MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence 1936 Box 18: 2-51

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography
Series 05: Board of Trustees
Series 10: Built Environment
Mary Rockwell Hook Correspondence 1936
Published 2015-03-25 hw
Updated 2021-09-25 aae

MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence 1936 Box 18: 2-51

January 3, 1936 – December 5, 1936

Mary Rockwell Hook (1877 – 1978)
School Architect and Consultant 1913 through c. 1968
Member, PMSS Board of Trustees

TAGS: Mary Rockwell Hook, correspondence, 1936, Mrs. Inghram D. Hook, Glyn Morris, Alice Cobb, publicity talks, Miss Eunice Smith, blueprints, movies, Boone Callahan, Industrial Building construction, stonemasons, engineers, Arthur Halcro, Ted Rust, Sears Roebuck & Co., Jessie Preston Draper Memorial Fund, donations, Farm School, Berry School, Katherine Pettit, guest house, Mr. Mansell, stonework, Miss Jessie Munger, Chapel pipe organ, Mr. Walter Holtkamp, memorial plaque, Morris Dancers concert tour, Beta Sigma Omicron sorority, Open House, George C. Cutler, architecture, architects

CONTENTS: MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence 1936 Box 18: 2-51

[Note: Letters from PMSS staff in the PMSS Collections are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned, and meant for the Office files. The original signed copies were sent to the correspondents. Mrs. Hook’s letters are handwritten unless indicated otherwise.]

January – March 1936

001a-001b January 3, 1936. Two-sided letter to Morris from Hook at Lido Beach Hotel, Sarasota, Fla., who heard from Inghram that the “vocational” building burned and Morris wanted Hook to come to PMSS, which she will try to do. She comments on how “heavenly” it is on the beach.

002a-002b January 7, (no year). Two-sided letter to Morris from Hook at Lido Beach Hotel, Sarasota, Fla. En route to PMSS, she will visit Miss Genevieve Washburn and Mrs. Emily Hopkins, both in N.C. 

003 N.D. Postcard to (no salutation) from Hook, who enjoyed having Miss (Alice) Cobb ’s company. “I heard her fascinate an audience in St. Louis in such a simple & direct manner that they didn’t know they were being vaccinated with strong Pine Mt. serum.”

045 January 27, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, likely Morris), telling her how missed she was at the Wellesley meeting. Miss Eunice Smith regretted missing Hook. “She has been a friend of Pine Mountain for a long long time, and I imagine we found her originally through you.” He’s asking American Youth Hostel headquarters to send information to Hook. He tells about his publicity talks in St. Louis, Davenport, and Chicago.

004 January 29, 1936. Typewritten letter to Morris from (truncated, likely Hook). She has sent him “sketch plans” which can be changed or discarded. She started a Kentucky campaign for (Governor) “Landon.”

005 February 4, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, likely Morris), thanking Hook for her January 29th letter and the blueprints. The staff is planning a “complete revision of our old movies which are badly in need of repair.”

006a-006b February 6, 1936. Two-page letter to Hook in Kansas City, Mo., from (unsigned, likely Morris). [006a] Morris and (Boone) Callahan suggest changes to the floor plans concerning the finishing room door, basement door, placement of the boiler, drying room door, location of the lavatory, [006b] and shop door. The second floor needs to have a studio, conference room and an extra room, in addition to a classroom and lavatory.

007 February 13, 1936. Postcard to (no salutation) from Hook, who will send a re-study very soon.

008a-008h February 26, 1936. Eight-page letter to (no salutation) from Hook, covering the various issues and responding to Morris’ suggestions as they plan for the new building. [008c] “I am so anxious to make this building…something that grew out of the Ky mts and that grew with our own development down there.” 

013a-013e, 013 March 1, 1936. Six-page letter to Morris from Hook [013a] about how much to excavate and when to lay the stone. (She provides a hand-drawn base with measurements). [013b] Description and sketch of the stone wall under the shop with footings of concrete and small stone. [013c] Has tentative figures from metal window firms; asks about screens; describes locations of windows. [013d] Tells about the metal frames and the red putty needed to install the glass. Asks if she should hire a stonemason. “I telephoned to ask about Arthur Halcro (Scotch) who is one of the best. … was head mason on the Capitol at Lincoln, Neb.” [013e] Recommends an engineer, Ted Rust of Berkeley, Ca., to assemble materials and get things started. 013 “I think he would be a wonderful help.” Asks for a critique of the last layout. Describes her idea for the plant room floor.

009a-009b March 7, 1936. Two-page letter to Hook from (unsigned, evidently Morris). He and Gladys took Hook’s advice and spent a few days in Florida. Morris responds to her suggestions about the new building: the heating plant, lavatory, digging out the hillside, steps, steel beam, balcony for the drying room, windows, classrooms, conference rooms, studio, gallery of native arts. He hopes Hook can be at PMSS during the construction; and is able to attend the Board meeting.

014a-14b March 8, (no year). Two-page letter to Morris from Hook, who has written to the engineer, Ted Rust, offering $100 a month to work at PMSS. for two months. She also has written to Arthur Halcro, stonemason, in Jefferson City. Plans will be ready by tomorrow to be taken to Sears Roebuck.

010 March 10, (no year). To Morris from “M.R.H” (Hook), enclosing the changes she suggests. She would like the Board meeting to be in Lexington and then she would visit PMSS for a few days.

015 N.D. A hand-drawn outline of the base of the building with measurements.

April – May 1936

011 April 17, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, evidently Morris). PMSS has received word that trustees of the Jessie Preston Draper Memorial Fund will appropriate up to $25,000 “for the erection and furnishing of a building, to be known as the Jessie Preston Draper Memorial Building.Morris credits Mr. (Charles N.) Manning for achieving this donation. Asks Hook if she wants a builder hired; and for an estimate of supplies needed.

012a-012d April 23, (no year). Four-page letter to Morris from Hook [012a] who has received Mr. Manning’s letter announcing the $25,000 fund. She is sending a revised ground layout after studying the site while visiting PMSS. She provides a hand-drawn layout with measurements. [012b] Asks about excavating the basement, metal or wood sashes. [012c] She will be attending the Fred Harvey funeral. Tells about her near-fatal car accident on the way home. [012d] Closing.

016 April 29, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, evidently Morris), with his responses to her April 23 letter about the car accident. Excavating has begun; stone will be laid in a few days. Asks if Hook has located a builder; received an estimate of the material.


018a-018h April 29, (no year). Eight-page letter to Morris from Hook [018a] who is working on the plans. She made one change: location of the stairs. [018b] Asked Mr. Liveright at Sears Roebuck for a layout of the heating and plumbing. Asked John Long, contractor, to recommend a builder. [018c] Mentions a man who does the figuring for J.C. Nichols Co. [018d] Asks Morris for authority to pay him and a draftsman to help her. [018e] Suggests “establishing a road up behind the building” and a place for storing building materials. Tells about visiting Farm School, Asheville, and the Berry School, to get ideas. [018f-g] Writes her observations of the visits. [018h] Tells about Miss Pettit’s letter concerning the Drapers. “While at Pine Mt I saw so many (window) sashes going to pieces that I believe we should consider the metal ones — don’t you?”

019a-019b May 1, 1936. Two-page letter to Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who tells her which “study” that Morris, (August) Angel, Callahan and Mrs. Morris prefer. He gives the reason it was selected. “By the time this letter reaches you the excavating will have been completed, and much of the stone hauled down from the mountain.” He hopes to have the building completed by fall.

020a-020b May 4, 1936. Two-page letter to Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris). [020a] He is sending plans to Sears Roebuck, which will give PMSS a 10% discount on the heating plant; he will also let the local wholesale hardware dealers submit bids. Zande House has a Sears heating system and is “satisfactory.” Asks Hook if she could hire a builder for $150 a month; gives her authority to pay for an estimate on the quantity of material needed and for a draftsman. When the guest building is completed, Morris plans to advertise extensively for visitors. [020b] Agrees to metal sashes; specifies other necessary details about the building.

021 May 4, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who feels that a stonemason should be hired, to oversee the “several local men who can lay stone.” Drawing $400 from the $25,000 fund is worth it if spent on good construction engineers.

023a-023b May 5, 1936. Two-page letter to (no salutation) from Hook. [023b – pages out of order] She is making a few changes to the plans and then finishing them. She lists several questions for Morris about the excavation and a road in the back. [023a] Hook has drawn the present layout with dimensions of the exterior walls. Does he need a stonemason? Ted Rust to help buy materials? She lists the items she will provide figures for.

022a-022b May 8, 1936. Two-page letter to Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who will be returning the rough draft of the New Industrial Building to Hook with his suggestions. The excavation is done. He decided against a road in the back; that hiring a stonemason would be wise, mentioning Ted Rust; that he could buy the materials in Cincinnati once Hook provides the figures for the quantities. “Most of the school’s buying has been done through our auditor, Mr. Mansell of Cincinnati. Mr. Mansell has business connections and is usually able to buy things for us at rock bottom prices.” Morris gives examples of Mansell’s help. Mr. Callahan is ill and may have to take the summer off, so a supervisor of construction will be needed.

024 May 8, 1936. Western Union telegram from Ted Rust. Notation in Hook’s handwriting: “Sorry Ted Rust can’t come.”

025 May 11, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who regrets that Rust declined but is glad Hook wrote to Arthur Halcro, offering him the position to supervise the stonework at $50 a month, plus room and board for him and his wife.

026a-026b May 12, 1936. Handwritten letter to Hook from Arthur Halcro, Jefferson City, Mo., accepting the pay of $150 per month and expenses. 

026b (is this the correct number?) N.D. To (no salutation) from (no signature; handwritten by Hook), who explains that she had already told Halcro the pay was $150, thinking he’d stay one month and train the workers. She explained to Halcro that the teachers get $50 and “to have a heart and reduce his price….” “We won’t tell Miss (Katherine) Pettit. She wants us to keep to native labor.”

027 May 14, 1936. Typewritten letter to Morris from Hook, relating her interaction with Arthur Halcro, stonemason, concerning employment at PMSS for a month to start a building and train some of the men in stonework. She describes what he has asked for; and since the pay is higher than usual for workers on PMSS buildings, she is leaving the matter up to Morris. She will be mailing the finished plans. She wonders if the stone “could be split into thin pieces [to] give it the effect of the Philadelphia stone work.” A notation at the end of the letter in Hook’s handwriting states that she is mailing a copy of this letter to Halcro.

030 May 18, 1936. To Hook from Morris, who feels it will be worth the $150 a month pay to Arthur Halcro, since he is a trained stonemason. “Regarding the objection which Miss Pettit might have…Mr. (Luigi) Zande and Andrew Drofsky and Mr. (Leon) Deschamps were men from the outside….”

029 May 18, 1936. To Arthur Halcro from Morris. Hook sent Halcro’s May 12th letter stating that he would come to PMSS for $150 a month, and expenses, with his wife. Morris thinks there will be work for him throughout June, July, and possibly August. He should arrive at PMSS June 5. “Mrs. Hook suggests that you will pay your wife’s room and board.” Encloses school literature.

028 May 24, 1936. Typewritten letter to “Arthur (Halcro)” from Hook, who is glad he is going to PMSS “and I feel sure that it will be a unique experience for both of you.” “While you are perfectly within your rights to accept the $150 per month, I am going to count upon you to put your mind and soul into this building and to make economic suggestions that will more than make up for the differences in your salary.” She agrees that the Philadelphia type of stonework is more expensive, but wishes for more variation than in the current stone. Notation in Hook’s handwriting: “Copy.” 

031 May 25, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned), confirming receipt Hook’s letter and list of materials. They will be sent on to Morris (who is away). Asks about a book on diet.

032 N.D. (Notation: “[6-1-36]”) Postcard to (no salutation) from Hook, who is sending books by Mr. Houser and asks to share them with Mrs. Morris. Asked if travel instructions were sent to Halcro.

June – August 1936

033 June 4, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who has returned from his trip; tells about an excavation problem, “since much of it was rock”; wishes he had someone who knows about construction. “We…are entirely dependent upon Mr. Callahan. I think he will do his best….” but he will be on a month’s vacation.

034a-034b June 5, 1936. Two-page letter to Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who points out a discrepancy between the dimensions of the steel windows on the elevations and the floor plans. Morris asks Hook to send copies of her plans to various window companies for their quotations; he found the companies in the Sweets Catalog. Wants local firms to bid on a heating plant. “This matter of building a building is a new experience for us, and I confess a little confusing. However, we are enjoying the experience.”

035 June 10, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), with updates about the construction. Mentions a letter from Mr. (James S.) Crutchfield and sending Mr. Wherritt some school literature. The School has borrowed a concrete mixer. He asks about the proper lumber for interiors and floors, suggesting a knotted oak floor.

036 June 22, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris). He and Callahan wonder about the lack of light in the corners of the shop. He asks about the steel beams.

037 June 23, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), asking about the steps from the ground to the terrace and a larger door for the print shop.

040a-040b July 10, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who refers to Manning’s letter to the board about the $4,000 gift from Miss Jessie Munger for the building of a pipe organ in the Chapel. The organ builder is Mr. Walter Holtkamp of Cleveland, whose work Morris describes. Morris apologizes for not consulting Hook earlier about the organ. However, he asks that she “not let anything prevent us from having the organ…. I think I detect in Mr. Manning’s letter the hand of Miss Pettit….” He encloses a photostatic plan of the organ. “It is simple, and to be made of oak and chestnut and possibly some pine, very simply treated, so as to match the doors of the building.”

038 July 17, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), consulting her about the piers in the basement, hoping to cut down on their number; Halcro thinks the piers should be round steel supports instead of stone.

041a-041f July 13, (no year). Six-page letter to Morris from Hook, [041a] who is happy to hear of Mrs. Munger’s gift. “I think (the Chapel) services are your greatest contribution to Pine Mt. The addition of the organ music will make them quite perfect.” [041b] Describes how she would like the inscription; “The main thing is to keep the woodwork in harmony with the simplicity of our surroundings. … the Old English (lettering) will fit our traditions…. [041c] The wood should be finished as nearly natural as possible…no varnished surfaces.” [041d] Gives her thoughts about the front stone balustrade, and concrete slabs for the terrace and the plant room. [041e] A colored powder can be added to the cement.

042 July 18, 1936. To Hook from Morris, asking about the guest house and a dancing place; gives the status of the funds available, with the Beta Sigma Omicron (B.S.O.) sorority working to raise additional money. He asks Hook for a sketch of a recreation hall and guest house for the B.S.O. members. Suggests the location at Trilium Rock in Saw Mill Hollow.

043a-043b July 25, 1936. Two-page letter to Hook from Morris, [043a] responding to her July 20th letter. Mr. Callahan has returned. The cement has been stored and a large amount was used for the footings; many are in favor of the tin roof; the dancing program just needs money for car travel. Advises Hook to see the concert as publicity for the school and assures her that the group will be successful. [043b] He suggests using the local gym and having the Beta Sigma Omicron sorority in Kansas City help sell tickets.

hook_2-84_036 August 10, 1936. To Hook from Morris, thanking her for agreeing to host 14 PMSS students and chaperons. He will send her photographs for publicity. After Hook sees their program, “I think you will be proud of them and of the part Pine Mountain has had in keeping alive the traditional things of the mountains.” Mentions the fine stonework by Mr. Halcro and his training of local men. Local architects have invited Halcro to stay instead of returning to Kansas City when he is finished at the School.

044 August 17, 1936. To Hook from Morris, who asks Hook to explain the proprietorship of Open House. Miss Pettit has written to him “that the first floor belongs to her and she wishes to have the deed changed. She is giving her share to her sister and Mrs. Gratz and her niece, Miss Van Metre.” 

046a-046c August 27, (no year). Three-page letter to Morris from Hook, [046a] who feels that something should be in the files about Open House. “I feel that any future owners should be responsible with (?) for its maintenance (046b) and that no-one should give away a share in the house without consent of the other owners and the school. I will not give my part away. If I did, the house would revert to the school.” She offers to visit PMSS. (046c) She has second thoughts about having all parts of the casement windows to open, which requires too many screens.

September – December 1936

047 September 1, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, likely Morris), thanking her for her note about the status of Open House, which is now occupied by the Halcros. Gives updates on the progress of the new building.

049 November 2, (no year). To Miss Cobb from Hook, enclosing “what we are sending out for the ‘Morris Dancers’” and enclosing tickets. 

048 November 19, 1936. To Hook from (truncated). “The building is soon going to be done and I think the Halcros plan to leave soon….”

051 November 24, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, possibly Cobb), thanking her for the list of Kansas City people. “It’s perfectly wonderful — the interest.”

039a-039b, 040c November 25, 1936. Three-page letter to Morris from Hook, reminding him to order interior doors; she offers to look for “simple, iron hardware.” Hook provides two sketches of doors. She will be inspecting the government work at Birmingham ”where they are doing the earth-rammed construction” that could be used for PMSS’s guest house. She offers to look at other new work in Florida; gives her address in Sarasota. Asks about building clay at Pine Mt. Suggests using carved wood for the inscription and its location; she will work on the wording. “Ted Rust, now teaching sculpture at [040c] William & Mary College, will design it, gratis.”

050a-050c November 25, 1936. Three-page letter to Miss Cobb from Hook. She is sending copies of the Kansas City Star article for the “dancing girls” to Mr. Manning, Helen de Long, Mrs. (Celia Cathcart) Holton, Mr. Crutchfield, and Mr. Henry Creech, “who needed to know of the fine work Mr. Morris & Mr. (Arthur) Dodd were doing.” She plans to visit PMSS in December and to bring Mrs. Tyner, wife of an Episcopal minister.

052 November 30, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned, likely Morris), thanking her for sending Kansas City Star notices to the sponsors of the concert. There was also a Herald Tribune article “that probably doubled the number of people at several of our concerts.”

055 December 5, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned), asking for the “names of the people you wrote to in Chicago, suggesting that they hear our program there….” for the PMSS mailing list.

054a-054b December 7, 1936. Two-page letter to Morris from Hook in Sarasota, FL (℅ Robert Bell) on letterhead for “The Life Abundant Movement, Mission Bells Inn, Black Mountain, N.C.” She gives her travel arrangements from Orlando to PMSS to stay three days

053a December 10, 1936.Typewritten letter to Hook from George C. Cutler, Baltimore, MD, who approves of the inscription for the memorial tablet.
053b A note from Hook on the reverse side of 053a, with the wording of the inscription that she sent to Cutler: “This work place is the gift of Helen Draper Ayer in memory of her mother Jessie Preston Draper dedicated to the keener use of hand and brain 1937.” She also includes the poem and words she later sent to Ted Rust.

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MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence Guide

GALLERY: MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence 1936 Box 18: 2-51

Box 18 – Folder 2-51 (55 items, 106 pages)