About the people you will encounter. The central figure is Grace Bickford who approached "General M. C. Wentworth" for a job as secretary and stenographer. He managed all the hotels referenced above. While he had overall charge of the hotels, each had its own manager for day-to-day operations. Wentworth travelled from hotel to hotel, never staying in any one very long. Sometimes Grace travelled with him, but she also worked in some hotels for whole seasons. The managers moved around from season to season and Grace would often find she was at a hotel with people she had been at other hotels with. She made deep and enduring friendships, many of them lasting from 1897 to 1920.
Grace was a tremendous asset for the hotels and their managers. She graduated from a school that stressed a "Commercial Curriculum". Her classmates were versed in book-keeping, stenography, photography and even surveying, among other business skills. She brought over a dozen classmates into the hotel business with her. Around 1910 she got out of the hotel business, sort of. She took a job in NYC with Charles G. Emery who owned the Hotel Frontenac in the 1000 Islands region of the St. Lawrence River. In the various positions she held working for Emery, she continually crossed paths with old friends from the hotel days. In this particular correspondence we will hear of Mr. James Berry, who became somewhat of a father figure and mentor to Grace (in later years she wept when she had heard Mr. Berry had died), Fred Moody who became her best hotel friend, and Mr. Brock who visits her at Wentworth Hall with his wife, children and Mother-in-Law. She liked the wife and children.
There are numerous others, managers, head house keepers, head waiters, and front desk men, most of whom she got on with and a very few she didn't. Now, About, the "folks at home," in her standard "Dear Folks at Home" salutation. There is Mama (Emma), Papa (Lewis) older sister Ina, younger sister Annie and brother John. John marries Grace's Best girlfriend Lillian Frost, or Frostie. Miss Bickford was the editor of the Hotel's "Wentworth Hall's Chit-Chat," an in-house publication that presented history and background of the House's surroundings, Hotel activities, many of them sports, and comings and goings of guests. There is also a great deal of cross promotion of the other allied hotels named above. So, there is much of "Chit-Chat" in these letters. Fortunately there are many copies of Chit-Chat that survived with this correspondence and when we can match them up with letters they become part of the offering.
JACKSON, WHITE MOUNTAINS
July. 29, 1900
Dear Folks at Home: -
The time goes so quickly that it seems only a few hours ago that I wrote you last and only a few minutes ago that I received your letter saying you are going to the beach next week. I do hope nothing will interfere with your plans to prevent you going.
I see by the Enterprise (local hometown newspaper) that the G-N Library is to be closed soon for repairs. What's the matter? What's got to be repaired? How long will it be closed? Etc., etc.? Perhaps I had not noticed that my Mother had not written to me. It was only by luck that I did not give her a call down last week for not writing. I'm glad now that I did not.
This has been a perfect day. I came down stairs about 7.30 a.m. and found the Chit-Chat's (House publication the writer edited and wrote for) all folded so I put them in the envelopes and went to breakfast about 8.30. As soon as I got out from breakfast I went up to the falls and spent the entire morning there and in the woods beside the falls coming home by way of Mr. Shapleigh's (The famous White Mountains painter Frank Shapleigh, see below) grounds . I must tell you about those later. From twelve to one I spent visiting with Mr. Berry (at this time James N. Berry was either Manager or Asst. Manager of the hotel) Mrs. Bidell, Fred (Moody) and others. Went up and changed my dress then to dinner. Ms. Bidell, Mr. Berry, and I went over to the church to practice or select some hymns for this evening. That took an hour and then it was time for the concert. Then Mr. Berry dictated a brief dozen letters and I wrote these out - now I am on the back porch of Wildwood - right beside the river. At six I have promised to go to ????nook with Mrs. Bidell, then it will be tea time and after that the sing. Then the day is done.
How is Chit-Chat this week. I had to scratch to get enough to fill it, but finally succeeded and did not make the printer swear at me for last night - he only worked until two o'clock. The week before it was four o'clock when he retired.
How I would like to come down to the beach for a day while you are there. I have half a mind to go down on the excursion next Sunday. But, I should have to get up so early and would not get home until midnight. Perhaps I had better not. Perhaps I can go down on the regular train someday
Mr. Shapleigh's studio is a place I have heard lots about, but never visited until this week. You have probably heard me speak of Mr. Shapleigh, the artist, who with his wife was at Lakewood (Hotel).
Well, they have a summer home here and last Sunday Mr. Shapleigh gave me a very urgent invitation to visit them Thursday morning. I did not have much to do and was talking with the first-violinist when I happened to think of Mr. Shapleigh's invitation. I asked Mr. Muldaur to go with me. Such a morning we had. The studio was almost as good as a museum. Then Mr. and Mrs. S. took us out to their big room which is filled with rare, old curios. Dutch clock, English furniture, and all sorts of curious things. From there to see the view from the piazza, then to see the sundial, and then out under the trees to see the kittens and on to the Japanese bridge. By that time Mr. Muldauer had to return for the morning concert, but we did have a delightful evening, morning, I mean.
So, this morning I went through the grounds more fully than I even had time for before. They are very pretty and I enjoyed the morning much better than I should if I had gone to church to hear Dr. Appleton preach.
I am very sorry to hear that Bertha is so low. Why don't she try some other climate??
So Gertrude Francis is married! I wonder if she did well.
People are hustling in here very rapidly just now, We expect to double our numbers during the next week. Let the good work go on!
Now I do hope you will have a fine visit at the beach and a good rest and see everything. I have not heard from Lillian for several weeks. What will Papa do while you are gone? With lots of love and very best wishes.
Sunday - July twenty-ninth. Nineteen Hundred
Frank H. Shapleigh was born in Boston in 1842 and died in Jackson, New Hampshire in 1906. He maintained a Boston studio from 1866-1907 and wintered in St. Augustine, Florida after 1886. He studied at the Lowell Institute Drawing School, Boston; with E. Lambinet in Paris, 1866-1869. In 1876, he became a member of the Boston Art Club. His work is represented in Farnsworth Art Museum, ME; New Britain Museum of Art, CT; Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College; Portland Museum of Art, ME; University of New Hampshire; New Hampshire Historical Society and many more.
Dear Folks at Home,
While I am writing, I will write to you. I did not hear from you yesterday and I hardly understand it. I hope none of you are ill and that nothing serious has happened in New Hampton. I did not find anything very startling in the Bristol (NH) Enterprise this week. (This is a favorite ploy of the writer, chiding her family for not writing by saying that the local paper she receives has no word of a disaster befalling them).
We are having rather warmish weather up here just now. Mr. Berry does not allow a thermometer on the premises so we do not know just how warm it is, but I notice that everyone seems to be seeking the cool corners all the time. Yesterday we had several showers and this morning just at church time a little scud of rain passed over and about us, but I doubt if it kept any one away from church, only made them a few minutes late.
We all went to church this morning and as Mr. Berry was telling us just how the minister gives the announcements, last evening, when he gave them this morning the Wentworth Hall officers had a hard time not to become hysterical. We finally controlled our risabilities and listened to a very good sermon from the text Phil. 4: 6-7.
By the way Ina, do you have "Success" in the library. If you do I want you to look in the last number at the little poem "That Typewriter." You will appreciate it immensely for you have probably had the same experience. Fred (Moody) just haw-hawed when I showed it to him. He tried to use the machine last winter in writing to the General and his work looked similar to this 2tHe LAKeWo;d/"! (The Lakewood Hotel, Lakewood, N. J.) So, of course he understands the difficulties.
How do you like the new marks on my new machine, a No. 7 (Remington)?
* + = @ $ !
I think them quite fancy, but always forget to use them when I have a chance. Last Sunday Fred had a trial balance made out and wanted me to make three copies of it on the machine. He would come in every few minutes to see how I was getting along and Mr. Berry sat down beside me and watched the work progress. Fortunately I kept me head and made only two small mistakes on the page, but it was mere chance. I could not have done it a year ago. They were both more than pleased with the work when it is done, which of course pleased me.
I am having things pretty easy just at present. Yesterday I did not open my desk once. Today I have written just eight letters which will be all I shall have to write until after the mail comes in tomorrow noon; unless there are one or two orders to get off in the morning. I must own that it does seem like a "snap" after sewing early and late as I did at home.
The telegraph operator came last week and she is as jolly as the day is long. She was here nine years ago and has been married since she was here and has three children. But her health has been poor and she has come up here to rest and have a chnge and gain health to take care of the kids. Fun! Well, Between Mrs. Bedell, Mr. Berry, Fred Moody, and Miss Sullivan, the house keeper, we laugh until our sides ache. I often wonder if the guests think we are crazy.
The orchestra will arrive tomorrow unless something unforseen should happen to prevent. Little Van who made so much fun of us last year, will not be here as he went to the Exposition (Trans-Mississippi??). And all the musicians are strangers to me except for Mr. Richardson, who plays the piano.
Did I tell you that Miss Gassner, who was the manicure at the Chamberlain (Old Point Comfort, VA, Fortress Monroe) last year is up here now. It seems so strange to meet the very same people in places so far apart. It makes it seem as though this world is a very small place after all. Miss Gassner is very nice but she is not my style. However, I try to make it pleasant for her and to help her all I can. Her business, of course, is not very brisk as yet so it is rather lonely for her.
By the way, why cannot Ina come up here now, while I have very little to do and would have plenty of time to entertain her. Later in the season I shall be toobusy to be entertaining, and by the time I get over my rush, she will be in school and cannot come. Why not take time by the forelock and come up here the first of the season? I have been up here so many seasons in this beautiful place and none of my people have seen it. How I do want Ina to come because she promised to come last summer and failed me. Now don't wait to get ready, but come up and spend next Sunday with me. The Mt. Washington (Lake Winnipesaukee Steamboat) is running now and the trip would be a very easy one. Come up in the afternoon next Thursday or Friday and I will meet you at Glen, then if you are tired by Monday you can go down and stay with Lillian (family friend at Madison NH) over night and go home Tuesday and Mother and Annie can come around the Lake and meet you in Wolfboro and go home with you, while Papa stays at the Library. Of course, Papa has been round the lake so many times it would be nothing new to him. Now, is not that all planned up nicely? Let's see how nicely you can carry out my plans.
Tell Alida that Emma Corliss is here visiting today. I have had no talk with her yet so do not know how it happens but she and her sister blew in yesterday. She looks just as she did three years ago.
I must tell you about Kit Tarbox. She is principal of the normal department or training school in Bath Me. She and her sister were waitresses here two years ago. Ask Lida about her. Well "Kit" is here again, and what has the head waiter done but to put her for the time being to wait on my table in the side hall (employees dining area). Of course she hired for the main hall and she does not like having to go into the side hall, and more than that, it nearly breaks her heart to have to wait on ME. It amuses Mrs. Bedell immensely to see her look at me and slam the dishes down before me and act as hateful as possible in every way. Of course I apparently do not notice anything amiss and try to get along as easily as possible; but this noon was too good a chance and Mrs. Bedell and I ordered our dinner in courses. Oh! Mad? I wish you could have seen that girl! She could have killed me by a flash of her eyes. But I was perfectly serene and unconscious of having done anything to offend. You see I had such good service at Old Point (Comfort), to say nothing of the Lakewood, that I notice her carelessness all the quicker. If she waits on the people in the main hall as she does on us, I pity the people she waits on all summer.
I suppose you had a fine sermon from Mr. Poteat this morning.
You will have quite a treat all summer, will you not. I should not suppose he would like to spend his vacation preaching, unless he thinks he can use his old sermons, "turn his barrel upside down," so as not have to work for the New Hamptonites. I hope you will get a good man to go in there at the end of the vacation.
Well, the sun is pouring into the private office and even the breeze does not make it comfortable. Mr. Berry has gone upstairs for his Sunday afternoon nap. Fred (Moody) and Mrs. Bedall are entertaining company and I think I will go and find Miss Gassner and take her up on the rocks. Sunday afternoon is long for a stranger in this place, as in any other, I suppose. It never seems long to me.
I am anxious to hear the developments in the N. H. L. I. (New Hampton Literary Institution) affair.
I shall expect to hear that Ina will be up here the last of this week or next week at the latest. I will try to make it pleasant for her.
With love to all, and wishing that you could come up and see how beautifully I am situated up here, I am,
Yours with lots of Love,
Grace L. Bickford
July 23, 1899
Dear Folks at Home,
I am going to write with the pen this time for I don't want the machine screeching out what I write to every body in the office.
I am just home from church. Dr. Whittaker, pastor of the Bellingham M. E. Church in Chelsea, Mass., preached and he gave a fair sermon. He covered the whole history of the world just as Prof. Meservey so often does. His subject was "The Hand of God in History." His subject, of course, was very broad, and his development of it was not new to me but his rhetoric and delivery were thrilling. His magnetism was so good I feel almost as though I had worked a half day. I am so tired. Don't misunderstand me, it was not wearisome and monotonous like Dr. Meservey, nor was it vivacious and refreshing like Will Carleton. It affected me more as it did to hear the roar of the thunder, grand and inspiring, unapproachable. I felt like sobbing with an exuberance of emotion. And he really said some fine things. His sermon was patriotic rather than religious, and yet a deep spirit of faith and trust in God appeared continually. I doubt if I hear many more sermons like that this summer.
What do you think about Bob Ingersoll? Will he go to Heaven. Did you see how the Boston ministers answered that?
As I was coming out from church Camilla Stillings met me. She seemed as glad to see me as I was to see her. She never before has been so cordial with me. She is a dear sweet girl and I would like to be friends with her.
But what pleases me most is this. This morning after breakfast I came up to my room. I had not been here long when one of the boys came up and said the Gen. (Wentworth, her boss) wanted me. When I got into the office I found the Gen. and Mrs. Wentworth waiting for me. Mrs. W's greeting was, "I like your ‘Chit-Chat' very much." The General also congratulated me saying he had no idea I could write so well. He was very profuse as usual. Mrs. W. especially complimented my "Jackson Jewels." Now, remember I don't tell you this to boast and I don't want you to say anything about it. The Summer will tell the tale and there are six or eight more numbers to get out, but I want you to know that they seem pleased with the beginning of my work which to me is very encouraging. I want you to be critical. I want to improve my writing, my style.
10. P. M. The General and Mrs. Wentworth have just left for the Frontenac (The New Frontenac Hotel, 1000 Islands area, St. Lawrence River, N. Y.). They did not want to go, not one bit, but tried to think it was best that they should go. He has undertaken the work and must carry it through.
Both the General and Mrs. Wentworth seem perfectly satisfied with the way things are going here at the Hall. The General has spent his time playing golf. He has given me very little work to do and, apparently, has not cared to talk business with Mr. Berry very much. As soon as Mr. B. Begins to talk business the General would deliberately get up and walk off. He was down here to rest and he would not be bothered with business.
I wish you could have heard the music this afternoon. It was perfectly lovely. One piece especially keeps ringing through my head. It was a part of the opera Lohengrin and one part of that, "The Swan Song." Oh, it was beautiful.
By the way I want you to read the "Wonder Tales from Wagner," by Alice Chapin or Chopin. Which is it?
[I hear the train just puffing at Glen Station, which takes the people to the Frontenac.]
If we cannot hear the operas we want, at least, to know the story and we enjoy the music when we hear it.
I wish, Annie, that you would condence the story of "Tanhauser" and send the outline to me. I think I have read it but somehow can not pull it out of the rubbish. It seems as much lost as my spoon did. I am awful glad that is found. Just where was it? Packed away safely? Was it black? Did I put it away?
The weather up here has been awfully cold lately. Today I have worn my flannels with my light green dress, They have had a fire in the fireplace in the office every day this week and some days the steam heat is on as well. Do you know that Marrir Smith is coming up here for August? I very easily got her the place. There are only about six of the old girls here out of thirty-two.
The boys on the bell-row are all new but one. I miss French from the row awfully. Most of these boys are awfully green. You can not be interested in them Ina, unless it might be Neil Burrel, the only old boy. He graduated from Bowdoin (scratched out) I'm crazy? Fryeburg Academy this year. They are all nice boys, I guess. They sure do anything I want them to do.
By the way, Ina, have you taken the typewriter (from the Library) over home. You had better and clean it up in good shape. Does it need a new ribbon? I'll send you the one I bought up here if it does. We have just got a new one for the machine up here.
Speaking of the "Chit-Chat" I did not send it sooner because the envelopes have not come. They will be here next Tuesday. Hereafter it will be sent promptly. Can you tell which is my part of this week's "Chit-Chat?" I did not do the whole this time. But I sat up last night until one o'clock to read the proof. I'll give that printer "Hail Columbia" if I have to do that again.
What lots of changes in New Hampton next year. I wish I knew enough to take Miss Hulce's place. If I had gone into college when I graduated I could have done it. Should have been just ready. And yet I hesitate now to enter college. I do not have a chance with the General or Mr. Berry next winter -- I think -- but then is it best to hire the money (take out a loan)? If I could take Miss H's place I could easily pay off two thousand in five, no, from seven to ten years, but after the first year I should receive more.
Of course my work here is very pleasant and congenial. I meet awfully nice people, people who have travelled and studied, artists, and all cultivated people. The musicians are very good friends of mine. It is really a fine school for me in that way. But I have to hoe a hard road and put on an awfully bold front to keep up with them. It seems to be their delight to call me, "The Editor" and the General even introduced me this morning as, "The editor of Chit-Chat." I made myself scarce very soon.
What do you hear from John? He asks me to write him every week. Poor boy. He is so discouraged and dislikes his work so. But why don't he find something congenial.
Your fine letter which I received last night is down stairs and I am not sure I have answered it. But I enjoyed it very much. What a loss of Miss. Hulce is! Let them put their investigation through then try to get pupils to go to Hillsdale (Mich. College). Think they could? Am glad to know that Papa is better. When is Mama going to the beach and when is Ina coming up here? This is my last sheet of paper so Goodbye,
LETTER IV. THE JACKSON LECTURES MANUSCRIPT
JACKSON, WHITE MOUNTAINS
July. 28, 1898
My Dear Ina: -
Being without any of your favors to reply to I write this to inquire if you can spare the hammock for the next month. I think we could use it very profitably if we had it.
If Alice is going to stay during the month don't send it for she will need it. Or I would rather you would go to Mr. Gray's and get a pretty hammock and ask him to charge it to me and I will leave this one with Lillian for it is as much hers as it is mine and she ought to have some good from it.
I am having a good time but my snap is over. One of the girls is sick and I am taking her place. I have two people all the time and a good many transients.
Monday I got up at 4.15 a. M. And put my washing out before breakfast, worked in the dining room until noon sweeping, mopping, setting up tables, etc. Then in the afternoon I got to the laundry in time to have a chance to use the electric iron so did my ironing. My laundry is to be run by electricity.
My I often wish I could run into the library (at home) and look over the papers and magazines.
You know I thought I could study French up here, but I fear that I shall have to give it up. The teacher wants a class of four at 50 cents an hour or six at 40 cents. I fear we can get neither.
I have nearly read one of the books I brought with me, "Troubadours and ?????".
The lectures began day before yesterday. Both of them were lovely. I enclose a programme (see below)
I must close now. Please remember about the napkins and hammock.
With lots of love, Grayce,
1-2 Grand Hotel Stationary, Hotel Chamberlain, Old Point Comfort, VA
1-2. Hotel Chamberlain, Old Point Comfort, Virginia, unused four page sheet with nice raised engraved blue logo, fold crease, c. 1905. - $20
1-3 The Pliny Range House, White Mountains
1-3. Booklet, The Pliny Range House, Jefferson Highlands, New Hampshire, Geo. W. Crawford & Sons, Proprietors. 4.5"x7", 8 pps plus covers, photos. Mint condition but for rusted staples, printed by The Courier Press, Littleton (NH). c. 1905. $35.
H. W. PRIEST, PROP.
Aug 3, 1897,
My Dear Grace,
Like you I have some ink and a pen that won't make a mark, so I am going to use a pencil. My cousin says it is stylish now to write to your intimate friends with a pencil. Do you think I know you well enough to use one. I am having an elegant time. I stay in the house just long enough to do my work and to SLEEP, of which I do not get more than I need.
I am not feeling very well today, guess I have eaten too much for benefit of my health, but still keep on eating. I tell you that I do not intend to waste any cream and bananas or anything else that is good for that matter. The Steward says he fines everyone that he catches eating in the pantry from a tray, but after the meals are over we can eat. If he fines me every time that he sees me eating it will come to more than my wages. But "There are others" in the same scrape.
I read a little, and sit around and dream more, and have made one sketch. I am going to do several more before I go home, then I will have something as a memorial of Magnolia scenery, although they will not be masterpieces, I'll know what they mean or represent.
Friday night at dinner the pianist at my table gave me two tickets for a concert, so I left my table to set up until morning and ethel and I went. It was very fine. Sat. Night Mr. Nealy and I had a great time. WE are great people, you know. There was a reading at the Ocean Side, another large hotel here and we thought it would be fun to go. It was by a "99" Harvard man who was also attending the Emerson School of Oratory. We dressed up and went over to the Casino as big as life and sat among the guests, who did not know us from Adam or anyone else, for that matter. It, the Reading was fine, and I enjoyed it very much. To complete our time, we walked around the piazza of the hotel and into it, going through the office and into a parlor where we sat down quite at home. We stayed only about ten minutes. It was great fun, but I think I shall not attempt anything so rash again. I, at the time, thought of doing it the next night, but the Lecture came too early for one to go so I did not.
Last week eight of us started for a sail. There was an elegant breeze in the morning, but by the time we were ready to go there was almost none. We managed by "tacking" to get out about two miles, and then we had no wind at all. As the hour for luncheon was drawing near we had to row in. One of the girls and I rowed all the way in. Don't you think we had quite a muscle? If we had been obliged to I suppose it would have nearly killed us. We are going again some day when there is a good breeze to start with.
I shall hate to leave the water so much, but I am still rather glad that I have only four weeks more to stay. I do miss the ocean so much after I get away from it. I which I could live by it all the time.
Last Saturday we had the heaviest thunder shower that I ever saw. It was almost as black as night and the electrics had to be turned on so that the people might see to eat, as they were just having luncheon. Hail stones as large as peas came pattering down everything looked awed(?). It was grand and when it cleared away, which it did almost as quickly as it came. Everything looked so fresh and green.
The day before was a rainy day and in the afternoon three of us walked up to the Chasm to see the surf, and it well repaid us. Although we were soaked when we returned. In a storm it dashes many feet each time a wave comes in and it almost makes one hold his breath to look at it. You will think I am enthusiastic over the water and I will admit it.
Ethel and I are going to drive to Gloucester some day this week. It is five miles from here, and a place which I have always had a great desire to visit. Because it is a fishing town I suppose is the reason. I do not envy you your cottage (at Wentworth). I would rather climb the fire escape than to walk as far on a rainy day, or do you have a coach and four to drive you over when it rains. I was intending to learn to ride a wheel (bicycle) this week, but within a week two of the girls have been badly injured and I think I shall wait until I reach New Hampshire before I try it. And the first one hurt is not able to bend her knee yet and the other who went out yesterday was run into by another coming behind her, and thrown over the handlebars. The result is a knee badly injured. The knee was twisted around to one side and the ligaments torn and broken. She can not move it at all now, and is going to the Hospital in Boston tomorrow.
I had a letter from Maude yesterday and she is going to teach in Rochester (NH). Three of my classmates are to be in Littleton (NH) and we are planning on having a jolly time together.
There is a hurdy-gurdy playing more than half the time, under our window so I expect that I shall be quite cultivated in the musical line, that is being able to criticize if nothing more.
I went in bathing yesterday afternoon and had such a good time. The time before that I went in, I had a collision with one of the clerks and as a result had a sore cheek-bone for nearly a week. I guess I have been in only five times since I came for it takes all our spare time in the afternoon when I go. Dickenson and Nealy send their regards as does my cousin also. I see her very little as she has dates only when at work. Of course I have none. Please give my love to Alida, Frostie and Arthur and to anyone else there who knows me. Oh, I must tell you that I waited upon a New Hampton man last Sunday. But he did not have any idea who I was, I know. I recognized him as Mr. Plummer, Manager of the Waumbek (Pliney Ridge), the minute he came in, and soon found out his name by listening to the conversation. If I had ever met him I should have talked to him a bit, but I did not and he is none the wiser about his waitress.
I must stop and give you a rest, so Goodbye. With much love,
July 15, 1897
I wonder how you are feeling tonight. Perhaps you like to get letters when you are at the mountains. Anyway if you do not just return good for evil and write me soon.
I have been here a week today. I did not have to go to work until Friday noon, so I had one or two meals you see to find out where to get things. I have not a very paying table. I imagine the two clerks and four musicians and I rather guess I shall keep them all summer. They are nice to wait upon and that is a good deal. Then the table is very near the door which makes it much easier than to have one in the farthest corner. Each girl has six people to wait upon.
I must tell you about my room the first thing. The day I came I went into the office and almost the first person I saw was Mr. Nealy. I asked for the Head Waitor and he came. And then I went up on the elevator with Mr. Nealy. We went up and up and finally getting up as far as the elevator would go we got out and climbed awhile. Finally we reached the head of the last flight of stairs and he left me to find my room. I wandered around through several rooms and finally found my cousin sitting in the last one the picture of dispair.
She said if I had not come she would have gone home the next day. I must next describe our room as I said before. We are on the sixth floor, the seventh counting the basement It [the story, floor, or whatever you call it] is an open attic divided into several large rooms containing anywhere from four to five beds. One room is in the Northeast end. It is quite a wide room with sloping sides, with the roof meeting the floor and ridge pole over the center [quite rustic], an open stairway coming up in the center of the room. There are five double beds here and ours is nearest the stairway. Our clothes - leaving out the width of the aisle under the ridgepole - occupy all the space to the eaves that is not taken up by beds. I am trying to find someone who owns a camera so as to get a photo of it but I am afraid that I shall not succeed. The only way that we can go downstairs, except the front ones whereon we are not allowed to step, is down the fire escape. So you might, if you were here, see us, about forty of us, wending our way down those crooked things about three times a day. The going down is not half so bad as the coming up, but neither troubles me much as I take my time [as usual].
In rainy weather we have to go up and down in the elevator or we would get soaked. If we made the weather to order we should have it rain a half hour before meal-time each day. We do not have horrid things everywhere though for there are three skylights in our room and we have a gale of fresh air all the time, and as I am a crank on air it just suits me. We have good food and plenty of it. We also have a whole piazza under the guests', the same size as theirs for our own special use, and I tell you we enjoy that.
We have our meals before the guests in a hall of our own. We have to be in the dining room at ten minutes of seven A.M., ten minutes of one P. M., and ten minutes of six, and at this time our tables are supposed to be ready for the guests. We have our meals at six A. M., at twelve and five, so you see we do not lie in bed very late mornings.
Last Mon. Ethel and I got up at half past four and did our washing before breakfast and ironed after supper. Got done at half past ten, and was tired enough to go to bed, which I did immediately. The time (free time) which we have is about an hour and a half in the forenoon and from two to five in the afternoon and eight to ten in the evening.
It seems so good to see Charlie Dickenson and Nealy here. You don't know how much difference it makes although I did not know them very well before I came.
The scenery here is fine. Arocky coast all but a short bathing beach and it is quite a little village. About a hundred cottages and two large hotels besides this one which is the "largest on the beach." "The Reef of Norman's Woe" which Longfellow wrote about is about twenty minutes walk from here. I have been up twice and near it is quite a chasm where the tide dashes. I mean the spray dashes up when the tide comes in. I want to go to Gloucester some day but do not know if I can get off long enough to go until time to go home.
I have not turned hot tea down anyone's back yet, but one can never tell what may happen so I'll not brag. I must stop as I have another letter to write. Now write soon and tell me all your funny experiences, soon. Give my love to the girls who I know there, and accept much for Grace.
Lovingly Your Friend,
Address like the heading.
Dear Folks at Home:-
Just a line to show you where I am spending Sunday. I got so tired and cross that I left Lakewood (Hotel, Lakewood NJ) yesterday morning and intended to spend Sunday in New York with Miss Ruffner, but she was coming up here and asked me to come along. Miss Fleckner (a classically trained accomplished pianist and singer) also came with us. I am getting rested and know I shall feel much better and be over my crossness when I get back.
I shall stop in the city and do some shopping and then go home to do some sewing. Doc. (Wright) telephoned me to come to A. C. (Atlantic City) over Sunday but I did not feel like going down there.
This is a lovely place - very quiet and restful and if tomorrow's shopping does not kill me I shall feel much improved.
We stop at Mohegon Inn. It is a lovely room. The proprietor is a collector of old fashioned things. He has over one hundred clocks - one of which is four hundred years old . It is very interesting.
Everybody is talking music just now. Miss Fleckner is going to sing and play now. I wish you could hear her. I will write more later - after I get home.
I hope to find a letter or two when I get there.
Lots of love:- Grayce.