Archive for July, 2015

Alma and her sister Alexa, Minto, North Dakota, 1903

My maternal grandmother, Alma Helen Leslie, was born in Minto, North Dakota on December 14, 1895 to Alexander Hardy Leslie and Helen Redpath Thomson of Ontario, Canada. On June 2, 1903, tragically, her father Alexander died leaving Helen a widow with two young daughters. Eventually Helen married a man named Farnsworth and relocated to Lopez Island in Washington State. As the second marriage was short-lived, my grandmother lived on Lopez Island for only a short time but while she was there she kept a diary. Here are some exerpts from that diary.

Tues. Jan. 1, 1907. Ther. 31. Wea. good.

In the morning I phoned up Nina and wished her a Happy New Year. Helped Mamma get dinner. Went down on the beach and got three agots [agates?]. at super [sic]. Miss Laubach was down from about 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Played pedro [a card game].

Wed., Jan. 2, 1907. Ther. 40. Wea. wnd.

I went to school. It snowed and we made snow balls. We learnt a new song about Twilight. I changed seats with Nina to be closer to the stove. Miss Laubach walked us to our gate from school with us. We are all well.

Thurs., Jan. 3, 1907. Ther. ? Wea. fine.

I had to go to school alone. Alexa [Alma’s younger sister] did not feel well. Florence and I sit together now. Nina sits with Edith. Dear little diary I have not much news to tell you tonight. I do hope Alexa will be better tomorrow.

Fri., Jan. 4, 1907. Ther. ? Wea. ?

We had a ride to school. It snowed hard and at recess we thru snow at each other and made snowballs. After school Arthur L. washed my face. We all thru snow at each other. We are all well.

Sat., Jan. 5, 1907. Ther. ? Wea. cold.

In the morning I went out to play with Alexa in the snow. About 4 p.m. Papa [Mr. Farnsworth, her stepfather] put us on the sled and we had a ride to the woods it realy was good. Mr. Dickman sent down some books to us. Mama and I read them.

Sun., Jan. 6, 1907. Ther. ? Wea. good.

Oh we just lounged round in the morning and Mamma, Alexa and I went to the mail box. We played and sang some hymns and I read and was tired. Read our pillow.

Icicles on the Port Stanley dock, winter 1907 [photo: Lopez Island Historical Society & Museum #1985.00963]

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