South Bend July 5th (1882)
well mother I must write you a few lines we have been living in this house one month it is a new house with window blinds it is as much to grand as the other was to poor we pay ten dollars a month it is two story high with cistern and well in the kitchen and a good cellar and dining room and sitting room and parlor and every thing shines it is so new we are all well Freddie goes over in town every night to sell papers how do you all get a long you must write when you can I dont have much time to write
the man we rent of is a Dunkard preacher he lives next door to us he is an old man older than father and last summer he married a young girl she is 18 years old but he is so rich I supose that is what bought her she comes here every day she says she is very particular who lives in his houses he owns several stores here and a number of residences when you write tell us how the crops are and if the rains have drowned every thing out we had one quart of strawberries paid E0 cents for them we have bought a new cook stove and a new ingrain carpet for the parlor write soon
1882 was added in pencil by someone at a later date. Fred would have been 7 at the time. Was that old enough to be out selling papers? Perhaps.
Rose is writing to her mother-in-law, Sarah Ann. Rose's mother, Elizabeth Doughty Graham died in 1880 and had been abandoned by her husband before Rose was born. I assume that Sarah Ann forwarded it on to Anna and that is how it ended up in the collection.
It sounds like Joseph and Anna have rented a very nice house and that things are going well for them. A cistern and indoor pump certainly were luxuries.
I had to look up ingrain carpet. The carpet was woven of wool in yard wide strips and then sewn together. Family Heirloom Weavers reproduces these carpets and you can some examples on their page.
Ingrain carpet is defined as a flat, woven, reversible wool carpet. In many middle class homes of the 1800's at least one room had ingrain carpet.
For more see:
Camfield Family Letters
Descendants of Sarah Ann Wisner
Camfield, Rose Graham. (South Bend, IN) to “well mother” [Sarah Ann Camfield]. Letter. 5 July 1882. Digital Images 1-2. Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Snowville, New York. 2008. [Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1882 - 1883, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 2008.]