Category: Railways

Headquarters C.P.R. B.C. Aug 19, 1881 Marcus Smith letter to his wife

“..I hope he [Tom] now has time to improve himself and instead of reading trashy novels he will get some Harper’s standard publications. They are very cheap – his biographies are only 75 cents each – so that if he only got one or even two a month it would not hurt his pocket much – I suppose Arthur will be going back before you get this – I hope he will do as well this year as last – I suppose all the big girls are away from home and left you and Clarice alone – tell the sprat she must write to Papa –

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New Westminster, B.C. 19 Jul 1881 6-pg Marcus Smith Letter home

July 19th,1881
My dear Wife
I have had a very hard month’s work surveying the Harbour of Port Moody and adjacent grounds for the western terminus of the C.P.R. It is surrounded by high hills wooded with trees of enormous size. Many of them fallen and with the rankest growth of underbrush-..

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Port Moody, B.C. 26 June 1881 Marcus Smith 3-page letter to his wife

Sold for $605, Port Moody, B.C. 26 June 1881 Marcus Smith 3-page letter to his wife
“The surveys are fairly commenced and I have been forced to do some very hard work- owing to the incompetency of the assistant Ailyn who has had very little experience and is naturally very dull & stupid- Gamsby is very little better. He has hitherto got on by always having good assistants but knows nothing himself- has no brains but for old woman’s gossip- has no instruments, never had any in his life nor does he care about the work- ..”

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Shoal Lake, N.W.T. 27 Sep 1880 Marcus Smith 2 pg letter to his wife

Shoal Lake N.W. Territories 1880
“My Dear Wife… We have had wretched weather for six weeks past especially the last month. High winds and cold with rain overhead and swamps the men are constantly soaked to the waist almost- Our tents are always dripping and everything is damp some of us are suffering from rheumatism, and my joints are stiff. But I am otherwise well- But my long journeys are over..”

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Camp 110 Miles West of Winnipeg 4 July 1880 Smith letter to his wife

“..At the same time comes a telegram from Schreiber asking me to report to him at least once a fortnight and before work is commenced to submit all plans and profiles for the impr approval of the Govt. The Govt. being Mr. Schreiber- The first part is literally impossible and useless. The second implies that I am not to be trusted in designing the work- I shall take no notice of either excepting a simple acknowledgement of his telegram..”

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C.P.R. Manitoba District Engineer’s Office 7 Sep 1878 Marcus Smith letter “My dear wife..”

Realized $605 in our auction 10th July 2021, Marcus Smith 1878 to his wife “..any motive to act dishonestly or underhand in a great national question- he [Fleming] took the sneaking course of finding out what the Govt. wanted and acted accordingly- ignoring me altogether, and keeping me in the dark as to what he was reporting even up to the last moment both in regard to the work to be done and the assistants to be appointed &.c-..”

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Prince Arthur’s Landing Lake Superior 8 Aug 1878 Marcus Smith letter

Lake Superior 8th August 1878 “..I am very anxious about what will be the best course to take after my Mr. Fleming returns. I do not see how I can work under him with any satisfaction when I know the underhand way in which he is influencing the engineering staff against me. Besides the whole management is in such a muddle- Contracts costing half as much again as they were estimated at the letting-..”

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Blackwater 45 Miles NW of Quesnelle 23 Sep 1875 Marcus Smith letter

Realized $526 in our auction Saturday 19th June 2021 Blackwater 45 miles N.W. of Quesnelle-Sept. 23rd,1875 “My Dear Wife…yourself and children would be far better in Victoria then anywhere in Canada and the climate is far superior- and living is always getting cheaper and so will all conveniences when the work commences as there will be a large influx of people of all condition..”

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C.P.R. Survey Western Division 7 Se 1875 Marcus Smith letter home

CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY SURVEY.
Salmon House Dean River Sept 4th. 1875,
My dear wife, I have just walked from the head of the Dean channel, through the Cascade mountains to this point where horses have been sent to meet us- I am in excellent health. This last walk has done me as much good as that in the spring did me harm- The weather is fine and cool

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Clinton, B.C. 14 Nov 1874 2.5pg Marcus Smith letter to his wife

I could get through easily and give a decided Report if I were Chief Engineer-but with Mr. Flemings perpetual alterations and non committals combined with the political forces in the back ground I expect to have a hard time of it- I have a good mind to give in my Report pure and simple and not submit to any alterations and let them suppress it altogether if they think fit…I am weary weary and long for rest. I have been travelling every day and many nights since I left you in May..So excuse my writing more, it is late and I am tired travelled 60 miles today in an open wagon- thermometer to zero.

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Kamloops, B.C. 30 Oc 1874 Marcus Smith letter to his wife

I got back from my long trip north and within the limits of civilization a few days ago and received a great pile of letters, among others, yours of sept. 25th (with Tom’s and Eloise’s likeness enclosed) in which you tell me you have got them both to school- I am glad Eloise went to Miss Dupont’s I think she will do well-

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