New Westminster 7 Oct 1881 2-pg Marcus Smith letter to his wife
Lot 91 in our auction Saturday 22nd January 2022
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New Westminster Oct. 7th 1881
My dear Nannie,
I have your letter of the 11th Sept. with a photograph of Tom he certainly is greatly improved and looks as if he had courage enough to take care of himself. I also have a photograph of Tom and Arthur together. What a lamp post Arthur looks but he will soon fill up when he is done shooting upwards – I had a letter from Eloise at Toronto dated 13th Sept. she seems to have enjoyed her trip and got some strength – she says she has learnt to swim pretty well – which is more than ever I could do though I tried hard year after year when I was young but had no teaching – we had a few days of wind and rain – the equinoctial gales I suppose – but since then the weather has been remarkably fine- it is however getting cold in the evenings – and the hoar frost at nights makes the grass wet in the mornings – I have not changed my summer clothing – in fact have no heavy clothings with me but in a day or two the merchant with whom we deal expects goods from San Francisco the same kind of under clothing that I like so well so I shall supply myself and it will be sufficient till I come home in Nov or Dec – The survey parties will finish next week so I am having the old Govt. House – or a few rooms at least put in order for Offices having stoves put up – wood & coal laid in &.c. This is 1½ miles from New Westminster and as the staff are put on board allowance during winter
(Engineers in charge $40, assistants $30 a month – It is far to walk in winter but I think a sufficient number of rooms can be made water tight (and they all have fireplaces) to accommodate the staff 6 or 7 in number if they will find camp beds – two in a room – one or two chinamen to cook &.c. and board themselves – they would save money and be quite as comfortable as in a Hotel – saving carpets and curtains &.c. – I have one more journey to make all over the line – 86 miles – then a few weeks office work then home – only one of the Engineers will come home with me – Gamsby or Wilmot – The Minister ordered me to put Borradaille in the office to learn engineering – he is a very nice lad and has been of great assistance to me – tell Mr Borradaille that his conduct has been in every way very satisfactory.
Love to all,