This letter was written on August 30th 1916. It is from a woman named Esther to her dear friend Clara. It was written on some stationary that is titled Young Women’s Christian Association, Carleton College, Northfield, Minn.
Clara dearest, Aug. 3o, 1916
It is no wonder you…that we had forgotten you but you’ve got another think coming. I’ve done a lot thinking myself this summer but that’s about as far as it got when it came to letter writing. But this has been about the busiest summer I ever spent. In the first place Ruth, Whit & the baby have been here all summer until three weeks ago next Saturday, and while we were all crazy about the baby & were glad enuf to have them here it made considerable extra work. Especially for mother & me. Whit dear was afraid of wify’s over working herself etc.etc.
Dad left for Florida July 8 & was happy to get back because it made him feel so much better, but he was most awfully homesick. He’ll be good and glad to see mother all right. She is planning to go the latter part of Sept. or the 1st of October. It’s going to be mighty hard for her to leave Grandma but she had simply got to have a change.
Gene & Emma are to be married Sept. 9th. They are planning to live here so it will be necessary for Grandma to live Uncle George or Uncle Jud for the winter – that hasn’t been fully decided yet but there will be a woman to take care of her wherever she is. Poor dear patient little Grammie!
No Clara dear the porch is not finished. The top is still to be put on. We have gotten lots of pleasure out of it as is tho. Hasn’t this been a corker of a summer for heat? I sure enjoyed those hot days in the raspberry patch, but I wasn’t so very sad when berry season was over. Now we are having a jolly time with tomatoes. I packed 15 bushlels Thursday afternoon. Yesterday I had company so couldn’t help Gene, but I expect to spend most of my afternoon there today. Between tomatoes & apples I’m trying to do a little sewing, but somehow I don’t seem to get very much done. And in less than two weeks I’ve got to start to school. I don’t know where this vacation has gone. It’s been shorter than ever.
I suppose you are happy as the day is long. Wouldn’t I just have to drop in on you some day and surprise you. I’ll try it some time after I finish school. That seems and awful way off tho! You’ll just have to plan to come out here next summer.
We expect Elmer home this fall but just when we don’t know. Looking for a letter from him any day now. He will probably go south & be with Dad & Mother this winter. Don will stay here with Gene & Emma. Pleasant prospects for him. I told Mother that he & I would be orphans for sure this winter. I don’t know exactly what I call home. Ruth & Whit are to be in St. Paul this winter, so I suppose I’ll carry there when I am not in school, & then I’ll come spend Christmas vacation with you. Grammie sends her love & mother says tell Clara that ma Carr is going to write soon.
With heaps of love,
Esther tells it like it is, and it’s very refreshing! She shares what is going on in her life and she does not leave out the emotion. Her 1900’s slang when she talks about Whit not wanting his “wify” to be over worked, sounds like the same language we might use today. I think that Esther was quite sassy and I loved that about her. Some of spelling is a little rough, but not so bad that it’s not understood. I think I would have liked to be friends with Esther, she sounds like a fun gal.
I looked up the school, Carleton College and it’s still there in Northfield, Minn.
Here is a link to their website: https://www.carleton.edu
The school was founded in 1866 and though it’s been through many changes, it remains. Here is a link to a history timeline I found on their site: https://apps.carleton.edu/150/timeline/