New Westminster, B.C. 18 Oct 1881 4-pg Marcus Smith Letter to wife
Lot 85 in our auction Saturday 29th January 2022
Oct. 18th, 1881
My dear wife,
The mail leaves early tomorrow morning but I have little to say – we have had fine bright weather with frosty nights – very cold – for a fortnight past. but on saturday at midnight heavy rain set in – and has continued for two days & nights – so that the rainy season has set in apparently. and we may expect only glimpses of fine weather now & then – The parties will finish their field work in three fine days – they are just one week too late – I have been getting the offices all ready putting up stoves getting in wood & coal &.c. It has been suggested that the staff club together and get a chinaman to cook for them and live altogether in this large house. There are now 7 large rooms habitable – only two of which are required for offices – so they will have one dining room and 4 very large bedrooms which – with two beds in a room will accommodate eight – just the number when I go – The Govt. find a man to look after the offices and fuel to heat the same – I have put a large stove for burning wood up in the hall – and there is a fireplace in every room –
The division engineers are allowed $40 and assistants $30 a month for board & c . They can do it for $25 by clubbing together (and) which will allow them enough to spend to furnish their rooms for Govt. allows them the blankets they have been using at camp.
I got a severe cold in the cold weather before I got the stoves up and was affected with giddiness and weakness for ten days but I am now all right again – I suppose you have got the children all home again and are settled down for the winter – love to all.