Monthly Archives: August 2013

I Am Having a First Rate Outing

Charleston Lake Inn
Charleston, Ontario
Sep 17, 1903

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My own dearest Ruthy, Billy boy and little sister Ethel:

Many, many hugs and kisses for all of you, to start with and to you Ruthy many
thanks for your sweet letter written Sunday which I found awaiting me on our return from
the lake today. I to am counting the days as they go by, as cutting down the interval that
remains until our reunion on Sunday next. I must not forget to thank Billy for his very nice
letter, and you must give him some big kisses from me for them. The lake is very fine, and
fishing fairly good and I know I am having a first rate outing but better than any feature of it
will be the glad meeting again of my own from whom I have been separated but a week,
but which seems infinitely longer. Am glad you had such a nice walk in the Park on Sunday
and hope you will be able to have some pleasant diversion every day until I return. We had
a glorious day on the lake today. Weather warm but comfortable as also are the togs,
which I won’t describe, but will show you a picture of when I return and dinner on the shore
— well, that is indescribable. Rock Bass, Black Bass, Pike, Chicken, Eggs, Green Corn,
Potatoes, Fried Onions, Marmalade, Pickels, Coffee, Pie and cheese — and finally the
appetite to do it justice. We ate so much at this meal that supper is out of the question.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 31, 2013 in Family History


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Absolutely Nothing Else To Do

Charleston Lake Inn
Charleston Lake, Ontario
Sep 16, 1903

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My own dearest Ruthy:

Your sweet letter, of 14th inst, as interesting and pleasant to receive as any that
ever came to me, arrived this afternoon. Ordinarily we do not get mail until we come in
from fishing, but to-day started in with a heavy shower and the usual programme was not
carried out. When one is prevented from going fishing here, there is absolutely nothing
else to do. I fidgeted about the inn and finally settled down on the piaza with rifle and
ammunitions and amused myself shooting at most any thing that made a good target. I
have enjoyed the rifle very much. It has been my closest companion each day on the lake,
and anything that happened to come in sight in the game line, I cracked at. When there
was nothing else to shoot at we would shoot along the water and note where the bullet
splashed to see how far the gun would carry. I find it accurate and reliable and have done
some very good target shooting with it.

About 11:30 there was a lull in the storm and we decided to try fishing nearby until
dinner time. We barely got our hooks baited when the rain commenced to come down as
tho it had never rained before. We didn’t get any fish but notwithstanding rubber coats and
all, we were pretty thoroughly wet before we came in and had to change our clothes.

After dinner we pitched quoits for a while and then decided to take a row — all but
Chester, he not feeling very well preferred to remain at home. We rowed over to Giles
Island where we were hospitably received by Mr Giles and wife. Mr Green brought his
camera and took two pictures, as did also myself. After a short stay, we started home, as
the wind was was quite high and dark was coming on fast. I rowed the boat and the
distance being about 2 miles managed to get some exercise.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 30, 2013 in Family History


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Billy Carried It Around with Him All Day

1903 letter

Newark, NJ
Sept 16, 1903

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, 716 Clifton Ave, Newark, NJ
To: William A Gray, % Robert Foster, Charleston Lake, Ontario, Canada

My dearest Will:

It is after ten but I will write you a short letter anyway. Billy has been better today
and is sleeping very quietly tonight. The Dr came this morning and left more medicine. He
said it was mostly due to his stomach but he has a little cold too.

Last night I didn’t get many winks of sleep for Billy had a burning fever all night and
was very restless. He was better after the Dr left this morning and the fever went. He slept
most of the time until about 2 o’clock, then I dressed him and he played around until about
six o’clock quite like himself. Even this little spell has taken some flesh off of him. The Dr
will call in the morning again and I am hoping he will find Billy quite well. He has a nice
way with children. This is the time when I missed our good brother Dr.

Your dear big precious letter came today and we had a feast reading it. I am glad
you wrote every word of it, it was very interesting to me. Billy carried it around with him all
day, went to sleep with it in his hand this morning. He admired particularly the address in
red ink, the pages written with red ink & the stamps.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Family History


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Fishing Luck Was Not As Good As Yesterday

Charleston Lake Inn
Charleston Lake, Ontario
Sep 15, 1903

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My own dearest Ruthy, Billy and sister:

Another day of my brief stay away from you gone by. The programme was much the
same as I have already described. Suffice to say the weather was fine and I enjoyed every
minute of the day, even tho the fishing luck was not as good as yesterday.

It is now about nine o’clock P. M. and I am in pajamas, sleepy anxious to turn in but
before doing so must turn my thoughts to my sweet little home, my lovely wife, and
precious babies. How I would like to happen in on you this minute and give you all some
hugs and big kisses. Well it won’t be long until I will see you again and in the meantime I
am going to prepare myself so as to come back to you as well and strong as possible.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Family History


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The Afternoon Was Magnificent


Charleston Lake Inn
Charleston Lake, Ontario
Sep 14 1903

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My own dearest Ruthy:

Coming in from the lake at 7:30 to-night, after spending one of the most glorious
outings my life has so far afforded, I found yours and Billy’s letter awaiting me which
appropriately completed the other pleasures of the day. I have just read it a second time
and find it more satisfying than any other incident of the day, however enjoyable they may
have been. Tell Billy he is a very good boy to write me such a nice letter and that the kiss
he sent was a very sweet one. O, how I would like to have you all here just this minute, so I
could give you all the hugs and kisses that have been stored up since I left. Altho Harry
means well, I’m sorry he feels it his duty to have you take care of him during my absence. I
hope the money I left you will hold out for I didn’t calculate upon your having to feed him.

However as you have that rare faculty of meeting most every disagreeable condition with
admirable composure, you will make the best of it and no harm will be done.

Well, to get back to vacation and vacation thoughts, I remember I started the events
of this day in a letter mailed this morning. The day has been perfectly bright, and the lake
like a sheet of glass and the air so clear that one could see large objects perfectly plainly
for many miles. After a breakfast of ham and eggs, oatmeal mush, fruit and coffee, we
started for the landing about 8:30, loaded the boats and shoved off about 8:40. Mr Green
and Doc occupied one and Chester and myself the other. Each boat, of course, having a
guide to row, bait hooks, take off the catch and make himself generally useful. Our fishing
luck was somewhat better than yesterday, as, at the first point we stopped, I caught the
largest Pike taken out of the lake this season, and one of the largest, the guides say, ever
seen. The actual weight of the beast was 11 ½ pounds and he was at least 36 inches long
from stem to stern. He fought like sixty and nearly bent the rod double more than once.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Family History


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You Are My Lover Yet

716 Clifton Ave
Newark, N. J.
Sept 14, 1903

From: Ruth Barrell Gray
To: William A Gray

My Dearest Will: –

It is almost ten o’clock and I suppose you have been to bed almost an hour, if you
are living up to the contract. You are escaping the warmest spell of the summer. I am so
glad you are away from the oppressive heat.

Billy’s cough seems no worse — did not bother him through the day, but the heat
and the cough have made him very restless tonight. Your dear little daughter was as
cunning as could be tonight. Both children were in bed about 6:30, but Billy awoke about
7:30 and his fussing woke baby. I laid her on my bed and that was enough, she was
asleep again soon but the next time Billy cried out she climbed off and appeared in the
dining room. She trotted around amusing herself for awhile then she followed me into the
kitchen where I was clearing away the dishes, and as I noticed she was very sleepy I said
to her “Sister go climb into Momies bed and go sleepy. Mamma will come soon.” And she
went right in, climbed up, laid her head on the pillow and went to sleep like a dear little
kitten. She calls for Papa very often and so does Billy.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Family History


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Poor Willie Did Not Catch a Darn Fish All Day

1903 trip 1

Charleston Lake Inn
Charleston, Ontario
Sep 17, 1903

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My dearest wife Ruthy, Billy and little sister Ethel:

First of all some hugs and kisses for all of you from Mama Ruthy down to sister
Ethel, and from little sister Ethel up to Mama Ruthy.

Well, here I am at the lake and not much the worse for wear. Mailed you a letter at
Carthage where we stopped half an hour for breakfast. I told to some extent the incidents
of the trip up to that time, and shall now relate what has occurred since.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Family History


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