Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 02: GOVERNANCE – Advisory Board
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Harriet Crutchfield, PMSS Teacher, 1928-1930
& Advisory Board Member
Harriet Crutchfield Journal Transcribed Part 3
November 1928 – April 1929
TAGS: Harriet Crutchfield Journal Transcribed Part 3, Harriet Crutchfield Orndorff, train travel, horseback travel, Margaret Motter, Marian Kingman, Marguerite Emerson, food, Miss Denton, international parties, pinatas, birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, open houses, radios, influenza, colds, weather, teaching, Berea College, floods, plays, Astrid Andersen
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Transcribed Part 3
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL TRANSCRIBED PART 3 consists of full transcriptions of Harriet Crutchfield’s handwritten letters which she sent to her parents 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 101-152, covering November 1928 through April 1929. Those images can be seen here: HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Part 3.
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 have 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 Journal Transcribed Part 3
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Nov. 12, 1928
My dishes came Friday night and I was thrilled with them. Were they my plates that you sent or did you have to buy the whole set? They are simply perfect down here and I am thrilled with them. Sad to say the handle of the teapot and one cup were broken. I have saved all the pieces as evidence in case Gimbels will do anything about it. Let me know.
I was so glad the dishes arrived Friday as we used them all day Saturday…
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…and if they had come on the 10th, I wouldn’t have gotten them until 6 P.M.
Miss [Marguerite] Emerson went off on a trip to Hindman Friday, so the girls were sent down to Laurel House and we had the Practice House to ourselves. It was such fun to use the dishes for breakfast, dinner and then a late supper. As Saturday is our day off we all slept late & didn’t breakfast until about 8:30 — oranges, coffee, toast & marmalade. Dinner at 2:00 with fried onions, fruit salad, toast, coffee and marmalade. We served soup[?]…
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…and read Cranford which is delightful. In the afternoon we planned with Miss Denton for an International party for the children, the next day being Nov. 11th. Miss [Katherine] Pettit’s 14 girls were giving a party at Big Log Cabin, & each inviting one person and about 16 had gone off to Wooton to play basketball, so that we had only 50 or 60 at our party, making it much easier to manage. It really was a lot of fun. We played an ancient Greek game a little bit like black man; Jacob and Rachel but using the Norwegian names instead; then had a flag contest to see who knew what countries…
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…they represented; sang songs of the different nations; and finally for refreshments used a Mexican custom. In the afternoon we had wrapped up individual marshmallows, a couple of dates, and a few raisins until we have about 50 packages, at least one apiece. These were put in paper bags gaily decorated with red, white & green crepe paper — the Mexican colors. The bags were hung from some rafters and two persons blindfolded & given a stick. They had to break the bags and then there was a scramble for the “sweetmeats.” The children thot (sic) the refreshments were wonderful. I donated the marshmallows, thanks to Ted, & some of the other teachers the raisins and dates.
At our Hallowe’en party, we had…
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…rather wormy apples & a small popcorn ball apiece and everyone thot the refreshments were marvelous. You see, we very rarely have any food at parties.
I enjoyed our International party thoroughly. It lasted from 6:30 until 7:45. Then Margaret & Marian had a birthday party for me to which Miss [Angela] Melville & Astrid Andersen, the Norwegian, were invited. We had fruit salad, cheese dreams, coffee and a marvelous devil’s food cake — huge & two-layered with green candles on it. Margaret had ordered it from Frederick, Maryland, where she lives, especially for me and I am enjoying a piece of it right now. You can see…
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…that I had a pretty nice day. The only way it could possibly have been better would have been having you down here. But that is coming so soon now that I’m glad I still have it to look forward to. You see, I used the dishes three times that day and thot [sic] of you all continually. We made fudge in the afternoon and used some of those nuts you sent me which were marvelous. Where did you get them?
I shall write you to-morrow about many business matters, but I don’t have time to-night. I meant this to be only a note, as there isn’t much time before I should get to bed. Haste makes a mess but please excuse all the scratching out.
With loads of love,
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[Notation at upper left of page: “P.S. Take this letter in installments if necessary.”]
Tuesday, November 13, 1928
Dearest Father and Mother,
I am using some of the stationary Aunt Julia sent me for a birthday present. Isn’t it nice? It came in a pretty blue paper writing case.
I want to tell you a little bit more about the methods of coming over here to the school. I know that I rather advised your taking the train on Tuesday or Friday, but since discussing it a little more, I am not so sure it is the best way.
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…me, because the engine jumps the track occasionally. They go so slow that they stop immediately and so say that it isn’t dangerous, but somehow or other the idea is not appealing, especially coming down a mountain. Of course, there are wrecks on the main lines every week and very seldom here, so that I guess you would not be taking much extra risk by riding on the supply train.
If you decide to ride horseback over the mountain, you should take the night train from Cinc., get your breakfast at Pineville around 7 A.M., change cars there and ride to Laden which is the second flag stop after Putney. You will find the famous metropolis mentioned in a footnote of timetable 60 of the L. & N. schedule. Your train will get to Laden between 9:30 and 10:00 A.M. and I shall be able to meet you with the proper escort. My class ends at 8:15 A.M. and if I leave immediately afterwards I should get to Laden by train time. If I weren’t there you could wait for me for a few minutes.
It is about 6 miles over the mountain, and some of the walking is not too easy because of the stones. Having made the round trip 3 1/2 times…
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Friday, Nov. 23, 1928
I haven’t written to you lately as I thought you were going to be here. I got the telegram saying you couldn’t come this week the afternoon before, which gave me plenty of time to change my plans. It will be lovely to have you here on Thanksgiving. I surely hope you can come the day before so that you can have the whole day at the school. If you don’t come until Thursday morning, you can’t get to Pine Mt. until around two o’clock when most of the celebration…
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…here will be over. However, any time that is best for you suits me. I am planning (aiming, they say around here) to meet you Wednesday morning unless I hear to the contrary.
We have had a real cold spell, but it is gorgeous with the moonlight these nights. Margaret’s flannel bloomers, donned for the first time to-day when I took a two-hour ride, felt wonderful. If the other pair is cut out, bring it down & I will make it up.
I can hardly wait to see you. Just came back from a taffy pull & must get to bed.
Loads of love,
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Friday, December 7, 1928
The box with its wonderful assortments came yesterday. The cake carried beautifully and was greatly appreciated. December 6th was the birthday of two of the high school girls as well as that of Rankin[?], so Miss Pettit had a supper party for them all up at her house. Miss Emerson made each one a birthday [missing word?] and then just enough ice cream for the three honor guests to have a saucer apiece. Since there was such a celebration yesterday evening, I gave your cake to Rankin[?] this evening. He invited three other boys and we had the candles lighted and the room dark — Miss Motter’s room. The…
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…cake really looked lovely and your card was so appropriate. I think it was darling of you to take so much pains with it.
As for my share of the box — it is being enjoyed now in anticipation — but to-morrow it shall be participation. Miss Melville got back this noon, so Ruth and I moved into our old homes this morning. I sure enjoyed my stay up at Zande House, but it is nice to be back on my side of the valley!
I am wondering if Kitty has gone off to Washington. I wish she would write me any plans she has about Christmas gifts, etc. I will try to write you or her fully about my ideas to-morrow or Sunday. In the meantime, will you please look in my middle desk drawer and send me the little notebook with my Xmas gift & card lists in it? It is…
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…one of the ones with my name on it that Mr. Horton has given me. I do not remember which year.
Thanks for Barbara Book’s announcement & your letter. You & Pa surely did make a big hit down here and your letters have added the final touch. The whole visit was perfect. I will write about your order also to-morrow.
Much love to you all,
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Dec. 11, 1928
Mother said in her last letter that you and she would like to do something for the school for Xmas. I suggest that you send enough pretty box apples for each person to have one. That would mean about 130 apples. I should think you would have them sent from Knoxville, Tenn., where I got my oranges. The name of the firm was
23 Market St.
The man whose name you gave me put me in…
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…touch with these people.
I trust you & Ma approve. It being so near Xmas I asked Miss Pettit if she would approve before asking your authorization. She thot it would be lovely. I might have ordered them — the apples — myself but didn’t know what kind would be best. Don’t send those huge delicious apples. I think they are too fancy for here. Just a big red apple will be lovely!
Have you asked for my pass from Laden to Cinc.? I leave here the morning of Dec. 22nd.
Oh — about those apples. They should reach Putney in time to come over here on the supply train on Tues., Dec. 18th. The following Friday might not be too late, but would be risky. They will be given out Friday night I guess.
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Dec. 16, 1928
[Notation across top of page: “Sorry to hear Father has been sick. Much love, Harriet.”]
Your letter came Sat. P.M. so this is the 1st mail since then.
I have both my passes, thank you, having just received the L. & N. one from Father & I aim to use them next Saturday. My train will leave Cinc. at 10:55 Sat. night & will arrive Pittsburgh 7:45 A.M. Sun., Dec.23. If you cannot conveniently meet me, it would be handy for you to send me an up-to-date…
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…schedule & 10-trip ticket. If you sent it off immediately on receipt of this letter I think it would reach me.
The letter with the little book came Friday & thanks so much. I did not know you had gotten my Xmas cards for me. I fear it is too late to send them. I think I can get some around here, but if not, will have to send when I get home.
I should love to ask K. Russel for a visit & will write her to-morrow. It was lovely for you to suggest it….
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…I have been very busy lately helping with preparations for Christmas which they celebrate here with real old English spirit. The festivities began to-day & will last out the week. All the houses have been busily making wreaths so that to-day they could be dressed up for open house. It was lots of fun going from cottage to cottage. Then to-night we had a beautiful song Vespers in the chapel which is a dream with fir trees all about.
I must get to bed. Don’t be surprised at all the stools, etc., that may arrive in the mail — also the coverlid. I will explain later. The coverlid is just on approval & I thot you might like it & want to have it for the boys’ Xmas. Thot I could give Alice & Grace each a little stool, etc.,…
The enclosed bill is for the stool you ordered. It just came in & was sent off Sat. No chance of getting your chairs & other coverlids until after Xmas. Send 3.79 check to Miss Florence Daniels or me here.
I don’t think you need write Miss Purbrick tho (sic) it would be nice. Your other letters made a big hit.
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January 9, 1929
Dearest Pa and Ma,
I grieve to have delayed so long in writing you, but other notes demanded my attention first. I intended writing you Saturday night on the train but Mr. Browning appeared and I discussed school matters with him instead.
I’m awfully glad that I came here via Louisville, for I had a most enjoyable day there. Cousin Mary Hoffman met me at the station and took me shopping. I bought a new pocketbook for $1.95 and a knapsack to carry on my shoulders for $1.00. Aunt Julia and Cousin Louise joined us a little later and we had a jolly luncheon party at Stewarts. Aunt Julia seems pretty well, tho pale as usual and awfully thin. The other two are thriving. They all seem to get a tremendous kick out of the radio and were planning then to all go out to La Grange together to hear a concert on it that night. It reminded me of little boys…
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…with a new electric train.
Cousin Mary says that the radio is working so well and has such a fine tone that she thinks it would be a mistake to change it; however, a complaint should be made to the company about the tubes. Two were broken and all were weak, as tested by a radio man there in La Grange. The whole thing was very poorly packed. The case seemed a little worn, especially where you turn the little affair — where it was worn off (pardon indefinite terms, for I can do no better). It probably was a demonstration radio which accounts for its splendid tone as well as its shop-worn appearance. Perhaps the company would give you a small discount for the above considerations and they certainly should pay for the two broken tubes, if not replace all of them. The weak tubes also indicate…
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…the former use of the radio.
I’m sorry I couldn’t get out to La Grange to see the thing myself but the girls had planned otherwise and I thot this report would do. I would have spent most of my time coming and going if I had gone to La Grange.
At 4 o’clock we met the Mourning[?] at the Pendenius[?] Club which has just moved into a beautiful new building. We drove out to their home and had an early dinner in order to get me to the train at 7:30. (Aunt Julia & Co. left me at 4). The Mournings have a lovely house in a beautiful location and they were just as cordial and nice as could be. One of Matelea’s best beaux from Georgia was there at the time but I didn’t seem to be in the way.
I got some interesting news about Cousin Clarence Rule having gained pounds[?] and in the flush of his new…
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…”lights” giving a certain Mary Hull a rush, viz. taking her to church, helping her across the street, etc. I understand she is an old flame but the affair seems to be dying down again.
I got your letter to-night, Mother. Thanks so much for the key. The trunk didn’t come Tuesday; I can’t imagine why, but hope it will turn up Friday. Also, I’m looking for my glasses someday soon.
I’ll write you school news next time. I’m feeling fine. Hope you are O.K. again, Mother. Also Kitty.
With packs of love,
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Jan. 14, 1929
I surely was thrilled to see my glasses! They arrived Saturday and I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw them in the box. Do tell me how they came to light.
The trunk arrived Friday and was hailed with joy. Everything carried beautifully, except, alas, the thermos bottle. I am sending it off to you to-day for another lining. Let the store pack it and it will be responsible. I put in the packages the two pairs of mittens for the girls’ birthdays. If the weather is very cold and they need them now, let them have them. Otherwise, please present both pairs on Feb. 9th. I fear they are a little large, but they’re nice and they may shrink. Kitty’s kimono is returned with many thanks. My new blue one is ravishing, I think. I shall write her about it. The little flashlight is the one I had last fall. You might have it fixed and return it to me anytime. It is rather a good plan to keep a small extra….
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…light on hand down here and you are really in a fix if yours goes bad on you. My big one is a joy now.
I got your letter with the two handkerchiefs in it to-night. Also, Rankin’s letter. Thanks for both. I was distressed to hear about Mr. Frick and Henry. Do, all of you, be careful. Is your cold all gone, & Kitty’s?
I am feeling fine, but 4 of the workers were down over the week-end, and MIss Melville still weak from her flu. Miss Pettit had to stay in a couple of days last week but she is well now and hopes to get off for her vacation in a few days. She isn’t planning to go to Washington, Pa., now but will stay at home in Lexington.
The unbreakable thermos came to-night and I am delighted. I am sure it will do worthy service.
I must go to bed now.
With loads of love,
[Notation at bottom of page: “ Tell Mrs. Barron that I couldn’t get her a broom with a [?] for an indefinite time. If she wants to wait, we can take the one I had sent to her. I hope the enclosed bill is O.K. I think you’ll find the tea-stand a great help on Sunday evenings. Aff[?] Aunt Julia.”]
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January 21, 1929
[Notation across top of page: “I believe I wrote Mother last Wed. Did I?”]
Dearest Father & Mother,
I am shocked to see that it will be two weeks next Wednesday since I have written you.
I have been extra busy, substituting for many of the sick workers, so the days have just flown by. Most everyone is well again and most of the children back, starting to-day.
The weather has been as changeable as a young girl. Rain has predominated, but we have had some lovely spring days as well as the cold wintry ones. It is very dangerous and tempting weather in which it is easy to catch cold.
In addition to my extra hours, I have had to move down to Big Log, Miss Pettit’s house, while she is away on her 2-month vacation. A volunteer worker whom they were expecting to live down here and teach a primary school for the neighborhood children…
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…suddenly wrote that she couldn’t come, leaving us in the lurch. Miss Pettit had had several slight attacks of flu (tho she wouldn’t call them by that name) and it seemed best to get her off as soon as possible.
She left last Thursday for Lexington and I moved down here to take evening study hour and also be in charge Sat. P.M. It is very nice & comfortable, tho I like my hillside home better. Of course, I’ve hardly adjusted yet. Mrs. Keegel, Boy’s House housemother, is going to take charge of the primary school & I may help her a little.
Will you please send me a crate of oranges — and a bushel of apples — not too fancy — but good for cooking and eating? The unbreakable thermos came. Many thanks.
I surely enjoyed your newsy letter, Mother. Hope Bill Taylor is O.K.
Loads of love,
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Jan. 30, 1929
Dearest Father and Mother,
It’s just 25 of 10 and I am going to bed just as soon as I finish this note. I’m all ready. Isn’t that good? I’ve just finished eating one of the oranges which came to-day and it surely tasted good. I had one of the apples this afternoon. I’m enclosing a bit of each of the wrappers to let you see the brand. Neither one seems to be Blue Goose or A.F.G. fruit — in fact, the apple one looks more like Uncle Arthur’s company. Is it by any chance? The fruit came from Kaiser Bros. in Knoxville. I notice you said in your letter to send me Blue Goose oranges, but I guess they didn’t have any. Both the apples and oranges are delicious and I thank you many times.
As Margaret, Marian and Astrid all want to buy some of the oranges by…
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…the dozen I told them I would ask you the price of the crate & the no. of oranges in it, so I would know how much to charge. By the way, I’ll turn all revenue thus collected over to you since these oranges were a gift to me.
The apples are very nice and a good size for me — not too big. However, they are too good for cooking. Couldn’t I get a bushel of cooking apples?
I thot you might enjoy Louise’s letter, then pass it on to Margaret. She would enjoy the description of herself I know. What shall I do with Louise Woolfolk’s letter — pass it on to Marg.? It is a lovely one. She is going to have a real family on her hands if she isn’t careful.
I think it is fine that you’re an elder, Father; now the church will be run correctly!
Yes, Mother, I would like to have you write on this paper. All your news was eaten up. Sounds as if things…
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…were still alive and kicking in Sewickley. I’m glad you returned to a restful clean house when you came back from Chicago. Mattie and Geddus are probably above average in a good many ways and I hope they stay and are satisfactory to you. They surely made vacation comfortable and pleasant for me. Tell them both howdy for me.
I know there is no school news in this epistle but the clock ticks on and it will have to wait.
Much love to you all,
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Wed., Feb. 20, 1929
I have been awfully busy since getting back from Berea — and so haven’t written. There were stacks of papers waiting for me; I am helping with a couple of dramatic stunts, and also I have just moved all my goods & chattels back to Country Cottage. I thot I was to be at Big Log for 2 months but a new worker for the primary grades arrived and needed the room, so I moved out last Thursday, having been there just one month to the day. I had to leave everything in a mess in my room and cross the mt. to catch the train, so things were in a fine fix when I got back.
I hope to write more soon. Trust you are all well. Will you please let me know at once if my Feb. allowance was deposited, as I need to pay some bills.
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Feb. 27, 1929
I have been getting my mail sorted out and am just about ready to attack it now. Life down at Big Log was a bit more strenuous than here at Country Cottage and I got way behind. There are loads of things I am eager to write — meantime this is just another note.
The enclosed bill must belong to Kitty. Will you please give it to her? I am ashamed of its being so late. Tell her to please pay it at once.
I thot you would enjoy these pictures. Then please put them with the others in my desk.
I am sending your letter on to Margaret to-night. It was fine. No wonder you have had no time to…
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Please let me know what you and Father think about Uncle’s and my trip this summer. He is writing me about going West and weakening n Europe. Tell him I will write him soon.
With much love to you all,
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Sunday, March 3, 1929
Dearest Father and Mother,
This is a real spring day and the fever is getting hold of some of the children. Marian and I were going to take a big crowd out for a walk but some of the Big Log girls wouldn’t keep up so I am staying behind with them. Mrs. Wilkinson usually keeps the Big Log girls Sunday afternoon but she is just getting over a very severe cold and is not doing her regular work. The six stay-behinds are reading and talking, thus giving me a little extra time.
I surely wish you both could be here to talk over next year with me. There is no special date by which time the decision must be made but it would be more satisfactory to settle the matter than live on in this indecisive state.
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I don’t believe that I would be happy in the work that Brooke and Marjorie want me to take up, for I’m not temperamentally suited to being a spiritual adviser. Do you agree with me? There is such a need for the kind of thing they suggest and I see it so plainly that I am tempted at times to make a stab at the job; but in my saner moments I feel sure I wouldn’t be a success at it, nor like it either. While at Berea I just mentioned the idea to Billy Fern[?], and the very notion of me in such a position seemed to amuse him. He ought to know my capabilities and he wasn’t in the least enthusiastic. (Of course, I realize that he is in love and necessarily in more or less of a coma, but it was just another indication of what I feel to be true about myself.)
I think I know how you feel about this school — that it is doing a very good work, but that it could be a lot better. I don’t need to go over the special points just now. Since you feel that way about it and are sending me down here free of charge I do not like to come back for another year without your full approval.
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Yet I don’t know what to turn to. I seriously doubt if a year’s study would clarify matters any, but I shall try to be open to suggestion and conviction. I fear I won’t be adequate for the kind of service you would prefer to have me give.
I had a splendid talk with Miss Melville about a month ago and told her at the time how you felt about the school and of Father’s offer to try to get a minister to come down here. She was very interested and sympathetic and agreed with you on the whole. She told me a lot of things about the future of the school, in confidence, so that I don’t feel free to pass them on to you. There will be probably a change for the better fairly soon, tho nothing is decided. At any rate, it prevents me authorizing you to get the minister, Father, but it also lets you know that Miss M., who has charge of the religious life of the school, is on her job. You realize that this is her first year here for four years and that she is in an en-…
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…tirely new capacity. She says that the school is much more religious this year than it has ever been before.
She said they wanted me to come back very much, but she wouldn’t urge me unduly; and she hasn’t said a word to me since. She said she would want me to get a salary next year, tho it would be very small (probably wouldn’t support me). I would teach Caesar, Algebra II, and Bible to all the high school (probably have two sections of it). Also, she offered to let me try out “spiritually advising“ the students here, i.e., I should have certain times when the housemothers could send to me children whom they thought need straightening out for various reasons. They sadly need training in the virtues that we almost take for granted. Telling truth would head the list, then honesty in everything, lack of revenge, etc.
How does all that sound to you? It seems to me that it would be a fine opportunity for me to test myself out; I…
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…might come to grief! Teaching Bible to 50 some kids would be a big bite and I don’t know that I would even consider the last mentioned. But I would be acclimated to this place and ought to be able to do better than I would in a new and strange environment.
Please write me soon all your thots on the matter. Do you have any suggestions in case I don’t come back here or start training for the church job?
I have already given something to missions, Mother, tho not much. Haven’t time to look it up now. However, I’ll send a check to Mr. Wardrop gladly. Do I leave my March allowance in bank?
Did you like the pictures I have sent at various times & did you receive the little stand for serving tea? Please let me know at once about the white [?] [?], if only on a postcard.
When Kitty gets home, will you please ask her if she would give her old Latin dictionary to the school & if so, do send it on. It would be on the shelves in Margaret’s…
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…old room. The children keep asking me words that I don’t know. In the meantime, will Sister please ask her Latin teacher the word for smile, or get it in some way for me. You see, I am helpless here!
I sent home a dress and skirt to be cleaned and returned. It sure is a mistake to bring light clothes down here in winter unless they are washable. The soot is omnipresent. I meant to send my blue sweater too, but forgot, so you may receive it later.
Is your galax still living and would you like some more? Some of it that we have had inside here is putting out many new shoots.
There is loads more to say, but this must be all for to-night. When are you coming down for your spring visit?
Loads of love,
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- The galax is simply heavenly now. Would you like some more? How did that keep which I fixed at Christmas time?
- I would like the following things sent me with bill attached please:
a) piece of castille soap.
b) 2 10-cent-store combs — brown — with fine tooth section.
c) some erasers for an Eversharp pencil & 1 package of leads.
d) I broke two of my beautiful teacups & a third is cracked. If I could replace I would like to. Also, you might tell the Gimbel people that the 1st time I poured boiling water in my teapot it cracked so that I haven’t been able to use it. I wonder if they would replace it. This last, however, is unimportant as I would use the teapot very rarely.
Please excuse this disgraceful letter.
Loads of love,
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Mar. 24, 1929
The enclosed folders on tennis rackets and bedspreads can be thrown into the wastepaper basket in case they do not appeal. I thought the children might want rackets and that you might possibly be interested in the $12 or thereabouts spread.
The enclosed check is for you and Pa. $20 to you on my outstanding debt and $4.12 to Pa for the 1st crate of oranges he sent. I received the apples as a present, but since I sell some of the oranges I prefer to pay for them. I’d like to do the same with these two last contributions too, please. Get Mr. Keisling to send me the cost and express on the oranges. Both apples and oranges are lovely — the latter Sunkist. Thanks ever so much, Papa, for getting them for me. I think this had better be the last, however, for it is getting so warm that there is too much waste, besides they’re taking so much…
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…time to sort and resort.
Will you ask Kitty to send down any old school copies of Silas Marner that we happen to have? The [?] class is going to read that next and there aren’t nearly enough copies. It would be nice if Sister had it announced at school that we need copies. I bet there are loads of them in the Sewickley libraries collecting dust. I imagine the Gilchrists would have one. Ask Kitty please to send with them my birthday book — it is in the bookcase over my desk. I also need a can of tan shoe polish, a couple of pairs of light tan lisle stockings about 75 cents per and size 10, and some of those notebook tabs of which she told me she had an ample sufficiency. If you happen to see any white canvas strap slipper with moderate Cuban heels, a pair of 8A’s would come in very handy. They would have to be sent on approval, of course. Don’t bother about the last; but do it if convenient when buying other shoes.
About this material for the children’s…
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…dresses. I wonder if you have forgotten that it is white when you mention costs for shopping. I hesitate to give the order for 11 yds until I hear from you again. Since going to Berea and seeing the things Mrs. Mathew[?] has there, our house space[?] here at P.M. doesn’t look so pretty. It is almost too heavy. I don’t know exactly what to advise you. You probably didn’t see Mrs. Mathew’s things when you were at Berea because she does work independent of the college, but she has by far the loveliest things. I ordered myself a blue [?] [?] dress like the one Florence Daniels had in brown (if you remember, you told me I could have it for Xmas) but it was $11.50 instead of $13.50 because I got it direct from her. Her materials really are gorgeous and I wondered if you would want a dress apiece for the children from her. She has all colors. Her coverlids, towels, table runners, etc., are all exquisite, and more reasonable than any others I have…
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….seen. I think she gives a little discount to all mountain workers anyway.
As for our white I guess we’ll have to order some, but I’ll wait to hear again about the no. of yds. I’m not sure now whether you knew it was white when you spoke of coats for shopping.
Thanks so much for my blue skirt and dress. Both are fine. It was 91 this afternoon, so I doubt if I use I’ll use the dress much.
By the way, did you ever get that sandwich stand and like it? I don’t remember your ever mentioning it, tho you did say your account was squared up. Also, rocking chairs have come in at last (tho no straight ones) and I am having them hold two. Do you still want them and did you want them varnished?
We had a bad flood here, the worst to occur since the school has been going — all due to a hard rain all Friday night. Miss Pettit and Miss Melville estimate our loss between $1500 and $2000. The water came up over the athletic field…
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…so you can imagine how high it was. The bridge near the schoolhouse is in terrible shape. It was almost washed away and its foundations are all wrenched apart. Most of the roads are terribly washed away, necessitating days and days of labor and practically all the spring planting and fertilizing is gone for nothing. In addition, around $150 worth of coal had just been mined and was waiting to be hauled around to the different buildings. It was all washed away. Sand, rocks, big logs and twigs are strewn all over the grounds. The damage really is tragic, especially for Miss Pettit and Mr. Browning who have put so much into that part of the work.
My letters are so full of business that I don’t get to tell you a bit of real news. I directed the production of “The Courtship of Miles Standish” and since that came off last Friday I feel freer. I’ll try to write again in a day or two,
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April 4, 1929
[Notation in upper left of page: “The enclosed are some old letters you asked me to return, Mother.”]
Dearest Father and Mother,
It is most unsatisfactory having these great lapses of time between letters and yet I can’t seem to find time to put the words on paper. I have had (and still have) a lot of letters to write to my Madiera classmates, gleaning news for the Spring Bulletin. Then in the past few weeks I have put on a production of “Miles Standish’s Courtship,” acted in some Mother Goose ru[?]s put on by the workers, practiced and sung in the Easter music, etc. This week on Monday afternoon Margaret and Marian went off to the regular Mountain Workers Conference and I have had to take two extra periods a day — this has helped to keep my hands off the writing paper as well as out of mischief. I expect the M’s back to-morrow.
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Thank you, Mother, for all the little things you sent me — combs, leads, elastics and books. I love the elder flower soap. I don’t believe you quite understood about the erasers. You can buy such articles to fit into the ends of Eversharp pencils and they are wonderful comfort. If it is convenient to the next time you are sending me something, I would like a box of these.
The tea kettle and three cups & saucers arrived from Gimbels. I am so glad to have the set filled out again. It is such a beauty. Miss [Ruth B.] Gaines came up for tea and simply raved over the tea service. Did you happen to find any crepe pajamas for M. Motter?
You remember her speaking of my coming [?] to talk over plans for next year. I do not believe such a plan feasible, but perhaps I could meet you in Cin. or Louisville if you are not able to come down here for another visit this spring. Everyone…
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…is asking me when you are coming again. You see, you made a big hit. Can’t one or both of you come down, and how about a visit from Kitty, too?
I’m as undecided as ever about next year. There is no special rush about making a decision except that it would be most helpful to have made up my mind before leaving here so that I might know whether or not to pack up everything. You never gave me any comments on the offer they have made me for next year to teach Bible here. Nor have you suggested any alternatives but Pikeville. I have a feeling that I wouldn’t like it half as well as I do here. I feel that way about Berea. It doesn’t have the charm and freshness of the mountains and countried (sic) life nor the thrills and advantages of city life.
I am anxious to know of Mary’s & Andy’s…
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…decision. If they accept, will that mean that they don’t come home this summer? How about Uncle’s and my trip? I feel rather helpless about any arrangement down here. We should be getting passports if we are going early in the summer.
I should think Albin & Bob would plan to spend their summer together. What does Bob want to go West alone for? I should think an ocean trip would be nicer since they’ve been West.
No special plan comes into my head for a family excursion so far. Maybe several of us could go down to the Wilson’s near Tone’s[?] River for a week of swimming and boating.
I must close. Please excuse this rushed letter. So sorry to hear about Mr. Kinzer.
Much love to all,
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April 29, 1929
My dearest Mother,
At last I am finishing up the payment of my debt to you. I know it doesn’t include half the things you have bought for me, but at least it is all that I have been able to get hold of. Please send me an account of what I have omitted.
One would think that back here in the mountains would be an ideal spot to save money, but my allowance seems to evaporate just the same as ever. I am square with everyone but Father now and with your unrendered account. I know I owe you for the cleaner. I owe Pa $73.75! in addition to the cost of the last crate of oranges — the sum of which I have never been informed of. The reason I owe Pa so much is that…
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…he lent me $20 once ages ago. I can’t remember when, and $50 again when I came down here. That is not counting the generous sum he left as a gift at Thanksgiving time. Isn’t it amazing how the pennies fly!
You really deserve this letter of Miss Betty’s as the little broom came from you. When I suggested your sending it as a valentine without a card I never thot how it would look, but naturally, Miss Betty thot it was from me. I would tell you to correct her mistake except that it might embarrass her after taking it for granted that it was from me and writing me such a sweet note.
When I catch up in my bank account, I’ll try to pay you, but don’t feel equal to it quite yet.
Was Uncle Charles’ trouble “s[?]” of the times? I couldn’t make out definitely from his letters. How is he now?
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…Did you ever read the “Land of the Saddle Bags,” and did you like it? If you have finished it you can send it to Margaret’s home.
East Second Street
I have forgotten just when Louise Black’s baby is coming but wondered if you would be interested in getting her a blanket woven in Carolina. Florence had some here last fall which were raved over, tho I missed seeing them. I think they are around $6.00 and a little out of the ordinary.
Thank you loads for my Easter present. It is a great joy to have my tea set complete again. You asked if the uninsured package from Phila. arrived. Yes, and it was the floosiest[?] Easter basket you ever saw from Fuller. I don’t know what got into him. He didn’t know my Ky. address & so…
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…had the thing sent home.
I notice now in one of your letters that $5.00 is due on my fur coat. I imagine you have paid it, so will start my new list of H.[?] to Mother with that item.
Since Margaret and Andy aren’t coming home this summer I am overjoyed at the thot of seeing them so soon. Won’t you join the party? Are you really considering Sister’s studying in London? I’d like very much to know Uncle’s & my sailing date. Kitty Russel wants me to take a motor trip with her early in June. I refused as I want to have some time with you all, but just the same I want the date of sailing for general planning purposes.
Much, much love & more letters soon, I trust.
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Staff 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 Part 1 (001-046) Sept 1928
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Part 2 (047-100) Sept-Nov 1928
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Part 3 (101-152) Nov 1928-Apr 1929
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Part 4 (153-207) May-Dec 1929
For TRANSCRIPTIONS of her correspondence while at PMSS, see:
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Transcribed Part 3