Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Series 05: Administration – Board of Trustees
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Transcribed Part 1
TAGS: Harriet Crutchfield Journal I Transcribed; Harriet Crutchfield; Harriet Crutchfield Orndorff; education; Pine Mountain Settlement School; Pine Mountain, KY; Mrs. Lewis; Mr. Lewis; Marian Kingman; Marguerite Emerson; Practice House (Country Cottage); Infirmary; Laurel House; Katherine Pettit; Alice (Pilkington) Crutchfield; teachers; students; food; mail delivery; freight trains; Laden, KY; U.S. Post Offices; Mr. Argetsinger; Antioch College; Ethel de Long Zande; home furnishings; meals; pigs and cows; shipments of fruit; train travel; clothing; children’s games; Angela Melville; country fair; Intermountain Coal and Lumber Co.; radios; Chapel; horses; farming;
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL I TRANSCRIBED is part I of full transcriptions of Harriet Crutchfield’s handwritten letters which she sent to her family in 1928 and 1929. Harriet was a PMSS teacher of fifth grade from 1928 to 1930 and later a member of the PMSS Advisory Board.
Her complete journal consisted of over 200 pages of Pine Mountain observations, reflections and experiences that filled a small black binder. Displayed below are transcriptions of images 001-046. Those images can be seen here: HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL I.
Harriet’s letters were written on both sides of each sheet of paper and each sheet is numbered only on one side. The transcribed pages are numbered sequentially and do not follow Crutchfield’s sequence which numbered for the page, including front [recto] and back [verso]. The front sides of some pages had the following letterhead: “Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, Harlan Co., Kentucky.”
Holes were punched on the left side of each sheet to fit into a Journal, resulting in some truncated words which are indicated by question marks. Question marks also indicate indecipherable words. The text has been slightly edited for clarity. The transcriptions are in chronological order and may not necessarily match the order of the image numbers.
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD for her full biography.
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL GUIDE 1928 for summaries of her 1928 correspondence.
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL GUIDE 1929 for summaries of her 1929 correspondence.
For IMAGES of her correspondence while at PMSS, see:
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL I (001-046)
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL II (047-100)
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL III (101-152)
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL IV (153-207)
For TRANSCRIPTIONS of her correspondence while at PMSS, see:
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL I TRANSCRIBED
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Pine Mt. Settlement School
Pine Mt., Harlan County, Ky.
Sunday, September 2, 1928.
Dearest Pa & Ma, boys & girls,
Gee, some life. I may not be much of a walker, but I bet I could beat Billy over Pine Mt. Billy is Mrs. Lewis’ horse, & he did the hesitation walk for two and one-half hours with me and a couple of suitcases on him in the drizzling rain. It was fun, but slow fun. Marian Kingman, the home ec. teacher, was on Nancy, by my side, and Miss [Marguerite] Emerson, the supervisor of the practice model home for 6 girls, was on foot, not to mention Mr. Lewis & six skittish young [?]les who followed us for the exercise, so there was no lack of company. Miss Emerson had been here for two years already, so she told us a lot about…
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…the school. She knows Miss Margaret Campbell, which is very nice.
We ate a sandwich or two about halfway up, arriving at the school around one o’clock. I find myself at Country Cottage, being the only other teacher there besides Miss Emerson. I have a nice room on the second floor, with three windows. I’m sorry I brought the electric lamp as this is one of the two houses with no electricity, but no telling. I may be moved. We use oil lamps & wash in nice cold water in tin basins. The school is in a valley & my house is perched way up on one side with a lovely view. Fortunately, just a little way down, in fact the first building you come to, is the Infirmary where I can get a corking [?] hot bath. I eat in Laurel House, about a five-minute walk from here.
We go on Central Time which makes it get dark about 6:30. Breakfast is at 6 [?] dinner at 11:30, and supper at 5:20, and the children go to bed around 7:30. I find the food plain but substantial. Last night…
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…for supper, we had baked beans, pickle, raisin bread & tomatoes & coffee — no butter. This morning at 7 (on Sundays) there was shredded wheat, chipped beef, very poor dark wheat (don’t know what it was), biscuits, coffee & oleomargarine. Dinner to-day, ham, potatoes, creamed cabbage, tomatoes & cucumbers, raisin bread, & cake — no butter. Tonight, supper, cold cornbread & milk & ratty[?] apples. Somehow it tastes quite good, & I doubt if I lose a pound. However, you can have the kids guess whether or not I still like fudge when I look at their box.
I’ll have to tell you lots more later. The other workers seem very nice & the children attractive. Miss Kath. Pettit says she is 59, so it must have been her sister in school with my ma, but she remembers rosy-cheeked little Alice Pellington [?] very well, and wonders if [?] as smart as my mother. I admit, it’s a question.
I don’t know yet what I’m to teach, so why worry. Biology keeps…
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…recurring to their minds, but I tell them I haven’t had it, tho it must be just fine.
The things from Macy’s were here for me & the first two packages from home. The suit box carried much better than the small one, but everything came thru safely. It’s an awful trip for packages in a wagon over these rocky mt. roads.
My cold is still with me, but doesn’t bother me much. Please send me Mrs. Meyer’s whole name & address, so I can write her after a bit and tell her how nice all my things are.
Looks like I’m going to have plenty of time to read letters, so don’t curb yourselves. I think I’ll get home for Christmas day. The vacation is 2 weeks long. Not bad.
More later. Haven’t had much time to write to-day as I was pressed with service.
Loads of love,
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Tuesday, Sept. 4, 1928
I’m going to talk business first, as I don’t have much time & I want this letter to be sure to get off to-night.
All, or most all, of the workers up here crave fresh fruit, as we get nothing but apples and those very poor ones. One girl (teacher) says she wants one orange a day & another rather frail looking one that she wants two a day. Now of course I could use a couple a week myself. They were calculating how to get the fruit up here and I said you would have a crate of oranges sent to me and we could divide them, so they won’t spoil. Will you please do [that?] as soon as convenient and tell me how I should sell them? I wouldn’t mind giving them some, but if they really want such a regular supply….
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…I think we should divide the costs, don’t you?
You know the address of the school —
Pine Mt. Settlement School, Inc.
Pine Mt., Harlan County, Ky.
The mail comes over every day on horseback or in an old wagon over a very poor bumpy road, so I think the best way for the fruit to come would be on the freight train that runs from Putney to Pine Mt. every Tuesday and Friday. Trunks [?] come in that way,
To-day was my first real day of teaching I have Arith[metic] for 5th and 6th grades; first-year Algebra, and first-year Latin. Also, I supervise a study hour in the evening. It’s not too heavy a schedule at all, and yet I think it will keep me busy. I can hardly say yet that I take to teaching as a duck to water, but remember the ugly duckling…
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…There are 5 children in the 5th grade and 10 in the 6th. It is hard to teach them mathematics, as none of them seem to be at the same stage of the game. Also, one group is supposed to be studying while the other recites, but in reality, very little of the above seems to get done.
The Algebra will go all right I trust. The class is huge –24– and only half enough books, which makes it difficult. I have 5 students in Latin and they’re very slow. 3 of them told me before we started to-day, that they were just taking Latin because the principal had insisted that they try, but they are going to stop as soon as possible, maybe in 6 weeks.
The children are most interesting — better looking & better dressed than I expected. But they’re funny. You can’t count on them staying because if they get too homesick, they just…
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…pack up and leave. It’s a little hard to understand their English, but not bad. They do absolutely all of the work here and the place looks lovely.
I am crazy for you and Mother to come down in a couple of weeks or as perhaps[?] However I hardly know how you would get here. I believe the freight train would be best because the 2 1/2 hr. ride over the mt. was quite tiring. I’ll send you one of those pamphlets giving various suggestions as to visitors’ arrivals. If you motored, I believe you would have to leave the car in Pineville. Laden is nothing but a cow shed, marked U.S. Post Office. I’ve never seen no vacant a spot. No wonder the Wabash had a search.
One of the teachers here, Mr. Argetsinger, is a student at Antioch, and is taking his 6 weeks of practice…
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…teaching down here. Then another student will come to fill his place. I think it’s a bit hard on the children, but I guess it works fairly well.
Tell Mother I’ve seen nearly scarcely anything of Miss Pettit so far. We’re both so busy, and along entirely different lines. She does nothing with the academic part of the school apparently.
I am enclosing a folder which just came out to-day telling of Mrs. [Ethel de Long] Zande, one of the founders of the school. She died just last March. It is a little hard for the school to become adjusted to different management, but it’s doing very well. A great many of the workers are new this year. After you read the pamphlet you might give it to Dr. Odell, as you remember he said the first Mrs. Odell knew Mrs. Zande…
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…very well. I am truly sorry I did not have the chance of knowing her, as she seems to have left a marvelous impression behind her. Everyone here always connects joy with her name.
I must stop now.
Loads of love to everyone,
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Saturday, Sept. 8th, 1928
[notation, top of page] Please keep the enclosed folder.
My two dear “F’s”,
You can’t imagine how much I miss you, and your dear little ways. This is such a beautiful spot that I would just love to climb one of the mountains with you for a breakfast picnic.
Grace, your letter arrived last night and was welcomed to my heart. I think, without doubt, your career is mapped out for you as an illustrating artist. Your pictures were so vivid that I could see everything just as if I had been there. The movie was great!
Now, gals, I feel embarrassed to have taken so long before thanking you for the…
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…wonderful surprise that you put into my hands just before I left. But I have been very busy this week preparing for my classes and correcting mathematics papers, so I trust you will excuse me. Saturday is my day off. I have just washed my hair and am out in the sun drying it and having a good time with you.
On the train I didn’t feel much like eating fudge, maybe because I was sad at leaving you, so I just ate one piece in my berth, and gave one to the girl in the opposite berth. However, when I arrived here at Pine Mt., I don’t believe anything ever tasted quite so good as your elegant concoctions. The food here is good, really wonderful when you realize they can just spend 33 cents a day on a person, but it leaves you in such a state that fudge is really the most acceptable thing you can imagine. I have shared it with several other people who say it is wonderful, and now I have one piece left. I…
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…can hardly bring myself to eat it, and thus see the end of the ambrosia you prepared for me. Thank you both many times.
I suppose you have read the letters I have written home, and know something about the place here. The folder I am enclosing gives you quite a good impression. I have marked all the buildings on it, and there were only a few more that don’t show. You see it is more like a small village than a school with all the buildings huddled together. I live in the “Country Cottage,” where three girls practice keeping house for 6 weeks at a stretch. They all live in one room downstairs and Miss Emerson, who is in charge of the Cottage, lives in another; Then there is the kitchen, and the living room and dining room combined, and a nice porch. I live upstairs, all by myself. I have a cute…
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…room with windows on three sides and marvelous views for the cottage is quite high up on one of the mountains. The roof slants very steeply on two sides of the room [which] makes it a little hard to arrange the furniture, but then it makes the room all the cozier. Here is a drawing to give you some impression of how it looks.
[sketch of floor plan of Country Cottage’s second floor]
The roof slants on the northwest side, so that I can’t push my bed into the corner, and on the southeast side of the room. The dark ink spot under one of the windows means a closet, and so does the spot just opposite it. However, they are so low that I can’t keep anything but my suitcases, wrapping paper and shoes in them. I hang my clothes on those three hooks by the…
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…washstand, but they are going to build me a closet where the washstand is, which will make it much nicer. Now I keep my underwear in the bottom of the washstand, but I can put it on the shelf of my closet later. The bed is very comfortable and looks awfully nice with the old log quilt on it. The table by it was made here and is a beauty. My little bookcase is cute too and has some shelves with doors which I keep my stockings on, shoe rags, etc. The desk is too small, but better than nothing. It has a hole for a drawer, but no drawer, so I am using boxes which I stick in and pull out like a lot of little drawers. The stove is the cutest thing you can imagine. It’s so tiny it looks like a play one. I can cook on it as well as use it for heat they tell me. I have a very nice oil lamp, and three [?] rag rugs, so now…
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…I believe I have given you a full description of my abode. The girls clean it and make my bed, so I am well taken care of. One thing more…there are orange and white checked curtains at the windows which make the room cheerful. I really am crazy about it.
On Sundays I am in charge up level [?], so Miss Emerson can have a day off. I like it, for we don’t have breakfast until 7:30, and all the other houses eat at 7:00 on Sunday. We all have dinner at Laurel House at 11:30 and supper in our own houses at 5:30. Sunday School is at 10:30. I take all the girls for a walk in the afternoon and Vespers is at 6:30 or 6. So you see the day fills up easily.
The school grounds all have to be fenced in, so neighbors’ pigs and cows won’t eat up our gardens. I have to cross a road coming up here from the school which means I have to open & close 2 gates each time, which is a nuisance. But it is so funny to see pigs & hogs & cows wandering up & down the road so naturally. I’ll sure feel at home with cows soon.
Loads of love,
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Sunday, September 9, 1928
My darling Ma,
I have received two letters and one postal from you, all most welcome. Also, the two packages arrived Friday evening, in splendid shape. In fact, the only one that was broken up when it came was the sq. box we sent together. I guess it had too heavy a load.
Now before I say half the things I want to, I had better attend to the most important business. I am so glad Bob can use my trunk. I feel quite sure the key is in a black leather key case which is in an open box about halfway down in the center back of my big drawer. If you don’t…
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…find it there, it must be in some other part of the drawer. There my resources end.
Last Wednesday I wrote Father a letter asking him to send me a crate of oranges. I have found out since that all freight and express articles must be sent
℅ Pine Mt. Settlement School
Putney, Harlan Co., Ky.
There they are brought over in the logging train. If Father has already ordered the oranges to be sent, he had better put a tracer on them, and have the address changed. I am awfully sorry to put him to this trouble — it was dumb of me not to inquire before. A letter from the office (A.F.G.) yesterday said that a crate of honeydews was coming from Louisville…
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…so I wrote to Mr. Trains there and told him about the address. I will certainly feel quite the Queen of Sheba receiving gifts from Solomon when all this fruit arrives. Living without it certainly makes you appreciate it a lot more. It is not so bad now without it as we have fresh vegetables and eat raw tomatoes, but in the winter it will be a real lifesaver.
I notice that my return pass to Cinn. is good only to Nov. 27th, while the one from Cinn. to Pitt. is good until Dec. 31st. I don’t believe I will be able to use my pass to go even to Berea or Louisville, so I am enclosing it to have the date changed until after Xmas, when I will use…
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…it to go home. I don’t know yet just which day I will use it, so the date had better be made Dec. 26th, then I’m sure I’ll get home for the 25th.
The long trip over the mt. and the poor schedule of trains makes it almost impossible to get away from here even short distances.
When I get better acquainted with things, I may be able to work out some excursions later. Anyway we can take short trips around to mt. towns.
I am enclosing one of the folders which gives lots of the dope but don’t depend on it entirely — get the railroad to verify the train times. I know you can’t think of much now but getting the boys off to school and the girls clothed, but later if there is any…
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…any chance of you and Father coming down here, let me know and I will send some constructive suggestions.
Speaking of clothes, I am certainly most beautifully fitted out. Everything is fine and I think I look real snappy in my cottons and woolens. You are certainly a wizard of a packer. I don’t believe there was a wrinkle in my lovely green dress and the green coat looked as if it has just been pressed. While it gets quite hot in the middle of the day and cool clothing is most acceptable, yet the evenings are generally chilly and I enjoyed my nice new looking kimono last night.
I am glad you had such a nice trip to Atlantic City. I can’t seem…
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…to place the Waldo Stevensons, but know they were lucky to have such handsome and entertaining callers.
I’ve lead quite a busy weekend, so I haven’t yet had a chance to work at those accounts, but I’m going to soon. Saturday was and is to be my free day and I sure did enjoy it yesterday. First of all, I glanced at a few N.Y. Times, then I washed my hair which had been terribly oily for the last 3 or 4 days. The two packages were then unpacked & put away, stockings washed, a trip to the store made to get some glue to stick this envelope together, etc. The stamped envelopes and stamps I had all got glued together when they got hot in…
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…my suitcase, and you’re getting one of the wrecks. Also, I was in charge of a party for about 40 of the older girls and had to plan games for them to play. My assistant was a young girl from Winchester, Va., (tell Uncle) and she was no help at all, so all the responsibility fell on my shoulders and I was a nervous wreck. However, it went all right & they seemed to have a good time. We played “Going to Jerusalem,” “Poisin [?] Handkerchief,” “Maze [?] Zag,” “Three Deep” and “Farmer in the Dell.” Also had an apple paring and eating contest.
To-day I am in charge of Country Cottage, so that Miss Emerson can have her day off. I didn’t eat breakfast until 7:30 which was…
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…very luxurious. This afternoon, Marian Kingman and I took 21 girls on a 5-mile walk which seemed quite long enough for a beginning, especially as it was quite hot.
I was thrilled to hear about your bureau drawers; I know they will be a joy to you as well as me. Have Mattie and Geddus [?] gotten started yet? Give Mattie my love — also Cecil when you see her, & hello to Geddus & Chic. Hope Rufus had a nice vacation.
The Verner bill was for Margaret’s wedding slippers, so I gave the July statement to you. I am returning this new one, and will you please pay it?
I’ll put the folder I mentioned in Kitty’s letter, as this one is quite full.
With much much love to you,
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Wednesday, September 12, 1928
I had a feast of letters to-night with your note, Brother’s & Uncle’s, and letters from Kitty and Agnes Sailer.
I didn’t know Virginia Morrill nearly as well as Elizabeth and I don’t believe you and Father knew her to amount to anything. Also, none of us were invited to the house, but I suppose they knew we wouldn’t be there. I think the goblets would be lovely, but they’re much too good. Since you have them and got them at such a reasonable price, it may be best for us to send them, but I’d rather send something less…
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…than[?] we sent Elizabeth, who is a much better friend, the tables. I suppose Margaret got an invitation. I think she & I should send the present & not you & Father at all. My cards are in a blue box in the small right-hand drawer of my desk. I wish I could tell you exactly what to send, but I know whatever you do will suit me beautifully. Her address is
I am enclosing a list of the things I would like to have sent to me sometime. There is absolutely no hurry about a single one as I am beautifully outfitted.
My cold must have disappeared about Sunday. You don’t exactly…
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…know when they do go sometimes. But during the siege, altho I used Kleenex all the time, I had to use handkerchiefs some, and I ran pretty close on my supply. I left a good many of my pretty handkerchiefs at home. I believe they were in the wash the week after I left. You could send me them if you know which they are, or some of the stray white ones — not at all fancy — that glide about the place, would be o.k.
No. 2 colored pencil. If one of the children would like to give me a birthday present, a colored pencil like we saw at McCreary’s would be most acceptable — the…
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…kind with 4 colors and nice thin leads. I correct my papers with ink as it contrasts with pencil marks, but I think colored marks would be more effective.
4. Alligator shoes & rubbers to fit. All the shoes I have down here are the kind that you can’t get rubbers over and I understand that in December it gets pretty sloppy — more rain than snow in winter here. You will have to get my alligators sewed up in the places where they’ve broken apart and have taps put on the heels. I believe there are some rubbers in the house that would fit them, but I have no idea where. This can wait for a long time.
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5. I have only a pair of nail scissors here, so would like my big pair. They have yellow handles, but I fear that isn’t very distinctive in our household. If you’ll just send some pair, it won’t matter to me.
6. As I have such poor drawer space I find it better to hang my shirtwaists on hangers. The wire ones that come from the cleaners or the cheapest kind you can get will be fine.
7. Red odorons. I have the white kind, but it doesn’t seem very effective, or at least it’s effect doesn’t last any amount of time to speak of.
8. Hot water bag. They tell me that in cold weather here you…
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…often have to break the ice in your pitcher in order to wash. Now if you use a good-sized hot water bag it keeps you warm for the first half of the night, you keep it warm for the second half, and it is quite an agreeable temperature to use for washing purposes in the morning. Miss Emerson, the woman in charge here at Country Cottage, says she never bothers to build a fire in her room in the morning to dress by, but if it’s as cold as reports go, I believe I will get up early and build one, then go back to bed, and let the room get hot. We’ll have to wait and see.
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9. Rubber bands. I believe there are quite a few in the red box on my desk so just enclose some in your next letter.
10. Thread for darning towels. I mean the kind of twist we use to fix the ends of the towels like K. Russel taught us. Kitty has it, or Kitty Crowe had it last, so Kitty can get it when she gets home.
11. Pictures. I have very little wall space for pictures as the roof slants so. However, a couple would make the room attractive, I think. I would like the one K. Russel gave me last Xmas of the creation of man. It hangs in the guest room by the swinging door. Then for my birthday, I would adore it if you…
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…would have that old sampler you gave me framed at Geisler’s. The girl out there is fine at suggesting suitable frames, and it would be just the thing down here. The sampler is in my big drawer in a gold and black striped box. Gotham silk hosiery box, I think. Also, there is a small round silver frame with S.S. Majestic on it that you might send me. I could put snapshots in it. It is in the same box that the key holder was in, I think. I don’t know what to say about family pictures. There is simply no place in my room for pictures the size of you & Father on our bureau. I would like the picture of you that is in between our beds. I…
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…could hang it. I have pictures of Albin, Margaret & a very tiny one of Father here. I can get others at Xmas and meantime you might enclose a few snapshots of the wedding, etc., if they are convenient. Framed pictures are so hard to pack that I thot (sic) you might bring the couple I mentioned in your suitcase when you come down, & Geisler could pack the sampler.
12. Poems of Thomas Hardy. This is one of the books we bought in Quebec. I’m thinking of giving it to K. Russel for Xmas & want to read some of it first. I put it in the big drawer, too.
About Xmas cards. I never have…
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…any engraved, but I think it would be fine if Kitty could order them now so that she’d be ready ahead of time. I’ll count up how many I need & let her know.
In telling you about the pictures, it just occurred to me that Gin [?] would like one of those Godey fruits framed. It wouldn’t be but $2.00 or $3.00 and would fit in with her Long Island establishment beautifully. And it would be just about the right price according to my thot & feeling. The fruits are in a folder in one of my desk drawers — the bottom one I believe.
I’m sorry to write such a tacky letter — nothing but requests…
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…but I thot it better to put it all in one long spiel.
Father spoke of you and some of the others coming down some time. I realize it would be hard for him to get away with Mr. Boggs gone, so am not counting on him for quite a while. I’d love to have you anytime of course, but don’t come unless it’s convenient. I think there is a country fair here on Sat., Sept 29th, that you would enjoy. They have games & contests and folk dancing. Otherwise, I know of no special date before Thanksgiving. I’ll write you more about the fair in a couple of days. I sent Bob the dope about coming down here, to St. Louis.
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I didn’t mean to give you all a subject for pity when I wrote you about the food. Kitty said you thot it sounded pretty bad. I thot the facts would be interesting & make Father feel better about the luxury of the school. I am getting loads to eat & feel very satisfied.
It is most interesting here. My teaching & papers to correct keep me pretty busy. I would love to write loads, but not to-night.
Please thank Uncle & Brother for their nice letters.
With loads of love,
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Sunday, September 16, 1928
Dearest Pa and Ma,
I’m afraid this isn’t going to be as long a letter as I planned to make it, because I have written four others and it is getting late. I thought I would write a lot this P.M., but it was so hot that I got a headache and so took a rest. We’ve had really marvelous weather most of the time, and it is always cool at night.
I am thrilled to pieces to think of Bob being here on Tuesday. Everyone here is so nice in helping me plan about it. Another girl, a secretary, and I are going over to Putney tomorrow afternoon, spend the night there, and meet him in the morning. We’ll go on mules. Then…
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…he is going to be allowed to stay right in the same house with me. The only other room on the second floor is vacant, so in he goes.
Father, I don’t believe I can answer all your questions to-night, but I’ll do some anyway. The name of the railroad that comes to the school from Putney is the Intermountain Coal and Lumber Co. Cumberland is quite near here. However, Miss Emerson told me that Mrs. Zande used to order fruit from Knoxville, so I did too, and got an answer immediately from J. K. Haley Co., saying they would turn my order over to some other concern that handled Blue Goose oranges. The honeydews arrived on Friday and caused many thrills and palpitations. They are perfect, and not all ripe, I am glad to say. Three are gone already and the rest are quite…
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…hard. They’re resting in our cellar here, which is about the only cool place about. We ate one here at the House Friday night. The three girls had never even heard of them before, but liked the taste; the smallest melon, a good-sized and perfect one, I gave to Miss Pettit, and she told me to-day that she ate the whole thing herself at one meal! You may judge she is quite a size. The third, two of the other teachers & I took on a picnic yesterday and it was a marvel. We had no water with us and it quenched our thirst perfectly. The apples arrived last night. They are lovely but a bit green still. I guess they’ll ripen, won’t they. It is surely marvelous to have all this fruit. We are getting cookies for Sunday supper now, so it’s quite a respectable meal. All the kids get fat here.
I’m sending your Margaret’s letter which I know you will enjoy. Isn’t the heather [?] lovely? Please put it & the letter in my desk when you have done with them. Also, I would like to have you forward the letters you get from her to me.
Father, I don’t mind the dictated letters a bit. In fact, am delighted to get news in any form.
I will write a real newsy letter soon. Thanks so much for the fruit.
With loads of love to you all.
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Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1928.
Bob just left this afternoon and I feel quite forlorn without him. He was so cute and fitted in so nicely here. Everyone was crazy about him. You might have thought I was receiving a visit from the President. He will be able to tell you a whole lot about this place that I haven’t been able to put into my letters.
You will know before this reaches you that I went over to meet him, leaving the school Monday at 4 P.M. and spending the night over in Putney with one of the families of a student here. Miss [Angela] Melville went with me and we had a lovely ride with a most gorgeous…
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…sunset all about us for almost half the time. Mrs. Lewis, with whom we spent the night, is a daughter of the old mountaineer who gave the land for the school, so Miss Melville knew her well. They, the Lewis’s, gave us a most cordial welcome, altho they were not expecting us at all. I suppose their house is quite a good one for around here, but it seemed like a drab miserable place to me. The rooms, however, were a good size, & there were five of them. Miss M. and I each had a bed to ourselves, much to my surprise. Mine had a sheet on it, and a counterpane over it & I slept between the two. We had no water that night so slept with a…
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…horsy fragrance about us, but in the morning, before five!, we performed ablutions. Mrs. Lewis is such a sweet woman, but I[‘m]? Sure she looks much older than she is. The women get worn out early up here.
Albin sent me Margaret’s letter, which I enjoyed and am returning. It has somewhat the same news in it that mine did.
This isn’t much of a letter, for I have to go to a meeting now. However, I just wanted you to get a word from me.
How dreadful for me about to forget. The candy from Rosenbaum’s arrived and is being tremendously enjoyed…
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…You all are spoiling me with so many good things. The oranges and grapes have come, too, and I will have to write you & Pa about them later.
Sunday it was so hot I had a headache, and to-day it has been simply freezing — rainy and clammy. I don’t know what I should do without my raincoat & hat.
Loads of love to everyone,
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Friday, Sept. 21, 1928
My dearest Pa,
I thot I was getting a communication from you yesterday, but the envelope only contained a copy of a letter of some days ago. I thot I had thanked you for writing me such a long newsy letter, but if I hadn’t, here goes. It was greatly enjoyed and I am eagerly waiting for another. I am returning the copy as Mr. Kiesling asked me to.
Thank you ever so much for offering me a radio. There are none at the school, but the man down at the little post office store had one that didn’t work very well. I believe they say that the mountains make it difficult to get good connections. However that may be, I don’t believe I would want one in my room, as I have never been very crazy about radios, and my time is…
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…pretty well filled now.
I feel as though I had a gold mine here now with the melons, apples, grapes and oranges all at my beck and call. Sad to say the grapes had been opened when they arrived and several bunches removed, but the remaining ones are certainly wonderful. They and the oranges both came when I was away for the day getting Bob at Putney. They carried the oranges up here in baskets because when they arrived the crate was practically broken to pieces. This seems inexcusable to me, but I haven’t yet had time to inquire what I can do about it. Apparently, it is the men on the logging train who do the mischief. I haven’t counted the oranges yet to see how many, if any, were missing.I don’t even know whether I got a box of 250 Valencias or not. That was what I ordered, so I guess that’s what they are. They’re quite small and the price was high, I thot…
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…$10.25 for the box and $.77 express, making a total of $11.02. They came from Kaiser Bros. In Knoxville. The Haley Co. passed my letter on to them. I am going to sell the oranges to some of the teachers, I think. I would love a few peaches from the farm a little later, but I am well stocked now.
I am glad you are so interested in the school and will try to answer your questions. Bob can tell you a lot about it since he has been here. On Sunday we have Sunday School in the morning at 10:30 which goes on till dinner time at 11:30. They offered me a class, but I said I’d rather not take it if they had enough other teachers, so I don’t have one. In the afternoon, a [?] usually takes a walk; each house has supper by itself; and at 6:30 P.M. we have a simple and lovely Vesper service, lasting about 45 min. The chapel is the best-looking building here. It is stone, cut right out of the mountain. We don’t have daily chapel, but in my house, at any rate, Miss Emerson has prayers every night. It would be difficult to get all the children together every day as they work at such different hours and all over the place.
Bob can tell you about the riding here? I haven’t seen any decent looking saddle horses. The roads are too rough for riding of any speed. Yes, we have a very good garden, which supplies the school with a large proportion of its food. The soil is very poor in this district — it used to be called the Poor Fork Valley of the Cumberland RIver before coal was discovered — so farming takes a tremendous lot of time. They have to build up all the soil for 3 or 4 years before they can use it, but they really have done wonders here at the school, and we have delicious fresh vegetables every day. Tell Mother that they keep the girls busy preserving and canning things.
They are 111 students in the school now, about 40 boys &…