand, am I dense? My letter to Steve last Sunday was entirely one of congratulation. I was glad and told her so, and then told her why. And she knows my reasons were correct. It was always a mystery to me how she could care for him, and she did feel hurt at his lack [?] of attention, but apologized for it, and called him undemonstrative, but I called him rude, to say the least. He visited her from Wednesday to Sunday and he spent nearly all his time out-of-doors with her brother or driving with her cousin who spent two weeks there. Steve was not well enough to go out and I devoted myself to her but he spent almost no time with her and she had anticipated his visit so much that she was perfectly miserable when it proved so disappointing.  Her health is poor enough and I am glad that what little strength she has is not going to be used up worrying over a careless husband. “Them’s my sentiments.” [my emphasis]

Most sincerely, Evangeline

North Wilbraham, January the twenty-first.

1900, March 12 Postmark
R.A. Smith

Rm 350 War Department
Washington, D.C. March 10, 1900

Dear Cousin:

    I received your letter dated March  6th and postmarked March 8th yesterday. In reply I would say that I would be very pleased to have you stop and be my guest while you stay here in Washington, I have wondered why you did not call here before while on your way to your southern winter home., and have intended to write to my folks in New haven to tell you to stop here and pay us a visit when in this vicinity. [sic]

    As I have no charge to make I can not answer the last sentence in your letter which reads as follows: “If you can arrange to take me please tell me how much the board will be [sic]

    I have some genealogical work which I commenced for your sister Ella soon after her visit to us in the Spring of 1898 and have never sent it to her, I will try to complete it so that you can take it up north with you after you leave here.

    Hoping to hear from you again before you start so that we will know about when to expect you, I remain,

                                  Very truly yours,

                                                      R.A. Smith


1900, Mar. 26 Postmark Waterbury, Conn
(Cousin Preston? Puck?)

Scovill House
Waterbury, Conn.
C.M. Truman Hotel Co.


Dear Walter,
   You have probably learned of my frequent visits to Mt. Carmel. It has made it very pleasant for me to come here over [ ever?] Sunday.  The last two Blandie and your father have been alone.  Blandie says she is glad to have a chance to practice before she gets married ? but I guess she has [crossed out] already had it, as she gets along very (over) nicely. Last night  Helen and Blandie and myself went to the Hyperion in N.H. [New Haven?] Comedy [?] in Frederick  the 2 by Lewis Inomisan [?]
We all went to church this morning. But Blandie and I came before Sunday School.—I am glad to hear that you expect to come home soon + are feeling so much better.—I am in hopes to have the pleasure of a night-or-two in the mountain with the Party this summer. Business [sic] is generally fair with me.—I had a nice trip to Chicago this winter + learned considerably about putting up beef.
I had planned to go to N.Y.  last Sunday + see the Girls but my Ideas feel through—Am in hopes that I may get there yet before leaving this section. How do you find the young ladies in the South we read of them as being the only real things. Blonde’s [sic]  Slender + and graceful, lovable + kissable.  You want to be careful how you answer this as there might be such a things as your having another partner –I have thought of answering your letter often –heard how you were quite frequently through blandie—And always thought I would write but time I find slips pretty fast. Let me hear from you soon + I will answer.

Your Cousin,

 Preston? Puck?


1900, April 24, Mount Carmel, Connecticut

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Southern Pines

Home Sunday April 1st

[Note: Many sentences do not end with punctuation in this letter. Repeated  use of "[sic] would be annoying, so I trust your intelliegence as reader to predict the problem.]

Dear Walter,

    I guess you will think I have not written much of late. I did not have much chance while I was visiting + since I came home have been pretty busy. I was away a little longer than I expected 2-b [sic] but did not see quite all that I would as  Cousin Iachi[?] Was sick all the time I was there so they could not go around with me at all. I left. Louis at noon Sat  - Ella met me and we wen to Wanamakers spent most of our time their [sic] that afternoon although we did go ro one or two other places. Then went up E. W. Benjamins and Ella slowed [slaved? ] to arrive. Sunday morning she came for me and we went to hear Dr. Babcock next  hour[?] at the church after dinner we went to call on Miss Cox and Addie then back to the Benjamins to lunch we did not go to church in the evening then went with Ella and spent the night at Madams She came up in the morning and we went down town together and spent all day in the stores we bought them [?] a waist and skirt in the morning she had 2 [sic] go just before Ella came. We did a little shopping for Ella but it came in[?] 2 [sic] rain and did not do all we wanted to. When I got up 2 [sic] the Benjamins I found Mrs. Williams there + it rained so she spent the night.  She slept with me and we talked till quite late . Tuesday I did not go out much In the morning I took a little walk by myself  and at four oclock [sic] I went I went down to Madams [?] 2 call. She was busy so I did not meet her  but Ella took me up 2 [sic] her room. I stayed a little while then Ella went up 2 [sic] the Benjamins to dinner with me and I walked home with her in the morning. Wed afternoon at two I went to the Madams for Ella.  I met Madame and she asked me 2 [sic] come 2 [sic]dinner . Ella thought that was a good deal for her to do but there wasn't a day I could so we went down town and  looked around a while. The Ella put me in the right car and I went to Brinkleys [?] and [illegible] till after lunch Thursday. I enjoyed it there ever so much. I think they are about as nice a family as you see every day. Ella met me again Thursday and we did a little more shopping then went to dinner at Addies  They had several passes  to the Thaeter [sic] and wanted us to go with them  Thought at first we couldn't but finally decided that I would stay but E couldn't So I spent the night with them went back to the Benjamins Friday morning stayed till after lunch then made a short call on Ella + started for Jersey City I enjoyed my visit their [sic] ever so much. The girls all look so well ["3' for page inserted above] Lou grow young. Allie was almost [?] sick for a few days but is pretty well most of the time. She looks so much better than she did a few years ago. They wanted to see you but it would not be so. They could take you to board [?] if you wanted 2 [sic]  go their [sic] Sat afternoon Ella came over we staid [sic] till after dinner Sunday. Then started for N.Y. we took the 9 AM Elevated 2 [sic] 126 St. and walked across to Grants [sic] Tomb after we had viewed that  we took the Boulevard car back to E. 25th [?] Street 

 Ella staid 2 [sic] lunch with me than she wasled to attend a meeting of students in the evening. I did not get out Monday morning I took a long walk with Grace [?] we walked in the Park for quite a while.we  were going into the a museum of Natural History but it was one of he days that they charge an admission and we did not think we had bring eneuogh [sic] 2-day 2 [sic] pay for going in If I had gone should have tried to see the Old Leathermans sail [?]. 

After we left the Park we went over 2 [sic] Riverside drive [sic] and walke [sic] up  that quite a ways on the way back I passed Dr. ed Swift's house. He has a very nice place.
After Lunch [sic] I started down town. Ella met me we went around a little then to the Station  I left about 2 for New Rochelle. I walked their [sic] a few minutes then Grace came. I expected 2  come home Tuesday but Grace was not feeling well she had neuralgia in her face so she did not sleep any the first part of the night so I staid [sic] till Wed morning did not get all [?] much. Mrs. Shaw and I went for the [illegible] tueday [sic] afternoon They wer all feeling very much  upset at the house. The place had been sold + they have got to get out right away. Mrs Gleason could not find a rent + did not know what she was going 2 [sic] do. Was thinking of going 2 [sic] N.Y. and starting on Monday home She has 22 table boarders and they have all got 2 [sic]  find places. It was amusing 2 [sic] hear them all what each other was going 2 [sic] do I had a letter from grace yesterday She has about decided to go where Miss Rollins is. It It is an awful long way from the shop but the car runs so she can take them + she thinks she can go on [in?] her [shawl? wheel?] most of the time.  She thinks she will change again when she [illegible] There is a place where she thinks she would like 2 [sic] go but they are full now but she can probably get in there Their [sic] seems 2-be [sic] more sickness around now than their [sic] has been all week both here and in N.Y. so I guess it is just as well you did not come now -- Hope in a few weeks it will be more settled.Will Ives and Mrs. Mc Lane are quite sick are improving a little Edna is home from her spring vacation and getting her graduating clothes ready. She has ben in N. Haven with her Aunt most of the time. Mrs. Doolittle is taking care of her mother..
Are you going  2 be able 2 get all your things in to your trunk or will you have 2 send some of your things by freight--I should think it would be the best way  2 have your trunk checked through + send the check and we can have it brought up  Cousin Frank and Ada  + the boys called Thursday  they were all driving [?] had been up to South Haven and came this way home.
I have several letters I want 2 write 2-day + think I better get at them.

With lots of love from Mama. 

Papa says he will need saw  + mauls [?] I know if you got the money he sent.

____________________________________________________________ </

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