Thursday, November 27, 2008

Anna Camfield Carlisle, 9 Dec 1880

Ganges, Allegan Co, MI
Dec 9th 1880.

Dear Mother,
You asked me to write when we got settled, so now I will do so. We arrived here all right, had to wait in New Buffalo from 8 until 11.40, when we arrived at Fennsville we found Sol waiting for us, then we had a good long sleighride, took a part of the goods out with us. when we got to Sol’s house it was nearly 7 oclock. We had chicken pie for our Thanksgiving supper. The next day Sol went after the rest of our goods. we stayed there until Saturday morning, then we came here to our own house, they wanted us to stay there over Sunday but

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I wanted to get settled as soon as I could. They gave us a supply of provision allre already cooked to last until I had time to cook some.
If they continue as they have begun we we will have no reason to complain about our provision. Saturday Sol bought a quarter of beef to be divided, and Monday killed a nice fat pig, that was all brought here, and we have plenty of Flour. Meal. Buckwheat. Beens. Potatoes. Apples. Dryed peaches, and Turnips. they make butter for us and we have all the milk we want, and an order to get our own groceries.
Sol went away the Monday after we got here. his family have all been here to see us. Phebe’s health is not very good. Lillie is teaching, and Rosa and Mabel go to school. Mabel is almost as fat as the Wease girl.
The settlement whare we live is called Plumerville. it contains 6 or 8 houses

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a shoe shop and blacksmith shop. the shoe shop is next door to us. One family here used to live in Burr Oak, and knows all our neighbors there. and one family we here used to live in Buchanan but we have not seen them yet and do not know their names. Mrs. Grover the lady that did live in this house has been here, and Mrs. Howard one of the near neighbors I saw at Sols house. that is all I have seen yet. it has been storming all this week and quite cold and windy, the lake is froze out twice the length of the pier.
Frank is writing a letter to Grandma on the slate. he asks whare home is most every day. he thinks Mabel is all right, she was here most all day saturday, and cryes because she cant come over nights after school.
A few days after we got here I discovered that Frank had a back

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tooth just come through. he does not seem quite as well as he was but I suppose the tooth accounts for that. We got a postal from Fannie last night. she is visiting in Osage Mission yet. We found one of our Black berrie canns all broke to pieces and one of the lounge slats was lost that was all that is either broken or lost so I think we was very lucky. Our house is better than Sols, but is not so large, although we have move room than we use. Tell Lillie when we ask Frank whare she is he says Lillie is gone to Sunday School and Grandma is gone to Camp Meeting. I have not time to write any more now so will close.
We hope to hear from you soon.

Ashley + Ann
and Frank

Ashley found work with Solomon Grimes and moved the family from Buchanan to Ganges. I can't determine from the letters what type of work Ashley was to do. At some point Solomon owned the shoe store that Anna mentions and after selling out started an orchard. Some details about Solomon can be gleaned from a short biography of his daughter Lillie. I don't know for sure but I believe that they only stayed in Ganges a year or two. How Ashley met Solomon is also a mystery. Joseph and Rose Camfield lived in Allegen County in 1876 and it is possible that the connection started there.

Fannie was Ashley's sister. Anna received a post card from her just before writing to her mother. I will be transcribing the Carlisle letters sometime next year.

I don't know how this letter ended up in Anna's possession. Perhaps it was never mailed.

[Edited 3 May 2011 to add that Dear Mother referred to Anna's mother-in-law, Hannah Glover Carlisle. The second Lillie mentioned would have been Lillie Dale Warren who was raised by Hannah but according to family notes, never legally adopted. Hannah was known to save letters and that must be how the this letter came to be saved.]

For more see:
Camfield Family Letters
Descendants of Sarah Ann Wisner
Michael Camfield

Carlisle, Anna Camfield. (Ganges, MI) to “Dear Mother” [Sarah Wisner Camfield]. Letter. 9 December 1880. Digital Images 1-4. Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Snowville, New York. 2008. [Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1880, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 2008.]

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