April 16, 1917 As The Crow Flies

April 16, 1917

I wrote a letter early this morning to my father. I promised Shannon that I would take the mail to the train station first thing in the morning. Shannon needed to get his order to the Renfrew Creamery so he couldn’t afford to miss the mail today.

Mildred was in the kitchen doing lessons from the Provincial Curriculum..  Mildred is Shannon and Annie’s daughter. Mildred looks like Shannon, but has the resolve of Annie. She’s pretty smart with numbers too and she’ll probably end up as a store or play clerk, like what Winnie does in Huntsville At thirteen, and this will be her last year of schoolwork (Gr. 8) unless she decides to go to Kingston for high school were Shannon has some family. She might go but my feeling is that she is going to stick around working at the Lodge. Mildred is too attached to her mother and grandmother to stay away for long.

I walked up to the train station to bring the mail. A  good mile or more  as the crow flies but you have to make your way around the chip yard, so by the time it’s done, it’s almost another half-mile.  Today was a problem for Shannon. He had to put an end to the milk cow (the one with mastitis) and needed the wagon.  

After dropping the mail at the station, I paid a visit to Annie Colson at the Outfitters Store. She was busy getting things ready. Said she didn’t have much time, but she made tea and we sat and chatted. She was happy to be on her own venture now. She worked for long enough at the Highland to get sick of the “Inners” as she called them. The city-slicking guests who dressed up and took for granted room-service in the wilderness. At least with outfitters store at the Algonquin Hotel, she hoped to deal with “Outers” as she calls them, people who know their way around outside.

I went to the east shore of Joe Lake and found a north-facing slope and made my sketch. It was similar to what I had painted a couple of days earlier, but more mature maples this time. There was a number a sap-pails on the trees. I don’t think these were Shannon’s or Ed Colson’s either. I had no idea whose pails these were, so I left them well enough alone.

The water is running hard at Joe Lake Dam. The streams have all broken free of ice. The winter scenes in the woods are becoming tiresome so I think I’ll try some rapids in the next few days.

I heard what I thought was thunder or dynamite. It wasn’t either. It was the lake ice cracking.

April 16, 1917 Letter to Father

April 16 Letter to Father

April 16, 1917

Mowat P.O. Canoe Lake

Dear Father:

I have been up here for two weeks making sketches. Had intended going up home for a day or two before coming here but wanted to be here before the snow was gone so could not spare the time. The lakes are still frozen over and will be for two or three weeks yet and there is still about two to three feet of snow in the bush so I expect to get a lot more winter sketches before the snow and ice are all gone.

Tom Harkness and Walter Davidson were in to see me the day before I came here also Miss Andrews and Low Julian (I don’t know if the last name is spelled properly or not) but I don’t think they enjoyed the show a great deal as they are taking lessons from Manley the worst painter in Canada.

Am stopping at the Post Office here until the ice goes out when I will start to camp again. have tried fishing thru the ice two or three times but have had no success yet have caught some ling which is a cross between an eel and a fish but they don’t use them up here.

I did not send any paintings to the O.S.A. Exhibition this year and have not sold very many sketches but think I can manage to get along for another year at least. I will stick to painting as long as I can.

I got quite a lot done last winter and so far have got some pretty good stuff, since I came here and expected to do a great deal between now and June.

Have not decided if I will stay here the whole summer or not.

Hoping you are all well. I remain your loving son.