Cumberland’s past in letters
This letter, from the collection of the Minudie Heritage Association, was written by Jennie Wootten to her mother, Frances Seaman of Minudie, during the summer of 1889.
Jennie, recently married to Rev. Thomas Wootten, had just returned home from a visit. As a minister’s wife Jennie often received gifts from parishioners. Max Sterne was a professor of music at Mount Allison University and sold musical instruments.
This letter has been edited for length and clarity.
Lower Wentworth Thursday Evening
My Dear Mother,
On my return the house was not really as bad as I expected to find it. Nothing broken or lost but plenty of mouldy dishes, soiled clothes, and other articles lying everywhere about. Mrs. King came and washed up everything and cleaned up the back part of the house a few days after my return.
Mr. Wootten is drumming away on the piano. He has commenced to take lessons from me and if his recent enthusiasm lasts will soon become a player.
I called at Mr. Ogilvie’s to see their new organ. It’s one of Prof. Max Sterne’s. This afternoon Mr. Albert Bigney, our next neighbour, came for me to go over and try one Mr. Beebe left at his house. Mr. Ogilvie’s is really the nicest in every way but I dare not pass an opinion as Mr. Beebe has always been particularly kind to us and I know he is very anxious to sell Mr. Bigney this organ.
We have peas, beans, and new potatoes. Last week we ate strawberries and cream three times a day. These were cultivated berries, the wild ones are all gone. A lady gave us two bottles of cream this morning, another lady sent milk and another a hen and rooster.
Mr. Wootten has spoken for a hen with a family of chickens which he intends to move home as soon as we can get rid of a family of skunks which has settled under the barn.
There is a concert talked of and Prof. Sterne promised to assist. It will help get furniture for the parsonage so, of course, we feel interested. The house is almost completed but we hate to leave here and will probably remain a month longer on account of the garden.
With kindest love to all at home, I am ever your fond daughter,