I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
Saturday, March 31, 2012
A Letter from Lake Opinicon, Ontario to Dear Daughter Effie, 1917
I found this letter with a handwritten poem by Julia Hughson Simpson (1863-1928) of Seeley's Bay, Ontario. Julia was the daughter of Cornelius and Johanna Hughson of Storrington Township, Frontenac Co., Ontario. The poem was written to be read at Cornelius' funeral in September of 1900. I reunited this poem with a family member over 10 years ago. However, they did not claim this piece of correspondence.
The letter is addressed "my Dear Daughter Effie," and is signed, "Mother." It is dated August 2nd, 1917, Lake Opinicon. At first I thought Effie was Julia's daughter, but I have searched the censuses and various family trees online and could not find a daughter named Effie, or anything similar. I do believe that Effie is in some way related to Cornelius and his daughter, Julia, but I have yet to discover how.
One of Cornelius' daughters, Emily Jane Hughson, married John Linklater and resided in Lake Opinicon. They had a daughter Margaret Johanna Linklater, b. 1887, Lake Opinicon. Again, I haven't been able to make a connection with "Effie."
I turned to the letter for more clues. Effie is apparently living in the city because the mother writes, "I feared this awful heat might make you sick. I am sure it must been terrible in the city for it was terrible here." Effie's father is alive at the time this letter was written. There are names mentioned: "Maggie is still sticking to the berries & the hayfield. Dorothy brought the cow down two nights. John went to meet her one night and she wouldn't let him drive her. She would run in front of him and say, no I am going to take this cow to grandma. So I gave her a piece of cake and .5 cts and she started home as proud as a peacock. I hear Edna has the mumps...."
"K. Darling & the Royal Family were to the city again yesterday quite sporty as K. will soon have the big end of the boodle [?]. James Smith arrived home alright. Mr. Auston is here again staying at H. [hotel?] Dr. has been up here twice he is changed a lot looks sorrow stricken. He is still greaving for Myra. He had his one Mrs. Auston's Miras & Harolds pictures. Myras was so life like & Harold looks fine, is not married yet."
The mother goes on to talk about life on the farm, evenings at the lake and a skunk getting into the chicken coop. She signs off, "...write often, I would like to hear every day if I could. Good-bye Dear one, XXXXXXXXXXX from Mother."
So, what can we glean from this letter? We know the writer of this letter has a daughter named Effie. She was married, lived on a farm or acreage near or on Lake Opinicon in 1917. Lake Opinicon was a small town on the lake with the same name, and is now a ghost town. The letter writer also seems to have had a grand-daughter named Dorothy.
If you can provide more information about the identity of Effie's mother, I would love to hear from you.