December 28, 1902 letter sent from Gene, who was working as cook at E. C. Joy's logging camp at Lily Bay, on Moosehead Lake in Maine, to his mother. Image and transcript at the end of this post.
Clues in the letter:
- It is too bad about George Adell. I am sorry for Mert and Lottie! [Adell could be O'Dell or variant]
- So Mrs. Messenger has come back to Maine and brought the bed wetter, has she. They are a funny lot, shure.
- I thought of you all Xmas and of Dan getting up and pulling the things out of his stocking.
Lily Bay, December 28, 1902
I have got a half hour before bed time and I will write a little, I guess. I don't have much time to write and when I do I am so tired that I don't feel like writing. We have fifty men now and I have got a boy to help me so I don't have to work so hard as I did last week. I had to work night and day and I told the boss that I had got to have a man to help me so this boy came in Sunday and he hired him. He can only talk French so we don't fight much. I can talk French some now, enough so I can tell him what I want hi to do. He is a good little fellow and a good boy to work. We have to carry lunch two miles now I carry for 22 men and he carries for 14 and the rest carry their own lunch. They are dragging on to the landing now and in about a month they will be hauling up from the yards and then the crew will be smaller and I will not have to work so hard.
It has snowed every day since Xmas and we have about three feet now and it is snowing hard to night. I have not heard from you since the 20th. The toter comes in tomorrow and I am looking for a letter then. It is too bad about George Adell. I am sorry for Mert and Lottie! So Mrs. Messenger has come back to Maine and brought the bed wetter, has she. They are a funny lot, shure. I thought of you all Xmas and of Dan getting up and pulling the things out of his stocking. I would liked to have been there that day, but I could not very well. Don't you worry about getting me Xmas presents. I did not expect you to.
I am feeling fine, have not been sick a day yet, am getting fat every day with all the work and I know every night that I have got another dollar and that makes me grow fat and I will have about $180 dollars coming to me in the spring and I will put a $100 into a lens and if things work right I will have 200 more by next fall and I will quit the woods and go down south next winter where it is warmer. It is bed time so will have to close. Write soon and I will as often as I can. With lots of love from Gene.
Lily Bay, Moosehead Lake, Maine, E. C. Joy's Camp