MINERVA M. SPARROW Correspondence II

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Minerva M. Sparrow, Teacher & Housemother, 1943-1946 & 1948-1949
Correspondence II, 1946-1959


TAGS: Minerva M. Sparrow Correspondence II, teachers, English department, influenza, West Wind, teaching contracts, Pine Cone, Big Log, housemothers, calendars, donations

MINERVA M. SPARROW Correspondence 1943-1959
Part II: 1946-1959

GALLERY: MINERVA M. SPARROW Correspondence 1943-1959
Part II: 1946-1959

TRANSCRIPTION: MINERVA M. SPARROW Correspondence 1943-1959
Part II: 1946-1959

NOTE: The text has been slightly edited. Indecipherable text is indicated with [?].

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Mattapoisett, Mass.
Oct. 22, 1946

Dear Dorothy [Nace],
In the hopes of forestalling your remailing me a box of Christmas folders (I hope that does not mean used Christmas cards), I am forwarding to you this letter I found on my return from Worcester yesterday afternoon.

On the same mail came a letter from Miss [Edna O.] Spinney, expressing her fury of indignation at the futility of the Boston meeting. It was a shame you had no opportunity to speak on Pine Mountain, for I feel sure you could have brought the school to those elderly ladies in a very warm and illuminating way.

I was sorry not to see you, but first Miss–

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–Spinney’s confusion about the date (she thought you were to speak Wednesday) and secondly my sister’s confusion about the date (she thought the concerts began Monday instead of Tuesday) crossed me out. Had I known everything, I could have included Boston in my trip to Worcester. Then there would have been another indignant woman, so perhaps it is as well.

As perhaps Miss Spinney told you, I had a week of music — a marvelous treat to one who has not had even a radio for three years — Eleanor Steber, Astrid Varnay, Kopell the pianist, and the Philadelphia Philharmonic under Eugene Ormandy, giving two or three numbers each night.

Now I am beginning to think and prepare for my trip southward in mid-November.

My love to you and Margaret [Nace].

Minerva M. Sparrow

[sparrow_m_026.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter

February 5, 1947

Dear Miss Sparrow,
I guess the near-zero temperatures this week are more in keeping with the season than the spring breezes which we enjoyed last week, and most of the winter, but they are scarcely as pleasant! We think often this weather of our many Pine Mountain friends basking in Florida Sunshine.

We have been wondering as we consider the staff needs for next year whether you have felt reinvigorated by this winter to the extent that you would be interested in returning to Pine Mountain. We would surely be glad to welcome you back. As I told Miss Spinney, we are so happy that the [Burton] Rogers family plan to return and Miss Merrill has written that she feels so well that she would like to come back too. Please do not mention these possibilities to anyone else. We are not telling it even to the staff until later in the spring. It would be so nice to have you returning too. Won’t you let us know whether you would consider it?

With all good wishes,
H.R.S. Benjamin

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[Header: MMS]

… N. Crawford St.
Thomasville, Ga.
Feb. 12, 1947

My dear Mr. Benjamin,
Your letter took me quite by surprise, as I had not thought of returning to Pine Mountain, nor, to be entirely frank, did I have the least idea that the school would need or care for my services again.

All that I can say now is that I am feeling very well — the rest has been good for me — and that I have sorely missed those pleasant daily contacts with the young people in the class room. I–

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–know I shall meet strong opposition on the part of my family to the very idea of my return to work; thus I do not wish to make a definite promise until I have had the opportunity of discussing the matter with them.

I am driving North the first week in March and shall be glad to hear from you after that week, if you have any definite proposition. My address will be … Norton St., Worcester 5, Mass.

It delights my heart to learn that Mr. Rogers is returning. I missed his advice and help my last year at the school. The work of a counselor is invaluable to the students, too. And it is unbelievably good news that Miss–

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–Merrill feels well enough to take up her work. She was always a pillar of strength. It seems to me your plans for next year are working out very happily. As you requested, I have not and shall not say anything of these possibilities nor allude to the fact that you have written me.

Please remember me to Mrs. Benjamin. I hear that you are happily twice grandparents now.

Cordially yours,
Minerva M. Sparrow

[sparrow_m_028.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter

March 28, 1947
Miss Minerva Sparrow
… Norton Street
Worcester 5, Massachusetts

Dear Miss Sparrow;
Your letter of February 12th reached me in Florida, We drove through Thomasville, unaware, unfortunately, that you were there.

Since our return I have been studying staff needs for next year and am assured by Mr. [Arthur W.] Dodd and others on the staff that your return to the English department would be greatly appreciated. We should 1ike to have you assume your former leadership in English next September with Mr. Rogers and a young graduate of Wellesley who will be with us. If possible and you wish it, we would like to assign you quarters nearer to the schoolhouse. This can be decided later, of course.

A letter from Miss Merrill this morning tells me she will be here for any house where we may need her — which is cheering news indeed. Thank you for your greeting to Mrs. Benjamin. She is recovering from the flu which has struck the campus so hard — about 30 patients still down!

Yours very sincerely,
H.R.S. Benjamin

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… Norton St.
Worcester, Mass.
April 9, 1947

Mr. H.R.S. Benjamin
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Pine Mountain, Ky.

My dear Mr. Benjamin:
After a very thoughtful consideration of your letter, I feel I can write you that I will return to Pine Mountain this fall, though I do not have the whole-hearted approval of my family in this venture.

Shall you be willing to make the same concession to me concerning Saturday supervision of work? Of course, I do not know what supervisory work you may assign me, but I am willing to follow the same plan I did year before last — make out a detailed check list of all tasks as well as check the results Monday.

In regard to my room, I should like the same quarters I had last year if that is possible. That room is a quiet place, which is most essential and is sunny. Too, I am interested in Miss [Abbie Winch] Christensen’s gardening efforts around West Wind and should enjoy aiding and abetting them again.

If I should drive down in my ancient Ford, will there be a–

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— space for it?

Finally, in regard to the school work, you need not feel that I should have the “leadership in English,” to which you refer. I shall not feel at all hurt should you leave that in more capable hands — especially the senior English and the school paper. I am perfectly willing to teach freshman classes. The change this year from my methods, etc., has been I am sure very beneficial and could easily be continued. Do not hesitate on my account to make any change in the program you and the principal see fit.

I hope everyone has recovered from the “flu” by this time. So much illness must have almost disrupted the routine of work and classes.

I shall be thinking of all the coming festivities — the Dogwood Breakfast, May Day, Commencement — and hope you will have perfect weather for each occasion.

Yours sincerely,
Minerva M. Sparrow

[sparrow_m_030.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter

April 17, 1947
Miss Minerva Sparrow
… Norton St
Worcester, Massachusetts

Dear Miss Sparrow:
Just this brief message in the absence of Mr. Benjamin to assure you of our happiness that you are returning to P1ne Mountain to teach next year,

In your letter you raised the question of living quarters, and although I cannot speak for Mr. Benjamin in this matter I feel assured that your request will be met, and that upon his return in late April he will write you about this.

We have had a good school year, but we look forward with pleasure to seeing familiar faces in our midsts next year which will Include Burton Rogers and family, and Miss Merrill.

With all good wishes, I am
Sincerely yours
[Unsigned: Arthur W. Dodd]
I feel sure that there will be a place for your car in the garage back of Laurel House. That is where we are keeping ours.

[sparrow_m_031.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter

May 1, 1947
Miss Minerva Sparrow
… Norton Street
Worcester, Massachusetts

Dear Miss Sparrow;
I believe Mr. Dodd has written in my absence but I wish to write now in response to your welcome letter of last month. We will be very happy to welcome you back to Pine Mountain — not only we of the staff, but students as well.

The same room will be available for you and if you bring a car it can be stored in the garage back of Laurel House. I am even assured by Dorothy [Nace] that your ironing board and other miscellaneous household appliances which you most generously left will be waiting for you.

If the schoolhouse cleaning arrangements are satisfactory to you I am sure they will be to us. Otherwise we can make adjustments such as may seem beneficial. It seems strange to have Dogwood Breakfast the day after May Day but that is when it comes in this very late spring! We wish you could be with us,

H.R.S. Beniamin

[sparrow_m_032.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter

May 13, 1947

Dear Miss Sparrow,
Enclosed are three copies of your agreement with Pine Mountain School for the coming year. If they meet with your approval will you please sign them and return to Miss [Evelyn K.] Wells. (I should say, ‘forward’ )

We have been most negligent in writing this winter. I’ve wanted each year to manage a sort of news letter for absent staff members as Dr. Francis [Tucker] used to do but somehow it never was done. It doesn’t seem possible that our third year is almost over. Margaret [Nace] will remain here less than a month more. Her wedding will be June 28. She has just taken a blue Whig Rose coverlet from the loom. It is very beautiful.

We have lived very quietly this winter and have unbelievable amounts of knitting, sewing, and weaving to show for it.

It will be so nice to have you back. How good it will be to see Burton and Mary [Rogers] and Christopher [Rogers] too.

[Signed] Dorothy Nace

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May 28, 1947

Dear Dorothy —
At long last I reached home — after nine weeks at my nephew’s, caring for their little boy and running the house. The last of April a small daughter arrived and three weeks later I felt I could leave with a free conscience. My little nephew and I became great friends, and I wouldn’t have missed the experience of caring for him for anything, though it and getting meals for a family are not exactly in my line.

I have signed and forwarded the contract and really get quite a thrill from the plan to return to–

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–P.M. How perfect to have my old room back and to be able to borrow my ironing board! I am supposing you are keeping the room adjoining mine and Miss C. and Prospero will be on the hinter side.

When I reached home, I found all the Pine Cones. They had been sent to Matta[poisett]– instead of Georgia. I had real pleasure in catching up with the news, but feel I can never this next year achieve such full issues. Miss [Margaret] Motter did well and I would so written her, had I received the P.C. in time. Is she not returning?

This is the busy time for you and Margaret I know and you can answer the following questions at your leisure or just on a postcard.

(1) What is your house address?

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(2) Do you know Pat Hall Martin’s address?

(3) Is there anyone in New England or N.J. or Penn. coming to P.M. who might like to drive down with me? If so, please send me her name and I might get in touch with her.

(4) [Very private and between us alone, not to be answered if you do not with.] Miss Spinney wrote Mr. B. in February and has not heard a word in reply. Thinks he may not have rec’d letter, but is too proud to ask.

(5) On what date does school open?

As you see, I am at our pleasant camp for a week after only six days under my own roof —

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–time only to get unpacked, clean and order some closets and one room, and do a few odd jobs. The house is crying for attention and the garden for weeding, but I shall attack them both with more energy and spirit after this week’s rest. Shall return home Monday.

Our camp is in the pine woods on the shores of a little pond with pure[?] white sandy beach. If you ever come to New England, I shall bring you up here. It is a lovely, peaceful spot. The pines smell so sweet this morning under the warm sun. My brother’s wife and I have been here alone, but expect friends over the week end.

I shall be thinking of Margaret on the 28th. Next year it must be you.

Minerva M. Sparrow

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June 2, 1947

Dear Miss Sparrow,
How we did enjoy your letter telling of your busy spring. Your ‘nephew-tending’ sounded like real fun.

My vacation is going to be spent largely with my families — getting acquainted with all the babies of whom I have seen far too little. Margaret and I leave on June 12th, Her wedding is the 28th.

Miss Motter is not returning. In spite of the fact that effort was made to adjust her schedule she was worn out by the end of the year. She is the sort of person who sees things to do and does them without sparing herself. Like you she never does anything halfway and so uses a great deal of energy in teaching and everything else she does. We hated to see her go.

We are losing so many of our staff – — [Glenn and Dorothy] LaRues, Miss [Edith] Cold, Ruth Smith, Margaret [Nace], Mrs. Willis, Helen Kingsbury, [Peter] Barry [family], Miss White (Big Log). In each case there seems to be a different and quite valid personal reason for leaving. We are lucky in that all but one or two are replaced with some promising people — among them various former workers such as Rogerses, you, and Miss Merrill.

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I would suggest as possible passengers for you Miss Merrill who is still at Newport, N.H. or Mrs. Ruth Hadley, Shelborne Falls, Massachusetts. She will be at Big Log. She visited this spring and seems very fine. Also a Wellesley graduate of this spring will be coming to do the sort of thing Ruth Smith did, She is Mary Elizabeth Hurff, … Turbot Avenue, Milton, Pa. I’m not just sure where Milton is.

I will get [?] Martin‘s address and send you a postcard. David is attending University of Iowa, Ames, Iowa.

Your camp sounds 1ike a wonderfully pleasant place. I should very much like to visit it some time. I hope it is not so cold that you are uncomfortable. The mid-west seems to be pretty cold and wet just now

Margaret and I had such a weekend as we have long dreamed of. As a sort of ‘farewell’ for her we started out Saturday morning — the prettiest cool and sunny day you can imagine, We walked up Big Laurel enjoying every ‘prospect,’ ate a leisurely lunch on a shady rock, visited several students’ homes, and arrived by mid-afternoon at Hobart Wilder‘s house. He lives at the head of Arches Branch of Big Laurel. After visiting there we continued on over the ridge and just below us on the other side was the new coal mine, the Blue Diamond, of which we have heard so much in these three years.

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We wrote ahead about overnight accommodations, thinking perhaps the boarding house could take us in. It seems the boarding house is not quite ready so the superintendent asked one of the families in the town to house us. Mr. Boyd, our host, is an Alabaman but has worked in Kentucky mines for 30 years. He is a section foreman and so had one of the nicer homes in tom. It had five attractively papered rooms with hardwood floors, electricity, running water and a bath. The ordinary houses are very nice if somewhat less pretentious and have running water but not bathrooms. Mr. Boyd is an intelligent man who was full of all kinds of information about mining and this particular camp so we learned a great deal.

The next morning we set off and crossed a ridge into Cutshin. There we visited Arch Lewis‘s home and crossed another ridge into Rockhouse which flows into Greasy. Near the mouth of Rockhouse — a wild and woodsy creek, we had a very late lunch, then walked up Greasy to the school by supper time. Really it was wonderful. We wondered why we hadn’t done it often before.

First teacher’s meeting is August 29th. School opens the 31st. When in Cleveland we live at … West 18th, Zone 9. All good wishes,

[unsigned: Dorothy Nace?]

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July 26, 1947
Mr. H.R.S. Benjamin
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Pine Mountain, Ky.

My dear Mr. Benjamin:
It is with regret that I write you. The spring and summer have not been easy for me, and I do not feel as vigorous as I did in Georgia. It seems to me most unwise to attempt to return to Pine Mountain under such conditions. You need people who can pour their energies into the work.

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I write of my withdrawal at this time with much less regret because Miss Spinney is so desirous of teaching that I feel she can step into the shoes I have really not worn and carry on the work with great happiness and with her usual unequaled energy. She wrote in February that she would like to teach English at Pine Mountain, as she did you in that letter that went astray. And again when she wrote you had offered her the position of relief house mother and she was con- —

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–sidering that, she added, “I did want to teach this year.” Thus this choice to change should be most satisfying. I have not written her of my decision, as I have been very busy with company.

Pine Mountain will always have a warm place in my heart and you have all my good wishes for the best year yet.

Cordially yours
Minerva M. Sparrow

[sparrow_m_036.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter

July 30, 1947
Miss  Minerva Sparrow,
Mattapoisett, Mass.

Miss Sparrow :-
Your letter of the 26th really caused a bit of consternation in this Office. After we have for weeks accepted the happy thought that you would be with us again, you drop us this information.

Of course, we can understand your concern about your health. We would not want you to overreach it.

We have at once sent a telegram to Miss Spinney, but doubt whether she is free to accept as she wrote me recently she was very anxious to go to the Berry School and had had an offer, and was therefore unable to come here for relief Housemother work.

If you can at this late moment recommend anyone we would be very happy.

Yours truly,

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Aug. 10, 1947
Mr. H.R.S. Benjamin
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Pine Mountain, Ky.

My dear Mr. Benjamin:
By this time your anxiety and consternation are moments of the past, for Miss Spinney has telegraphed you that she will take my place. I felt sure she would, as she had expressed so often her desire to teach this year. If she had not accepted your offer, I presume I should have felt I ought to come and carry on the work until a substitute for me–

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–could have been found. I surely would not have been comfortable in mind, leaving you in the lurch, as it were.

Yesterday I wrote rather fully to Mr. Dodd, giving my reasons for not returning in greater detail. I also told him of my trip to New Hampshire with the Bishops and Miss Spinney’s decision to return to Pine Mountain. I think you are very fortunate to have her instead of me this year — and that is the plain truth of the matter.

I expressed to him what I should like–

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–to add here — a deep appreciation of the consideration you both have shown me in lightening my duties and recognizing the fact that I no longer have the energy I had, say twenty-five years ago.

My best wishes to you in your work at Pine Mountain this year. I shall always hold the school dear.

Cordially yours,
Minerva M. Sparrow

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[N.D.; Notation at top of page: “ans 1-2-48”]

Dear Dorothy —
You I hope are packing your bags and, full of anticipation of home-going, are wishing away the day till you can take the train. Are Margaret and her husband coming home for the holidays? I know you will have such a happy time a reunited family for at least a few days.

I shall be thinking of Pine Mountain this week as the series of evening festivals mark the Christmas tide and shall share in them in spirit.

The calendars this year are most interesting. I enclose a check for two dollars, one–

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–for the calendar sent me and the other for two more for friends. I wish the sample had come earlier, before I made other purchases,

Should any mail come for me, please forward it to Mattapoisett. I will gladly pay any extra postage. Send word via Edna [Spinney]. Some friends do not know where I am, as I have been too busy to attend to correspondence as I should.

I hear you are now living in Laurel House. Can you sleep over Sunday mornings with all the thunder over head? You do have a quiet Sunday afternoon and evening anyway.

Well, best wishes for the coming year and all those to follow.

Yours cordially,
Minerva M. Sparrow

[sparrow_m_041.jpg] Handwritten letter

Mattapoisett, Mass.
March 12, 1948

Mr. H.R.S. Benjamin
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Pine Mountain, Ky.

My dear Mr. Benjamin:
The ticket agent has telephoned he has reservations for me to leave Boston the evening of Mar. 21. I shall reach Bristol 10:30, (or there abouts) Tuesday morning, Mar. 22 [23?]. I am sorry, but I can not come earlier.

Yours truly,
Minerva M. Sparrow

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Mattapoisett, Mass.
June 7, 1948

Mr. H.R.S. Benjamin
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Pine Mountain, Ky.

My dear Mr. Benjamin:
It is with some misgivings that I have signed the enclosed contract. I found on discussing the general lay-out of the work at West Wind that I am to have charge of thirty girls — the number estimated for the second floor — while Miss Davis will have but twelve. I could wish, since I am teaching two classes, that those numbers were reversed. I have agreed–

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–to relieve her on alternate Sunday afternoons during that three-hour-and-a-half calling period, which she finds particularly wearing, and to help in the evening study hour. The other matters we left for discussion next fall. My only thought is that I do not wish to fail you during the year, to undertake a little more than I can swing, Since I have been home, turning matters over in my own mind, I have wished we could exchange floors, but I suppose that is not at all feasible. Anyway, I shall do my best and try to keep my end up. If you will send me Miss Davis’ address, I will drop her a note, saying I have agreed to try serving as her assistant.

I enclose a list of repairs for Big Log, a list which I have whittled down to a minimum.

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From my experience at Big Log I should like to make a suggestion for next year if, with the extra rooms at West Wind, you may not have to crowd in so many girls in Big Log, If you could spare the big room downstairs, opening as it does into the study hall, for the use of the housemother and take the present housekeeper’s room for a service room, it would make life for both girls and housemother easier and pleasanter. Now the second ironing board must be set up in the living-room, the sewing machine in the housemother’s room has to be used by the girls during the hours they are home, giving her no privacy, and there is no place where they can use an electric plate save in the living-room. There would still be accommodations for twenty girls in the house.

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We had a fine trip North except for heavy rain the last day. Then we all thought of West Wind and hoped the sun was shining at Pine Mountain. I suppose the work there is moving on apace and the new roof will soon cover everything safely.

Miss Christensen stayed a week with me. This week-end she is spending with Miss Wells.

Best wishes to you and Mrs. Benjamin for a pleasant, smooth-running summer.

Yours sincerely,
Minerva M. Sparrow

[sparrow_m_043.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter

June 23, 1948
Miss Minerva Sparrow,
Mattapoisett, Mass.

Miss Sparrow:
Thank you for your signed contract received two weeks ago. It has been forwarded to the Board Committee-man and should be back in a few days.

I have read your concern about the large number of girls you may have on the second floor of West Wind. As division of rooms is now completed appears, the largest number you will have will be twenty-six. It can be smaller too since applications approved of do not yet fill the building. There will be sixteen on the first floor, unless we change some bed accommodations. The appearance of the building is vastly improved by the new roof (now complete) and am sure with the huge attic available for laundry and play purposes there will be a solution of many previous problems. In August when you and Miss Davis arrive, I will be happy to discuss the possible rearrangement of floor responsibility, however, with the two lovely bathrooms you will have, with the near attic room for drying[?], and playing, I believe the second floor will produce fewer problems. First floor only has one bathroom for sixteen girls,

Thanks for the Big Log repair suggestions, I will do my best with the time limits placed on me. I am going to follow, if possible, your suggestion about reserving Big Log downstairs large room for housemother,

Summer is here at last and it is really hot.
Best regards,
[Unsigned: H.R.S. Benjamin]

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Mattapoisett, Mass.
June 28, 1948

Mr. H.R.S. Benjamin
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Pine Mountain, Ky.

My dear Mr. Benjamin:
Thanks for your reassuring letter. Doubtless Miss Davis and I can work out a program for the division of the work which will be fair to each of us. Will you please send me her address. I promised to write her when I signed on the dotted line.

I am taking for granted that the Big Log girls of last year are moving up to West Wind I promised to ask you if Delphia and–

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Christine, both of whom expect to return as freshmen, could move up to West Wind, going along with the girls they know. Also Hazel, who at first wished to remain at Big Log, came to beg that she too be put on the West Wind group. I agreed to mention these requests to you.

One more suggestion. I don’t know whether you have enough blankets and spreads for the new room. I do feel that some dormitories could contribute from present stores. Big Log has some large spreads wrapped in newspaper and left on shelves, which are apparently never used. I think a careful check of blankets (heavy winter–

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–ones) and quilts might be rewarding. I have heard the boys in Far House boast, when Mrs. Willis was in charge, of having seven blankets on their beds. Whether Miss Merrill has any she would part with I don’t know. A fair and impartial check-up, if you do need covers, might help.

I am pleased to hear that the roof is on West Wind and hope the work is progressing rapidly.

Please let me know the date of the opening of school.

Best wishes to you and Mrs. Benjamin for a good summer. I am looking forward to returning and to teaching again.

Yours cordially,
Minerva M. Sparrow

[sparrow_m_045.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter

July 2, 1948
Miss Minerva Sparrow,
Mattapoisett, Mass.

My dear Miss Sparrow:
Thanks for your letter of the 28th of June and the suggestions in it. They are well chosen. Let me now try to answer some of the questions you ask.

Miss Davis’ address is as follows:
% Mrs. J. Y, Rogers
… 4th St.,
Chickasaw, Alabama…. until July 15th.
After that date we have no record here of her intentions, as yet.

So far as is possible Big Log girls of last year will be moved to West Wind, Especially, now that we have the increased space at West Wind It is more than likely that all of them will move there. I will keep your memo and pass it on to Mr. Dodd who is in charge of allocations.

I will bear in mind your suggestion re blankets, etc. Often there is a shortage and it might be eliminated by a redistribution, as you suggest.

School opens officially on the 5th of September for the students. For Workers, we ask that they arrive not later than the 3rd of September, that is Friday. We have a meeting of all Workers then to welcome and to organize. Too, it is well to get well settled before students begin to arrive, as you know.

West Wind repairs are going along fine. We here the roof completed, as I stated earlier, we have the outside siding on and are now beginning the second coat or paint for the building. The closets are being built in the new rooms to-day, the wall board is here to put on soon, all flooring is down, wiring is installed, attic is completed. Once we get the heavy work done we can begin to do some of the smaller jobs that need attention to make students and workers comfortable. I believe that you will like the building when it is all finished.

Mrs. Benjamin and self keep busy, but well. Our second son, Don, is to be married on the first of August, and at that time we will take a week off and attend the wedding and visit in Chicago a bit.

Wednesday the 30th of June an exodus of Hayes [Fern and Bill and family], Dodds, and Hendersons took place, However, the Rogers are back last night, Miss Motter is here for two weeks, and the Drs. Tucker are here for a month. We have thirty students busy at all sorts of work.,
Yours truly,
[Unsigned: H.R.S. Benjamin]

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Mattapoisett, Mass.
Dec. 11, 1951

My dear Mr. Rogers:
Thank you for your letter and your willingness to serve as reference. The school really wanted some one under fifty as a housemother, and my experience with young people didn’t outweigh the years. I was not too disappointed, but I had thought it would be a real pleasure to work with young people again.

However, I have had a very happy and busy fall here at home, and the winter will not be idle.

Your suggestion that should you ever be able to start a high school, you would send for me fell pleasantly on my ears. I will say that if I am still equal to teaching then or serving Pine Mountain in any way, I shall be glad to give a year’s time — salary free. I have so much more time to give than actual money. You are doing a very far-reaching work for all those boys and girls.

Do convey to Mrs. [Mary] Rogers my delight in the–

[sparrow_m_046a.jpg] Handwritten letter, page 2 of 2

–calendars of this year. Her illustrations for each song are enchanting. What fun she must have had drawing them — enough to more than balance all the hours of work they meant.

I am taking the Manchester Guardian, the air mail weekly, an investment of some birthday money, and as I have read an especially timely article, have often thought of sending her a copy. Perhaps she already takes the paper herself. If not, would care, Mrs. Rogers, to receive an occasional copy?

I think of my brief visit this last spring with deep pleasure. It was a satisfaction to see with my own eyes that the change in the school, which was a little hard for some of us to accept, has been a change for the good. You reach more children, you can influence them more surely in the earlier, formative years, and you have far closer relationship with the families and remote communities that we had. All to the good.

My best wishes to you, Minerva M. Sparrow

[sparrow_m_047.jpg] Carbon copy of typewritten letter, page 1 of 2

January 14, 1959
Miss Minerva M. Sparrow
Mattapoisett, Mass.

Dear Miss Sparrow:
You made our Christmas very happy with your lovely and thoughtful card and your most helpful gift to Pine Mountain, which arrived just before we left for Connecticut to spend Christmas with my family there. I have had to leave to the very last my acknowledgments to our personal friends since I know I can count on their greater understanding and patience. It is much too busy a season to be away, but it did seem important to be with my family this year and we felt well rewarded for making the trip.

I really can not tell you how deeply moved and gratified that I am by this your latest contribution. It is hard to feel that we are worthy of such goodness and helpfulness or your part. I want you to know that we are conscious of our great indebtedness to you and your very helpful way of showing your interest as you still take part in our efforts here.

Christopher drove a good share of the way to Connecticut and back relieving me to this extent. We had only four days with my family and arrived just in time for the memorial service for my uncle who had passed away the day we had left Pine Mountain, unknown to us, so it meant more than ever to be with the family just then.

On our way back we stopped in New York long enough to see a performance of “Henry V” by the Old Vic Company from London. As you can imagine this was a special treat for us, both for old time sake and because we have so little opportunity for this kind of experience here. Christopher went straight on to Berea, on our return here, for the Christmas Country Dance School, then came home for three days before the term resumed at Berea where he is a freshman in college. We have really had a great deal of winter both in December and thus far in January which adds to our problems and our distractions when we think we already have enough to do.

However we are thankful to be busy and to be providing this excellent school opportunity for the largest enrollment we have ever had, and we are more grateful than you can ever know for your part in making this opportunity possible for us to serve Pine Mountain.

We had wondered if you would be in Florida again this winter, but we note that you were still in Mass. a month ago. I hope that this letter is not much longer delayed in reaching you, lest you think us ungrateful. The Christmas season is a poor time for us to be away from here when there is so much that needs doing here, but it seemed important to get home this year. We wish so much that you could pay us a visit on your way to or from Florida. If this should catch you in the south could you not plan to come this way north in the spring? It would give us great joy to have you here again, and we would be glad to meet you somewhere in the vicinity if you could route your- —

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May this be a very good year for you, and may some of the blessings you have bestowed upon others return in full and fair measure to you.

Very sincerely,
Burton Rogers, Director

Return To:
(1943-1946, Images 001-024b)

See Also:
MINERVA M. SPARROW Staff Biography