Volume I

Diary Kept By Evelyn Kelly from November 14th 1903 to July 25th 1908

Nov. 14th 1903

Well yes! I have purchased a book to keep as a diary. It’s not very nice for I am now as Howard Bush said he was “s-s-trapped.” But maybe when I get another I shall have more funds.

But now that I have this book, what’s the use of it? I thought I’d like it when I thought of it, but when I write down the words, they seem as Mama said, “silly.” Nevertheless I’m going to give it a fair trial. Perhaps I’ll like it better after a while. But I’m half afraid to write down what I want to but I guess I will.

To-day I am fifteen. Ora(5) gave me a pair of gloves, papa shoes, Mama a pretty blue waist and a beautiful china plate that she painted. I ought to prize that most and there will come a time when I shall, no doubt. But I like it ever so well now. Auntie E. wrote me a letter saying she was sending me a parcel. I wonder what it is! Poor May! Aunt E. says she’s struggling at long division. Ross seems to be getting along well.

They’re talking at school about getting up a petition for a holiday for Friday after Thanksgiving. I wonder if we’ll get it? Not likely! Cora and Ken were here yesterday, and I had a fine long talk. Perhaps she’ll come Xmas.

I’m going to pick a crow with F. A.(6)i if he’s at League tonight. I told him a week ago Sunday of a mistake he made and in Sunday school yesterday he gave me three good hard thrusts. Never mind. It seems as if I’m oh! so old. Fourteen years gone. Nearly one quarter of the rest of my life. We live so short a time when we’re happy and so long when we’re sad. Yet I can’t help wondering why we were made. But I suppose it’s none of my business I’m here and I ought to live the best I can. I’m going to try to be better this year and not be so mean and get angry as much. But I forget so often to ask God to help me. Fred Matthews has started back to school to-day. He thinks a lot of Myrtle. She’s a good girl. I like her very much.

Nov. [n.d. 1903]

Bee and Murray aren’t back yet. I wonder when they’re coming? Aunt E. sent me a very pretty agate brooch.

I feel mean for I told F- I didn’t like him and he acted as cool as it was possible. Well of course I ought to say I don’t care, but it makes me feel rather sick, that’s all.

Nov. 20. [1903]

It’s nearly a week since I wrote here. But I don’t intend to write every day.

Yes we got the petition but Mr. Myer made out that it was so meant of us not to tell him about it at first that I didn’t much care about the holiday. But I’m glad now for several reasons that we had it.

Poor Ora has been sick since Friday but she’s feeling better to-day. Rose and I were going to get up an argument in S.S. to-day but we didn’t. I never answered only when F. asked me point blank.

Aunt Laura, Uncle Archie, the twins and Minto came Wednesday night. I had a good time at the “Poverty Soohul.” [Social]

Nov. 20 [1903]

Got a letter from Scottie Tuesday - 15th. Mrs. Miller is here . She’s been telling us a lot about Scotland. I like Canada better than I think I would like Scotland. Fancy! They have applesauce as a desert. [sic] And they have few pies as they have so little fruit with which to make them.

I got Don Quixote last night. I guess I’ll read it. It’s about a crazy fellow and he’s old - It wouldn’t be so bad if he were young. But the whole book’s a satire on the tales of knight’s errant. Wrote to ??? and Auntie to-day.

Dec. 4th. [1903]

I’ve been very busy lately. I don’t see however I’ll get ready for that exam I’m afraid Ray will beat me.

Really! I wrote to Cora today.

Mr. Wright’s little girl is dead. They didn’t have any minister. Poor people.

Miss Lucas from Chicago is here. She and Will J. and Fred A. and Ora have gone down to the telephone. She was visiting at Charlie De Witt’s and Will got her to come down here and sing. She’s a fine singer.

Dec. - ? [1903]

I wonder if I’ll ever be a great singer. My! Wouldn’t I like to! I read about a new tenor. He’s nineteen years old and has just started at some great school in the states. I wonder how he’ll turn out and if I shall ever see him? I can’t see what is coming now I desire to, only I do want to come hard. But still perhaps I shouldn’t feel that way. It may make me hard. Oh! I hope it doesn’t.

Mrs. Price just makes me tired. Last night Mama left some gelatin on the table. This morning Mama found a big gouge where I suppose she has taken a taste to see if it was fit to put on the table. Ora’s going to make a big fuss about it tonight. I hope Cora and Babe come Xmas.

Dec. 25. [1903]

It’s Christmas night, although it doesn’t seem a bit like it. We both got lots of presents and they were lovely but I don’t feel Christmasey. Kate and Ethel C, and we four were down to Mr. Everett’s tonight.

Ora and I have filipine (I don’t think that’s the way to spell it) with Mr. E. Grandma and Mrs. P went last Monday.

Well we’ve just had a spat about what we’re going to take to Hamilton tomorrow. Because I want to take my other shoes I’m “getting a worse crank every day.” But now we’re getting over it and making up.

It’s very silly, that custom of mistletoe. Last night Bee and I were standing in Mr. Buck’s store when Sid came in. I asked him if he got any letters and said “Yes, two-” And he came up where we were. And I went on talking to Bee. “Evelyn” said he “Look here.” I turned around and he caught my face and kissed me right under my eye. Well, I thought that was rather too much and I was angry. Afterwards Mrs. Buck said he held some mistletoe over my head, but I don’t care, I’m going to be angry for a while. He told Ora he was sorry for he didn’t know me very well.

We were out at Mr. Buck’s tonight for tea and Fern was sick. Sid was in the kitchen and Fr. A, O & I were in the parlor. “I guess I won’t go to church tonight. I’ve got such cramps.” Then Addie ran into the hall and called very loudly to her mother. “Oh! Fern’s not going because she’s got cramps.” And I know Sid heard.

Before not saying anything not complimentary of ay person think first: Is it kind? second: Is it true? Third: Is it necessary?

I’m going to ask God to help me be better, not to lose my temper and be so obstinate.


Jan. 5th. [1905]

A funny time to begin the New Year!

Mama and Ora are asleep and Papa is away down the Lake.

Well! I had a pretty grt. time in the holidays, got angry with Win only once. Guess I’m improving. I came up from the farm Sunday morning with Papa and was at Fern’s all day. Wrote to E.S. and got a letter today. Went home with Maggie.(7) John and Fred were there and I felt rather shy of going. When we were waiting for Fred to bring the horse I did feel mean and rather “sorry I had come.”

But I wasn’t sorry after. We stayed up till it was Monday morning and Maggie and I had no night gowns for the boys took them. F.M. got telling stories and Maggie and I were rather ?(illegible word). “Wish we hadn’t come.” In an interval between stories John would say “Let’s have some music.”

We had a good time Monday and M & Fred dressed up like Indians and the five F. F. & J & M and I came to our place. Mama would not have known me had she not seen my dress below my blanket.

F & J were going home Monday night but we got them to stay and the seven of us were invited down to Buck’s. Had a very good time. I like those boys very much.

Fred’s going to go away Saturday. How much we shall miss him! He told Mama he thanked her for what help she and her family had been to him. I wonder if I’ve ever been any help to him. I hope I have for I like him. Although I have been angry with him often. Well we have his picture anyway.

I told Maggie to find out how the land lay. She asked him if he was going to give me one of his photos. He said he didn’t know but he gave one to Papa. I didn’t mean to my own self but to all of us.

I’ve finished “God’s Good Man.”(8) I feel almost as if I’m what I’m not, almost as if I were in a dream. It’s foolish of me to act so and I’ll have to try to not think of such things I do. I suppose I shouldn’t do it. But it’s such fun to make up stories about people I know and imagine I’m living them.

If I had been Maryllia Varcourt I would have smoked that cigarette just because that man disapproved. But I would have been as she was oh! so sorry after. I really feel perplexed sometimes. What’s the good of living? Would you want to die? Oh! of course not! Then shut up, why don’t you? I really believe that love is about the only thing worth living for, yet I don’t know as I would be happy as some people are. Middle aged, their youth gone, settled on a farm or in a city or anywhere. What’s the good of living? I wonder if God minds me thinking such things. Are they wicked? I don’t know but I rather feel as if they are.

Just noticed the spaces I left. I [am] going to write some resolutions so I won’t forget.

Jan. 15 [1905]

Received another letter from Scottie. If ever I’m sorry I signed the pledge report to Ed. Osborne.

Jan. 29 [1905]

Well! I’m not keeping my word very well. I said I would give this thing-a-mi-jig a good chance, but it’s pretty cold up here. Bee’s father died last Friday. Poor people! I went down to see her yesterday and when I got to the top of the hill I thought of the black thing that they hang on doors. How ever was I going to go in? I went around and before I turned in I saw Murray. Oh! how he startled me! How sorry I felt for him! His face - oh! I can’t describe it. It was full of misery. Oh! I wish I could do something for him. But perhaps he’ll be a man now. I couldn’t go in then but walked up as far as the school and back. Murray took me upstairs. There were Bee and her aunt. Bee got up shook hands with me and I kissed her. I don’t know why I did it either. And I nearly cried too. But she seemed calm and yet looked so kind of pitiful.

She was sick then and had to have the doctor today.

Joe had a surprise party Friday at Mr. Hoschel’s Wonder of wonders! Ray was there - and had on his best coat. When I went in I gave him a most surprised look and he looked silly. My letter was in the “Globe” about two weeks ago. Nearly everybody around here knows and I’m rather provoked. It’s no fun when everybody knows. I’ve found out Bonny’s name, and Will Marrs is going to find out Jonathan’s for me. Papa got a letter from Fred Albright last Monday. He’s getting along all right. [sic]

Uncle Mclister has to go to court as witness in a murder case.

I finished “The Crossing.” Its fine.

Feb 12 [1905]

Papa went down to St. Kitt’s [St Catherine’s] to preach today and I wanted very much to go with him, but I couldn’t.

We went sleigh-riding last night. When we got as far as Philp’s Gordon said. “Well, you’ve got to to home alone.” Well, I was rather provoked. Maggie’s going home now.

Nov. 5 [1905]

What has happened since I stopped writing. We’ve passed our exams, been away for our holidays and have made the round of the rooms at Model. [school] I have to teach “Area” in the Third tomorrow. Friday we had a surprise at Dell Gillespie’s. We invited Maggie, Chester, Fred D., Fred W., Claude T., Ed O., Charlie B., besides Ray and Mr. Clement. We had a fine time. I made the fudge and Ed stirred it. He’s a nice boy. He and Chester were at church tonight.

Charlie came home with us Friday. Cora promised to go home on the car, but she didn’t so Ed and Fred D. took her and Ola home after twelve o’clock.

Amy Dickenson is married. I’m sorry. Got a card from Mr. Black. They both are in Lindsay.

I’m reading, “The Old Curiosity Shop.” I’m just where they are at the church. I wonder if any girls have such dreary, dismal lives. It makes me feel sorry.

Papa said tonight something I think Myer told us, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Myer told us we were only as strong as our weakest subjects.

Maggie, Sadie, Emma T. Mr. & Mrs. Culp and Pearl were here for dinner. We went for a walk this afternoon. ? (illegible) T. was in at Buck’s. Poor kid! He and Dick and their father won’t have a home for ever so long.

Dell’s mother is going to Waterford next Saturday. Dell wants me to come up and stay overnight and as much as I can, for she’ll be gone for a week, maybe.

Nov. 16 [1905]

I have been looking at the sky and thought I would try to describe it but I can’t. There’s a great reddish brown cloud, tinged with purple above Mrs. Marr’s house which stretches away around and I can see it through the locust trees at Sheppards. Between Orth’s and Kelly’s I can see a golden yellow light with a small, purple, gray cloud hanging. This light pales into a pale blue which but a little while ago was the palest pink. The white, fleecy clouds have gone around so that I can’t see them from here. At the north there are dull purple, grey clouds. It’s hard to find names for the colours. Galen has just been in and turned on the lights. I don’t like them. I have been re-reading “The Heart of a Man.” I wonder if it is true. Florence said that woman’s word was renunciation. But that girl, I forget her first name, the one they called Cara Texas in “The Last Word” didn’t think so. I wonder if when people are in middle life they become hum-drummey. I hope not. I wonder if I shall ever get married and be like that. I wonder if I shall ever love anyone enough to marry him. I wonder what he’s doing now, where he is and when I shall meet him. I’m just sixteen. It seems old when I think of it. We’re going to have a party tomorrow night and I must write my essays.

Dec. 30th [1905]

The last day I shall be able to write 1905. I’m different and yet the same as last year. We certainly have had changes since then. I have passed both examinations and am now thinking of preparing for Vic [Victoria College, Toronto] next year. I wonder what I shall be doing a year from now. A year ago I was at Fern’s and went home with Margaret. What fun we had!

I resolved to go and help get tea when the clock struck, so I must keep it, or I shall never be able to carry out my resolutions tomorrow.


Jan. 11th. [1906]

If I write at this rate I shall probably have this book filled when I am sixty.

Well tonight marks an epoch in my life. It was the first time a boy asked me to go any place with him. The night we went to Grimsby was different; there was no asking about that. But I did induce Margaret to treat Mr. Liscombe shabbily. Ray didn’t care for it wasn’t his fault. But to begin again. Today, coming home from the pond, I asked Charlie Harper to come to the special services. He came and afterwards asked me to go to Grimsby Tuesday night, to skate. Now I know I can’t go. First place Papa and Mama won’t want me to; second there will be meltings very likely and I don’t want to leave them. What fun we had at St. Kitts. We went the second and came home Friday. Had three days and three nights. What a lot we crowded into the time! Poor John! I feel sorry for him, he is so small. He certainly love to tease me, and keep me feeling shy and awkward. Fred likes to tease me, in fact they all did, and I had a hard time of it, only I had plenty of fun too. I like Fred M. I think about the best of any boy I know. What eyes he has. He isn’t handsome now but is distinguished looking, which oftentimes handsome men are not.

Oh! How glad I shall be to go to Vic. I suppose I shall be disappointed but some of my dreams must surely come true. We are having special services but I don’t feel very good tonight. I don’t suppose I should let other people put my goodness on edge though.

I have begun to think how shallow I am and am determined to be deeper because my ideal woman would be. I have been thinking of some of the attributes of my ideal woman.

In the first place by “woman” I use the word in its highest and noblest sense, not something designating a being of the female sex.

Pre-eminently she is a Christian, she is noble, true as steel. Her heart is warm and tender as a child’s yet her mind is finely cultivated. She is innocent and pure as a lily, simple as a child, yet wise, as a serpent. She is tactful, loving gracious, yet possessed of a strong will and indomitable determination. Her temper is controlled by her firm will though that does not say she has no temper. Indeed she has and a hot one. She is pleasant and full of fun, yet is sad and grave at times. She is much, much more than all these.

I wonder shall I ever realize or become the woman I have here described, If I do my ideal will then be higher, ever higher.

I received a card from Fred A. yesterday. I like him better every time he comes home. He seems like a kind of brother and in fact I think he feels like one, for he told me he did. I have been playing hockey with the kids today. Later some larger ones came. I think they like to have me play with them, at least they act as if they do. Lloyd, Claude and I had a collision and all went down, but none of us were hurt. I had many tumbles today and feel very stiff, but I can skate ever so much better with my new skates and think am learning to play hockey.

I went to see Ed. Osborne. Margaret and I made a kind of compact to help during these services. Ed is the one I’m after though I shall try to get others too. But I think there is more in Ed than he shows in his every word. I think he is true as steel and would make a fine Christian. Only the trouble is to get at him. He has such a jokey way he hardly ever talks sense.

I am beginning to see how much of our thoughts and character are formed by environment. Our idea of right and wrong are formed by the people around us and what we read. And oh! so much else. I thank Fred for opening my eyes. I’m sure next time he sees me he will find me agreeing more heartily with him than I did before.

I’m reading a good book “Hesper.”(9) It’s about a girl Ann, who took her brother out West for the good of his health. There are four important, or seem so to me, men and boys, Louis, her brother Robert, Raymond, Hack Munroe and Matthew Kelly.

Jan. 16 [1906]

I was just looking back and saw that a year ago yesterday I had the talk with Ed about not drinking intoxicating liquors. I really think it had an effect on him for he has spoken of it twice this winter. Once he said, “Have you had any port wine lately?” and when I said “No,” he answered in a lower, but a sober tone, “Neither have I.”

I was at church tonight and could have laughed. Papa was singing “Tell it Over Once Again.” He and Mabel were the only ones with books, but we were all trying it. When he finished the first verse he yelled out “Last Verse.” Then he gave out the Glory Song and got Mr. Hewitt to join in the Chorus thus implying that we weren’t to sing in the verses.

Tonight Mr. Davey was giving an account of his conversion. It was very interesting.

Here I am trying to be serious and Ora is acting up and reading out nice little jokes such as “A man who works for a living ought to marry a tall woman, for the labourer is worthy of his hire.”

Papa got a letter from Fred A last night. He has made good marks in three of his exams. He also said he had attended one of the Torrey Alexander(10) meetings and was somewhat disappointed. He said it was as if there was a crowd on a big automobile singing in ragtime music, “We’re on the road to Heaven. Want to join us?” And then a large number of the bystanders, caught by the enthusiasm of the moment, jumped in, scarcely knowing or caring whether they were on the road to Heaven or the other place.

It has been blowing all day and last night the wind was fierce, not in the slang way of saying it.

I guess we are going to start music lessons, but not from Howard.

Maggie went up today.

Ray has been down to church since Sunday, when he said he was going to be a Christian. Somehow before that I had the idea that he was a kind of one, but I guess Ray isn’t the kind to go half way.

I finished “By Berwen Banks”(11) by Raine today. It makes me angry with men. They ought to have more sense and to consider what will be the results of certain actions. I hardly think I could let any man run over me, in fact anyone, male or female.

Well I guess I will go to bed. All the time, or nearly all, Ora has been furnishing me with some mad elevating entertainment, it’s not much use trying to write anymore.

Jan. 17th. [1906]

Wednesday night! How fast the time flies, I can scarcely keep track of it. I haven’t had the dumps or the “divils,” as I might quite appropriately call them, today.

Today is Mama’s and Papa’s wedding day. If it hadn’t been for twenty-three years ago, or rather what happened then, who would I have been, to quote Ray? I had to laugh at him today. He said he felt sorry for Mama because in fellowship meeting Papa couldn’t say “Amen,” to what she said and said that sometimes he felt like saying it himself only, he thought it might not have much effect.

We sang “Almost Persuaded” tonight. How distinctly I can see the group down at Moyer’s and John wanting to sing it, when I wouldn’t for it was too sad. But I didn’t want to cry and that piece does make me cry.

I’m afraid I acted the coward’s part one night when John asked me to play cards for I said, “Didn’t I play the other night?” Oh weel, [sic] I hope I shall explain to him sometime soon. Tonight when all who wanted to be or were Christians stood up. I think nearly all did, Bert Tufford, George House, Charlie Prudhomme, Claude and Shortie and I don’t know how many more for I didn't see how many more were there. I thought George House was going to say something and I looked over at him. He had a queer look in his eyes, I fancied it was scornful as if he thought I was a hypocrite. I feel that many must think that about me, but I really try, though sometimes not very hard, to be a Christian. Now I never had any great change as Mr. Davey spoke about, only I do know I don’t feel as miserable in revival meetings as I used to. The other night when I was trying to think why I believed in God, I felt such a love swell in my heart, for Christ. He really does seem like a friend to me now. Little Pearl Culp said she thought her grandpa would get well, for she had prayed twice for him, and felt better. The doctor is afraid he is going to die.

I don’t know, but I rather fear dying. But I don’t think much about it. If I live my life I don’t need to fear for what shall come after.

Jan. 19th [1906]

I wonder if I am getting callous. How then is it I cannot feel much outside myself? Cora is dead. I can’t think that it is possible, that it we’ll never see her when we go back to Millgrove, or never get any more jolly letters from her. It doesn’t seem at all true.

Poor girl! How hard she worked so mother wouldn’t have to work so hard! She got sick before Christmas with typhoid. Then we got word she was better. Tonight Mr. Carey called Papa up and said she was very low, that her side was paralyzed and while he was talking Mr. Markle came in and said she was dead. I know she was a Christian, yet how lonely it will be. We would feel it more if we were there, for I can’t very well imagine Millgrove without Cora. Seventeen last November, and now she’s dead.

I thought tonight I had some little sorrows, for I was hurt tonight, but what does that account for? She asked the doctor if she might go to school in two weeks. How well I remember our old schooldays, and how we used to play ball. Mina and Cora, both good girls, of my Millgrove girls gone!

Jan. 31st [1906]

The last day of the month! Four weeks ago now we were at John’s have a “hot time.” He was really provoked when he thought we were going to sleep in his bed. And one week ago tonight we were at Aunt Belle’s, having been at Emily’s for tea. Oliver is improving. I’m going to call him Oliver now. He said he’d rather and then it’s different from the others.

The next night, the 25th we were at Em’s and Harr and Harry Russell came up. I should like to know them both better. Harry Russell looks very much like Lindsay Morrison and is a fine fellow. Harr said he was coming down. Hope he and Perc do. They had fun ‘phoning Harr. He rang up and Fred said he had the wrong number, the second time Perc said it was the wrong place and the third time Ora did. The next time Em went, then Perc and told him to bring me some candies, and behold! if he didn’t bring a box of burnt almonds when he came.

Who was it said “the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft astray?” It’s certainly true in my case. Now there’s Edward. I was going to have him apologize oh! so nicely and if he hasn’t gone to Toronto. I have not seen him, or rather he hasn’t seen me, for I saw him in Hamilton, since the last time we were at the pond, the 19th. That night we got word of Cora’s death.

It was, I think the saddest thing I was ever at. Everybody felt sorry. But poor Mrs. Cummins. I can’t express the grief in her face, poor little thing. And Cecil and Ken and, well, everybody. Well, I won’t say any more about Ed to the girls and never let on I care, but I do. I should like to have had a talk with him before he went. I was going to ask him to be a Christian but I didn’t. But I do think he has thought about what I told him re drinking wine and claret, etc.

Well, I finished ‘The Masquerade,’ by Mrs. Thurston. In it two men change positions. Hohn Loder has many qualities I admire, chief among them, his overmastering personality and will.

Feb. 11 [1906]

Well, Aunt Em and Ross came a week ago Friday, and Ross is going to stay here to attend school. She wants me to go home with her, and I would like to go, too.

Last night Harvey and Percy came down on the four car and Hazel [Farley?] on the three. We all, Aunt Em and we kids, went to Grimsby rink and Dell [Flett?] and the boys and some others went up from here. It’s great to skate to music. Toots Culp came up and asked me to skate with him, and at first I didn’t know him. Ora said Harry looked so lonesome when I skated with T.

Harry was standing around so I went and told him I wanted him to skate with Dell, and he went and did it then.

Harry Russell’s uncle has bought Whipple’s house and Harry is coming down next Sunday.

The boys made me laugh last night. Mother came near Dell not me, Frank Riggins was the only boy from Beamsville whom I skated with. We were having a fine time racing with Harr and Dell when I had to go.

They are going to have a carnival, would it not be fine to go?

In “The Masquerader” John Loder changed places with John Chilcote. Chilcote was a morphia fiend and he did not love his wife Eve; but when John Loder came, her fell in love with Eve and she with him. Of course it ended well. Chilcote died and Eve convinced Loder it was his duty to continue in the place he had been filling.

I also read “The Pride of Tellfair.”(12) The plot centres about a girl Josephine and a man Davenport. Before Jo came, Davenport had rather liked a girl Bertha Congrove. When Josephine learned that Bertha loved Davenport she did not think it would be right for her to marry him, but when Bertha married another man, “All went merrry as a marriage bell.”

Fred said Stockton had been converted. I was glad, very glad to know it.

Harr is going to S.P.S.(13) What a number of boys I shall know going to school in Toronto.

Mar. 5th [1906]

And now it’s March, though it’s summer within me hairt, for I’m aye daft loike; for I’m so mixed with the Irish and the Scotch that has got within me that I scarcely know phwat’s [sic] what.

I have just finished reading ‘Sandy.’(14) What a lovable laddie he was.

When he and Ruth were on the river she asked him if it wasn’t jolly there. He said he had not heard what she had asked him for he was thinking of the colour of her eyes. None other than an Irishman would have made such a declaration.

And I am reading “St. Cuthbert’s.”(15) There is a “Sandy” in it, but he’s Scotch, and is of such a deep nature. I know not which I like the better, the Irish eyes of blue which go with a nature as variable as the wind. I don’t mean that quite but one that shows its emotions as easily, or the deep, deep ones, placid as the locks kept from the winds, yet deep as they, but when roused to a storm. Then indeed they show their passion.

May 20th [1906]

It’s nearly time for church, but I feel like writing. I’ve just been reading part of a letter. So Fred thinks I’ve “tremendous capacities for doing good.” I’m afraid I’m not using them much.

Dell, Marjorie Flynn and I started out for a walk, and Clarence and Frank came too. I was thinking Mama wouldn’t like it, and all sorts of things, accordingly I used the boys cool. Dell had to scold me for it; she generally does after. But our conversation was flippant; we seldom talk sense when we all go together. Those boys have been getting pretty thick lately. I wonder if Frank will ever talk about us in the way he talks of Ina and Ida.

Dell and I went to St. Kitt’s Wednesday, with her father. It was the most delightful drive; the blossoms are so beautiful. I never saw them as beautiful before, or perhaps I never noticed them so much. Never did I enjoy a spring so much before, I guess because I haven’t before watched it come as I have this year.

Now my “true womanliness” must have a chance and I must exercise my “capacities for doing good.” We might help them ever so much if we would, instead of being so flippant. How I dislike that word! Church time.

May 29 [1906]

I don’t want to go to bed till Papa comes home. Ora went down to Fred’s and Mama is in Hamilton.

I had a fine time twenty-fourth. Frank, Clarence, Roy, Ross, Dell & Bert Culp, Mabel Dell, Marjorie and I went to the park. Dell said Clarence was surprised at me for being so nice to Roy. Nice record? Here comes dad, so I’m off to my own room. Poor Frank! He’s gone on Marjorie, but her mother doesn’t want any boys going around with her, for she’s only thirteen. Miss Stallwood and Ray had the meeting last night. The subject was “An Evening with Henry Drummond.”(16) What things I want to remember and act on are “the highest thing in the world is not happiness, but holiness. What God has put into our hands is the hapiness [sic] of others, and this is largely secured by our being kind to them.” “What we are, stretches past what we do, and beyond what we possess.”

Dell was here for supper and while we were washing the dishes we [saw] Fred going by alone in the buggy. We wished he had asked us to go too. Don was home and I got a look at him. He looks a lot like Fred Moyer. He, by the way, was in the other day, last Wednesday. Hope I can go to Toronto next year, and that Ora, John and that Atherington boy go.

I saw Ed on the twenty-fourth. I don’t know how to take him. I feel rather blue; but the trouble is I fancy things I should rather like to have happen, and then am disappointed because they do not. I wish I were pretty. I’m sitting in front of the looking glass.

Fred told me something funny about one day when F.M. [Fritz Moyer ?] went out preaching. It’s nice to be told.

June 6 [1906]

The reports of the exams were out today and Fred A. [Albright] got first class honors. He’s lost his bet with Brownlee.(17) Suppose he'll see the evil of betting. Mr. Moyer said he thought Fred [Moyer] felt pretty badly because he got only second class. I think I know how he feels.

There follow several passages of poems and quotations by Emerson, Browning, Emily Dickenson, Shakespeare and other other writers.

Nov. 11, [1906]

I want to have for my own:

“The Blue Flowers.” “In the Arena,”(18) by Booth Tarkington, Schiller, Goethe, Tennyson, Emerson, “Violin and Flute” and other “Kentucky Tales,” by James Lane Allen,(19) “The Choir Invisible,”(20) [by James Lane Allen,. 1897] Dante’s “Inferno,” Shakespeare, Milton and hosts of others.

16 YRS

I’m nearly seventeen but it seems not so to me.

I’ll have to write oftener in this for I like to read what I have written. Mrs. Sheppard and Mrs. Binkley are downstairs. I came up to write letters, and haven’t started yet.

I think Harr and Harry might happen along for Fanny told Ora they were coming yesterday. Oh! I had some times up at Dover and I have gained a really, truly friend. Margaret and I went over to Toronto with Fred. Of course we were anxious to meet some of the boys, but we didn’t meet one. I saw Young’s back and we think we saw him in Simpson’s. I saw one of Fred’s (M.) year on the boat. But “If he won’t come to Mohammet, etc.” That happened when a man, taking his B.D., this year came into [sic] sell my father lots in Winnipeg. Mr. Stapleford was very friendly. He asked me why I didn’t grow, so I asked him if he was going back to Vic and we got talking about it. He will have two brothers and a sister going in a couple of years.

I have started German and think I can make it go, but music! But I’ll stick at it.

Fred asked me what the sermon was like in Metropolitan. I said I didn’t remember much for I was trying to tell what the organ notes were like. As we have five senses, they should appeal to us in five ways. They were like the sunlight that came through the window where the ivy shaded them; they were the foam on ice cream soda; they were like the pile on deep crimson velvet, they were like the perfume of Eucharist lilies; but lastly were like themselves. But I remember one thing he said, viz - “Before the first flower lifted its scented lips to the kiss of Heaven, God was.” His subject was,” In the beginning, God.” One thought from Mr. Hackson, I remember it - “It isn’t have you been saved but are you being saved.”

I got such a pretty card from Willie Thomson. He wants my photo, but he’ll want in vain.

Meyer is an old duck. I told them about the incident and after I received his letter I was glad I had written. I feel forgiven now, which I never felt quite before.

Dec. 30 [1906]

I remember writing just a year ago today. I think I’ll have to keep this up as I enjoy reading what I have written. Frank said they had proposed writing diaries, telling every time they went any place with a girl. I think Clarence’s would be one big “Dell.” Frank is such a comfortable fellow. I don’t feel at all self-conscious with him. He’s a real lovable boy.

I received quite a number of presents Christmas, a set of furs, a suit-case with a bottle of perfume inside, and a box of bonbons, besides other things. It’s great to be young. I really think we have induced the boys to stop smoking. I intend to go to the root of the matter, and then not say anything more about it, for I don’t think it’s well to nag. But they really ought to be Christians and maybe if they thought about it they would be.

I don’t know what’s the matter with Fred Albright. He seems indifferent and rather cold. I don’t believe he likes me much. He makes me feel as if he thought I was very conceited and rather fast. And he once wrote to me about my “true womanliness and tremendous capacities for doing good.” But I hope I’m mistaken. He’s too good a friend to lose, though he often hurts me.

I realize I haven’t been a very good friend to Dell. I have been better to Margaret. But I can’t help what is past, though it can help me. I don’t think it’s conceited to think we are farther along some lines than last year. God pity us if we were’nt [sic] I do want others to be Christians, though I haven’t prayed at League lately. I suppose that is a backward step.

Tomorrow night the St. Catharine’s crowd is coming up. If it only freezes after League we’ll go skating and thus welcome the little New Year. I don’t think I have any resolutions to make this year, only the same old ones. I still need to try to control my temper. Why! the other night I got angry when I was saying my prayers. Ora was in bed and wriggled so she annoyed me.

Poor little Ray! He has a hard time! Last night he imagined I was afraid of getting the measles, and so kept as far away as possible. I had hopes of fun. There wasn’t any decent skating, so we had to have some fun. If we saw a couple skating together, we’d burst into them, then hang on the boys coats and make them pull us around. It was great fun indeed.

Mrs. Stewart told us to-day that New Year was as a new page. What will be written on it. I’m glad I don’t know. Only I’m glad I’m alive to welcome it.

I think a good motto for 1907 is what a woman once said to Jean Val Jean(21) “Monsieur Madeline, isn’t it wrong not to do all the good you can?”


Quote from Dr. Cleaver’s lecture, from Val Jean:

“Isn’t it wrong to do all the good you can? Remember the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”

Jan. 13th [1907]

The rest have gone down to Everett’s, but I didn’t feel like going as I was out this afternoon and got pretty well tired. But it’s rather lonesome and I’d thank anybody to come in.

Ray is over the measles. I was speaking to him a few minutes tonight and he wondered if I wasn’t afraid of getting them. He does get such absurd notions in his head.

I was just reading what I had written about Fred Albright. He wrote to me a few days ago and was explaining things. He said he had been out of sorts with himself all fall and was examining himself to see what was the matter. He hurt the one he liked the best and yet, knowing he did it, kept at it. No wonder he didn’t seem the same. He told me in fun I wasn’t to write to him any more. I’ll miss his letters if I don’t for he writes the most interesting ones I receive.

Our New Year’s party was all right, only we didn’t have any skating. We played our favorite Jenkins,(22) but John didn’t have a chance to say I was getting used to it. He told me he knew now what I meant when I asked him if he didn’t do things sometimes that made him want to kick himself for afterwards. He also said he thought Fred and I were going back to our old tricks, but we didn't. I hope I learned a lesson from the last time. Fred is certainly fine, though a bad flirt, so one should be careful of liking him too well.

I was looking back to an entry Nov. 11 [1906] when I said I had gained a real, true friend. And now I doubt him. Yet at the time of our talk in the train I didn’t think he knew what he was saying. I thought all the time he didn’t want such a friend as I was describing, but a girl to be in love with as much as kids can be. Anyway her I am doubting him and all because of a silly post-card. I do certainly make a capital friend.

I’ve read two books this year viz “The Household of Peter,”(23) by Carey and “Christmas Eve on Lonesome” by Troy Jr.(24) The former is a very comfortable homey story, but the latter is different. Most are tales of Kentucky life and through most there is a pathetic strain. In the first a man Buck has tracked a man who had him falsely imprisoned to his own home. He is resolved to kill him, when the words he heard the prison chaplain say, come to his mind: ”Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.” He sees his enemy’s wife and child and hears their greeting when he comes home, and someway they so worked on him, that he goes away without accomplishing his errand. As he goes the Lord says “Vengeance is mine.” “Yourn” replied Brock grimly.

Mr. Berrel and Mr. Bryant were in this evening so they put a stop to this.

Jan. 27th [1907]

I’ve been kicking myself because I didn’t stay in St. Catharines when I was there. There were so many things I wanted to say to John, but didn’t have a very good chance.

I do wish he’d go to Vic next year. He makes me feel like crying when he explodes some of his theories or rather spouts out his opinions. But there doesn’t seem much chance of changing them. Fred Hetherington is a sweet natural boy, one I am glad to have met. I expect or rather have a feeling in my bones that I’ll know him better some time. That Ray is the craziest kid, one can’t help liking him.

We met a minister who seemed attracted by Margaret. Wouldn’t it be lovely if ---------?

Mar. 6th [1907]

I got a letter from Fred tonight. I wrote and explained everything to him. So he was finally frank with me. He said, “I was more than disappointed because I knew that you were not being true to your best self, and that you were a girl of too much true womanliness and with too many grand sterling qualities at heart to really satisfy yourself with anything light or spurious.” He also said he thought I was more selfish, less considerate and more wilful than I used to be. I never thought of the first two, but I must confess, I know I am wilful and have a premonition it will harm me. I often think of Elaine’s father saying “Being so very wilful, you must go.” I don’t know whether I can go to Victoria. I am going to go, though it may take me a long time.

I’ve been talking to Roy lately. I don’t know exactly what to say to him; and can’t tell whether it is or is not having a good influence. But I have tried. I believe I have misjudged Harve. He really would do anything for me. He is a dear boy. So is Wray Moyer.

Tonight all Christians who would give up every talent were asked to hold up their hands. Every one should be willing, but am I? I must be willing to do it, if ever the time should come. But I don’t know.

Apr. 21st. [1907]

Now I suppose it would be much more sensible to go to bed than to sit here writing I don’t know what.

I’ve felt so funny lately, I don’t know whether I’m jealous of Dell or not; I don’t like her as well as I used to, yet I feel hurt because she doesn’t come with me much. But I can’t blame her in a way, still; I think she might ask me oftener to go with her. But I’m doing my best not to be jealous.

Apr. 28th. [1907]

I’ve had a talk with Dell and I told her everything. It’s all right now.

May 24th [1907]

It’s been a rather disappointing day. I did want to go to Victoria Hall. Wray Moyer was up there and Margaret was down. Then I expected Winnie Pearse but she didn’t come.

Fred Moyer had to come yesterday when neither Ora nor I was at home. Oh dear! I hope I have a better time next 24th. I didn’t want to go with Roy so he and Clarence went off together.

July 5th [1907]

I don’t write as regularly as Clarence does. The other night I was down there he let me read all his diary.

We were there Tuesday night and Deed Sinclair, Mab, Ora and Emmie Low sat in the swing while Clarence, Roy and I sat in the hammock till nearly one o’clock. Never mind! It was our last night. And Roy was going off without saying good-bye. Wednesday night we were at Corinne Dale’s at the Park. We were out for a ride on a gasoline launch with Gordon’s chum, Fred Wilson. In the morning I was fishing and caught a fourteen ounce perch.

The Sunday school from Mount Hope held its picnic there and I was rather surprised to see Harve walking out on the pier, to where I was. He and Ora and I came to Hamilton together.

I have seen more of Fred Hetherington, and like him better the more I know him. I expect I shall know him still better. When I got here this morning I found a letter from John waiting for me. He wants to write to me, and I’ll be glad to have him do so.

If first impressions are fair indications of what is to follow, I don’t look forward with any degree of joy to my sojourn in Hagersville. But I’m going to make myself have a good time. I’ve got to stay and might better enjoy myself as much as possible.

July 9th. [1907]

Have just been to League. It was all right and the people were quite friendly, but it wasn’t like home. There are hardly any girls of my age there and but very few boys of any size, age or condition. I don’t know how I’ll exist. I wish we hadn’t had to move.

July 20th or 21st [1907]

Milo & Bessie Leeming were up at Mr. Flemings so mother and I went down to say goodbye. They were gone but the ladies talked while Myrtle, Lindsay and I sang for a while. Then they all came back up with us and we talked for a while. It was much better than staying alone.

Either Myrtle is coming here or I am going down there to stay tomorrow night. Mrs. Fleming is fine. She had a party Thursday at which we had a splendid time.

July 24th [1907]

Mother has gone to Hamilton to be with Mrs. Overshold for a few days as she is going to have operation tomorrow. It’s dreadfully lonesome. I have to go to the picnic but I don’t want to go at all. There won’t be any fun. Myrtle is going but she will be with a different crowd. I’m lonesome for somebody but I don’t know what it is.

Myrtle was here over night last night while I was at Mrs. F.’s Monday. We didn’t get much sleep, we talked so much.

Lindsay went away this morning. He was up for a little time last night. He’s a very delightful boy. But I feel sorry for him because he hasn’t made much money and he feels very blue, almost bluer than I do.

Sept. 1st. [1907]

I always choose the most unearthly hours to write. But I don’t have to go to school tomorrow as Mr. Elliott is to be away. However I guess I’ll go down to the station with Ora. It doesn’t seem possible that she can be going away. Won’t it be lonesome though!

Two weeks ago tonight, Margaret, Edna, Ray, Emmerson, Minnie, Hazel, Wray and John were here. Oh! Wouldn’t I like to see them again. But I suppose I won’t see any but Winnie and Hazel and maybe Ray, till Christmas. “What a gathering that will be.”

Wray said he hoped to have a better understanding Christmas. I don’t exactly know what he meant, but suppose I’ll find out. Also John is going to tell me something in his next letter. Wish I didn’t have to wait so long to find out. There is a most beautiful moon tonight.


Jan. 4th. 9:40 P.M. [1908]

Just returned from a visit to Beamsville, St. Catharines and one day and night in Hamilton. I had a most excellent time, which I shall proceed to describe. We landed at Mr. Buck’s about two o’clock, Thursday, Dec. 26th. They weren’t expecting us quite so early. That afternoon we and Mr. Burreill went down to Fred’s with Clarence on the sleigh, for a sideboard. After that we got Dell and went for a drive. Then Dell, Mabel and I went up to see Rose who was rather sick. I went home to tea with Dell, then we all went skating at night. I skated with Frank Garnet, Clarence, Dell, Emerson and Roy. He was afraid to come to skate with me till Dell gave him a lecture. Then I went home early with Mab for the heel came off her shoe. When Dell came up I went home with her for overnight. In the morning Ray, Emerson, Margaret, Ora and I left for St. Kitts. We were overjoyed to see Fritz’s cheery face at the depot, and for[th]with accompanied him home. John came up before dinner for a short time, then we all went to his place for tea and the evening. Fred Hetherington was there too. We had a fine time and beat the others at Jenkins That was the first time I’ve been in on Fritz’s side so he showed me how to hold the coin.

They wanted me to stay there with Margaret overnight, but I didn’t think it would be very pleasant for Ora to land in the other house with those four boys, so I went back through the rain. And glad I was that I went. We sat there till after three listening to Fritz and Ray. In the morning Ray and I endeavoured to beat Fritz and John at crokinole, and we did in the seventeenth game. So we won a box of bonbons. Then Margaret and I went down town with Hugh and did some shopping, went back to Mrs. Melvin’s and called, then went to the station.

We all walked up from the station as Fred made a mistake about the time, Fritz accompanying us. We went to Margaret’s for dinner and stayed till Tuesday morning as Monday night was nasty. Was at Rose’s Tuesday, and made some calls, then went with her to the S.S entertainment. Had a very enjoyable time. Rose and I talked late. Wednesday I was at Mabel’s for dinner. Went calling and to Sadie’s for tea. I forgot to mention that I talked to Gordon quite a lot Tuesday night and he certainly has improved. Wednesday night I spent at Mabel's singing and playing crokinole. Mab and I talked late.

Thursday we went down to Freds, and stayed till Friday, then I went to Hamilton, took my lesson, went up to Em’s and stayed till tonight. Evidently Harvey and Evelyn have it bad. Oh shucks. I’ve no inclination for having it bad yet, so I guess I won’t get it at all.

Tomorrow I’ll try to write some more that is really of me.

Feb. 4th [1908]

It’s a case of “tomorrow and tomorrow” with me indeed.

Today at nine o’clock, Bert Harrison died. It doesn’t seem possible. The sun shone just as brightly, just as brightly sparkled the snow, just as merrily jingled the bells, while he laid there dead. Oh, it catches in my throat to think of being dead, dead, dead. Dead to all that life has to offer, all the beautiful things, everything. Heaven seems so vague, so unreal. It’s like taking a big venture and not knowing how it will turn out. Oh, is he happy, or does he rest in painless oblivion? I’m tempted to wish there were a purgatory that we might have a chance of saving those who would not save themselves. But that cannot be, for everyone must “with fear and trembling work out his own salvation.” But if it were Ora or Papa or Mama or some of my friends resting in a dreamless sleep!

And the world goes on just the same, the cruel, tender, sad, happy world. How ought one to be? Like Upton Sinclair who said all the joy was out of his life.

March 16th. [1908]

There’s no ink up here, so I’ll use a pencil.

I just attended Emily’s funeral today. Little did I think a week ago Saturday when I kissed her goodbye that I’d never see her bright smile again. She laid in the casket so peacefully today, so lonely. I touched her dear beautiful hair and patted it. I liked to touch her for the last time. When I went in Fred kissed me again and again while the tears came to his eyes and I patted his shoulder. Poor fellow. He seems as if I owned him some and felt his grief. I’ll never forget the way he kissed me, as if his lips were searching for a comfort he’ll never get, for his darling’s face. Oh! How I used to watch them and wish that some day I’d love and be loved as they loved each other. And now she’s gone. He may weep now but he can’t always. He’ll have to go along with a heart wilt nigh breaking for years to come, After a time time will ease the pain but will never heal the wound. Oh! I can just see him alone, putting the kiddies to bed, sitting in the library alone or with Perc, but no em there with her bright hair and merry word.

I think I’ve seen them together quite a lot, when they were lovers, when they were being married, and through all their married life. Just eight years of happiness. Only thirty-one. Her mission was to brighten others lives and she did it.

July 25th [1908]

We bade farewell to Corinne last night and tonight Fred went, after having spent a week here, much enjoyed by me, at least. We had a bet today - for ice-cream or anything else that’s in style then - that inside fifteen years he’ll be married. He bet he would and I bet he wouldn’t, though I expect to lose. Then we had another on I betting that he’d find out before then who the person would be who could make me win or lose.

We’ve had lots of fun indeed. Mabel and Clarence are here now. Next Thursday I expect to go down to Eleanor’s then the Thursday after down to Beamsville. After we come back here we’ll be getting ready for College. As Ray said a while ago, “I see a bright future before me.”

End of Volume I -Volume II continues here...


5. Ora Belle Kelly - Evelyn’s older sister.

6. Probably refers to Fred Albright.

7. Probably refers to Fred’s sister, Margaret Albright.

8. God's Good Man : A Simple Love Story by Marie Corelli Methuen, 1904.

9. Hesper A novel by Hamlin Garland, Harper & Bros.: London and New York, 1903.

10. Reuben Archer Torrey was one of America's best-known evangelists and Bible teachers. From the years 1912-19 R A Torrey served as dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. He also served from 1914 as pastor of the Church of the Open Door. From 1924 to his death, he ministered in conferences and taught at the Moody Bible Institute. Reuben Torrey and Charles Alexander conducted evangelistic meetings together in many parts of the world.

11. By Berwen Banks: a novel, by Allen Raine. Toronto : W.J. Gage, 1899.

12. The Pride of Tellfair, by Elmore Elliott Peake. Harper & Bros.: New York & London, 1903.

13. Possibly refers to the School of Political Science at the University of Toronto.

14. Sandy, by Alice Hegan Rice. - New York : The Century company, 1905.

15. St. Cuthbert's : a novel, by Robert E. Knowles. New York ; Chicago : F.H. Revell company, c1905.

16. Henry Drummond (1851-1897) Born in Scotland. Scientist, evangelist, author of many books including the multi-million selling, “The Greatest Thing in the World.” It continues today to influence people to follow God's two great commandments: to love God and to love each other.

17. John Edward [Jack] Brownlee, close friend of Fred Albright. Brownlee was Born on August 27, 1884 in Port Ryerse, Ontario. He was was Premier of Alberta from 1925-1934.

18. In the arena : Stories of Political Life / Booth Tarkington ; illustrated by A.I. Keller, Power O'Mally and J.J. Gould. New York : McClure, Phillips & Co., 1905.

19. Correct title/author: Flute and Violin and other Kentucky tales and romances / by James Lane Allen, publ. 1899.

20. The Choir Invisible, by James Lane Allen, the Elder. Macmillan Co.: New York, 1897.

21. A character in the novel Les Misérables, Volume III, Book VI, by Victor Hugo.

22. Jenkins - a popular party game for 2 teams, involving the passing of a coin between the players.

23. The Household of Peter by Rosa Nouchette Carey. Publ. 1905.

24. Christmas eve on Lonesome ; "Hell-fer-sartain." and other stories by John Fox, illustrated by F. C. Yohn, [et. al], 1909.