Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bits and Pieces... of Flo History

I dug out a plastic grocery bag filled with Nicholson miscellany, really remnants I didn't know what to do with five years ago.

I was hoping to find something important and relevant to Flo in the City, my work in progress about a girl coming of age in the 1910 era, now that I know so much more about the family.

And sure enough, I did.

Above is a receipt for piano lessons. Flora got lessons in 1910, although they are not mentioned in the letters. (I assumed she did.) and guess who gave it to her, Majory Sutherland, who died suddenly the next year.

I also found an invoice for 1910. the Bell Telephone Company of Canada.

6 months exchange service at 20.00 dollars a year. 10.00. As I have written about in this blog, the Nicholsons rarely used the phone long distance, but did phone for groceries and such.

I also found a pamphlet published in the 20's about the Church Union debate... It starts out "In 1911 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Canada asked for a vote of the people on the proposed union with Methodist and Congregationalist Churches. The result was 113000 in favor of union and 50, 753 opposed to union, out of a total membership of 297, 619. The Assembly in 1912 decided 'that in view of the extent of the minority opposed to union, it was unwise to proceed to consummate the union.'

How interesting. Not quite a democracy, I guess.

And I found a little blue letter in very poor handwriting, from Framingham, July 30, 1923... another document that sheds light on the 1908-1913 Tighsolas Flo in the City Era.

It is from Nathan Coy and he is writing Margaret, telling of his wife's Marion's (Mrs. Coy's) death.

Apparently Margaret had been visiting in Newton, and not been able to visit Mrs. Coy (her name Marion suggests she is one of the Lewis Scots).

Nathan Coy says he took her to Oxford and buried her with her little girl, so she had had a girl who had died.

And then he writes something interesting.."We all mourn for our departed friends but my case seems doubly hard. (He's been an invalid for years with serious asthma.)

Of course you lost your dear husband (Norman died in 1922) but you have four nice children to comfort you while I have only an insane son who is fast getting worse. I was out to see him last week, but could not make him realize his great loss.

Well, it seems, Chester didn't have a good end. In 1912 it seems that Mrs. Coy has hopes of him marrying one of the girls, and he does go visit them in Montreal in 1913, but alas... Marion sort of mocks this.. "Chester is the man, these days."

He lost his mind somewhere. Boy, Mrs. Coy had a sad sad sad life.

And I have a list of the officers of the St. Francis Lodge..C.J.Hill, Margaret's brother in law, D. M. Rowat, A S Rainbach (bank manager)W. J. Ewing..

W A Moffatt and F E Skinner are part of the finance committee.

And the Reverend Carmichael is on the charitable committee: a bit odd as the Prebyterians were against the Masons...