Dated: Apr 9, 1911
Addressed to: Noah
Mailed from: Belhaven, Ontario
Profession: Farmer's Daughter
Writing instrument: Fine point pen, Black ink
Written on: Slightly thick, textured, linen-like paper, 9 inches x 6.5 inches, folded in half. Ethel has written on the pages in order from 1 to 4, so it reads like a book.
- Emmanuel Nelson - brother of Ethel's father
- Veda Perrault - Noah's 16 yr old niece in Regina.
- Alice Draper - school teacher. For a social visit? Or for Sadie's studies? **
- Della Mahoney* - friend/neighbour
- Mr. Shepherd - the man who wanted to buy the Nelson farm
- Holland Landing - a nearby town
*Look under the Categories/Labels in the right column for more on posts on this
** see Genealogy Notes below
Belhaven. Apr 9 11.
Dear Noah, --
Rec'd your long looked
for letter last night. You may depend
I thot you had forgotten all about
me. I don't know wether this
letter will be much better than
none or not. I am feeling rather
lazy to day. Guess I have the
La Grippe. what ever it is I hope
I will soon be rid of it.
Well you think you
will be glad when you have
your threshing done and started
for the East again. And I guess
you are not the only one,
for I will certainly be pleased
when the day comes for you
to start for here. And the house
that Noah built looks. (kind of
The reason we did not
sell our place, was because
Uncle Emmanuel didn't want
us to. also People said we were
not getting enough for it.
Mr Sheppard had the money
alright. May I ask who
told you about Pa having the
price shoved under his nose? and
I think I am beginning
to realize how far away you are
when I think, my it would be
nice if Noah would run in this
evening. (But wishing that is all in
vain. at least for a time.)
I see by the paper you
have had quite a fire in Regina.
Have you no College's or High Schools
at Regina. I certainly wish
Veda success in her studies.
Sadie is studying very hard
lately. but perhaps it will pay
in the end.
Alice Draper is here
Hav'nt saw Della yet
but I think, she is home now,
Came on Friday.
Well Noah you tell me
to write you, what you most
want to hear. i guess you will
have to tell me what it is.
Our sleighing is all gone long
ago. You can't see any snow
now. I like the summer best,
Sadie and I have an
in vitation to spend our Easter
holidays at the Holland Landing
We don't yet whether we will
accept it or not.
Say you will have to excuse
paper for this time, And now I am
going to say. Good-Bye for this
this time with lots of xxx
from Your Sweet heart.
During an internet search, I found the Government of Ontario archives with a current exhibit on Education. I emailed the curator and asked. Here is part of the archivist's response:
This quotation is taken from the Archives of Ontario’s online exhibit, Lessons Learned: The Evaluation of Education in Ontario.
“In 1871 An Act to Improve the Common and Grammar Schools of the Province of Ontario established high school entrance examinations. Students had to pass these examinations in order to be admitted to a collegiate institute or high school. High school entrance examinations were originally administered by a board consisting of the school inspector; the chairman of the high school board; and the high school principal. Revised regulations issued in 1873 centralized the conduct of the High School Entrance Examinations under the Central Committee of Examiners.
High school entrance examinations were abolished in 1949, and the last of the departmental examinations (for graduation from Grade 13) was eliminated in 1967.”
When I first read that Alice Draper was visiting the Nelson house, I didn't think anything unusual since Belhaven is a small village and both Nelsons and Draper's abound. But then I noticed how Ethel made the statement as a distinct paragragh all by itself - and it immediately followed the mention of Sadie studying for her exam. I believe this is significant.
Mrs Alice Draper is a school teacher. I don't know which school she teaches at, but I don't believe she's there for a social call. Especially after Ethel's crack that 'perhaps it (the studying) will pay off in the end'.
We shall see in the weeks ahead.
As for the romance between Noah and Ethel... did you catch Ethel's coy answer on page 4?
Well Noah you tell me to write you, what you most want to hear. i guess you will have to tell me what it is.
what I most want to hear".
Noah might be her fiance, but in each letter he's dancing around the topic of love without admitting much himself. Sure he misses her, but how much? Why can't be tell the woman he loves that he loves her? Does he love her, or is he just lonely out there on the windy prairies where men outnumber women 10 or more to one?
I like Ethel's spunk. On the other hand, we have no idea how Noah proposed, and now I'm wondering if he's ever professed his love.
Do you think Ethel is shy, a tease, or insecure at this point of their courtship?