User:Tim/Letters to Lachlan McLean, Brooke Twp, Lambton, Ontario


Uncle Alex (McLean)

San Francisco, Cal, April 1st 1915

Dear Lachie,

I was over in Oakland yesterday on a (?) and Spent most of the time with your Uncle John and the Arletts. They are all in good health except Little Mack(?). He is troubled with a bad leg and will not be able to be about again for (?) months or more as he is done up in a plastic cast which confines the little fellow to his bed. You know what that means to a Boy who is as full of life as it is possible for a boy to be. Your Uncle John and Arthur Arlett are almost daily visitors to the World’s Fair. Arthur as Commisioner takes part in many of the important Commissions. Last Monday he Represented the Govern of California at the dedication of the Bolivian Building at the Fair. It was the First time I had the pleasure of hearing Arthur Speak. I and Uncle John was part of a great Audience that paid the (?) attention while Arthur was telling of the (?) friendships that has ever been between the Californians and the People of the Bolivian Republic and expressed the hope that the Coming years would find all the Countries of North and South America united in making for that which is most (?) for the Progress and happiness of the Human Family.

I and Uncle John visited the Canadian building. I imagined I was gain back in my old Home land. The Canadians have certainly the most wonderful display of any nation at the Fair. There are 3 main entrances to the Building each guarded by 2 Lions. The Building is one of the Longest and the most attractive on the grounds but the Surprise of a life time awaits the visitor on entering the Building. You can (?) Start with (?) Dawson City and the Yukon Country mining industry. Some of the mines in Operation and many other industries of that north land, a little further on the City of Vancouver with its busy Harbor and great Steamers passing back and forth. Then you are Shown the Fishing and Lumber Industries in actual operations then you are taken to the great Ranches and Apple Orchards of the interior of British Columbia you can Smell Apples every where. You can See as far as the Eye Can (?) and in every direction (?) farms with a contented people living on them. We pass along over the Rocky Mountains (?) of the Coal mining districts (?) the great wheat and Stock Ranches of Alberta Sask and Manitoba. Here is where the most Surprising things are to be Seen. You imagine you See that famous grain Country for miles. You will see great long freight trains passing before you. They Stop at Elevators load up with wheat and then Start on their way east. On their rivers you will See Steamers and other (?) passing before you. There is also a large exhibit of Wild and Domestic Animals you can See (?) building their Houses and Dams and many other wonderful things the Canadians have Certainly taken the wind out of Uncle Sam’s Sails at this Fair. On this interesting trip I and your Uncle John went as far as Sarnia. I wanted to go as far as Watford(?) but Uncle John on looking at his watch found that he had to be home in Oakland at 6 P.M. So I had to give up the trip this time.

With Love and Kind Wishes to your wife and the little Folks and to your Uncle Hugh and Aunt Mary wishing you every good thing.

Your Aff Uncle Alex 240-59th Oakland California When you write, write to Uncle John

Uncle John (McLean)

6165 Chabot Road Jan 24 1922

Dear Nephew

I received your very welcome letter over a month ago and was pleased to learn that you were all in you usual health. I have started to write to you several times in the last three months but fro one reason or another I failed to finish them. I had about finished up a letter to you on Nov 15th when we received the Cable message that Arthur had passed away that day in Kula Sanitarium, Island of Maui, Territory of Hawaii. Kate was with him at the time. (?) a month previous to his death. Funeral service were held and the body cremated in Honolulu and the ashes brought home by Kate and intured in the family Plot, Mountainview Cemetary, Oakland, after funeral services were held at Plymouth Church, Oakland.

Enclosed is a clipping from the San Francisco Examiner of November 14th giving a brief mention of his political activity and his energetic participation in the prohibition campaign. The Examiner, though differing in political views from Arthur admired his forceful character and his honesty of purpose made him respected by even his political opponents. Kate is feeling fairly well at present. She is very busy attending to legal matters pertaining to Arthur’s estate. All the children are in good health. Grace, the oldest daughter is teaching in a High School in San Francisco. Catherine is taking a business course in a private School and hoping to enter the University of California in the fall. The oldest boy is in the eighth grade and enters High School next year. The two younger children are in the third and fourth respectively. Uncle Alex has been working in San Francisco for about six months. He was over to see us about a week ago. He looks well and seems at present to be in good health. His health was not very good for a while last summer. He has been thinking of going to Fort Bragg to work for the Union Lumber company as wages there are higher than he is getting in San Francisco. We have been having some unusually cold weather for this section of the country for the past two weeks. Ice half an inch thick formed in shallow water in our back yard. I have felt colder her the last two weeks with the thermometer registering only five degrees below the freezing point then I felt in Canada when it was below zero. I hope you will remember to write oftener as it gives me great pleasure to hear from you. I would write more frequently to my relatives if it were not for my poor eyesight. My sight has been poorly for about four years. In addition to the newspaper clipping I am sending you a Plymouth church Calendar in whose organization he (Arthur) had a prominent part. With love and best wishes to you all Yours Affectionately Uncle John


Arlett, Leader in Politics, Dead

Arthur Arlett, former president of the State Harbor Commission and a leader in Progressive political forces of California, died yesterday at Kula, Island of Maui, Hawaii.

Arlett had been ill for five years, and for several years had made his home in Hawaii, where his health for a time was greatly benefited. His wife was with him there.

His home was at 6165 Chabot Road, Oakland, and he leaves five children, Grace, Katherine, Arthur, Gordon and Jean. He has three brothers and three sisters, all living here.

Arlett was a political associate and personal friend of Hiram W. Johnson. He took an active part in the campaign waged for prohibition.

The body will be brought here for interment on the next steamer leaving Honolulu.

Mabel Phillips

Dear Lachie

Hope you are all well. Have not heard anything of you all year. One would almost think we were oceans apart. Despite the long mild fall we are glad to enjoy a cosy fire these nights. But are the roads grand. Have seen McPhersons and McLeans several times recently. We were putting on the Christmas crusade pageant in Craig United Church. Douglas McLean was in the choir. Ruby (his wife) represented “Mary”. Isobel represented the overseas services. Sade McPherson represented the “Women of Wealth”. Jack McPherson took the collection, and I had a job in it too. So you see there was quite a family representation.

Our family will not be home for Xmas. Ken has to work. He is Resident Physician at Toronto Hospital for Sick Children just now. Bill just gets one day off and the distance is too much.

We have a couple of geraniums in bloom for Xmas. They look quite cheery. We still have our 4 patients and goose is in order for the feast. Was wondering how your apple crop was this year. There have been grand British Columbia apples come through.

Love to you all, Mabel.

Dear Folks,

Well how about this cold weather. Hope you all are well, as we are. None of the family are coming home this Xmas. Their time is too short to cope with the handicaps of travel, and the roads are so uncertain. Was at a Christmas pageant at Craig in which I was helping. Sade McPherson also took part. She represented the women of wealth and was dressed in a long black evening gown. She did look lovely. She is very graceful and poised at any time. Ken was married in October and he and Barbara were with us for a week after coming from Muskoka. His wife is a Victorian order nurse and is home every night and weekend. They have a small apartment. He is in Sick Children’s Hospital and just gets home every second weekend and every second night.

We are pretty well stacked up with provisions in case this winter is like last one.

How is the wee baby at Alex’s doing? Doug’s baby boy is growing fine. He weighed only over 5lbs at birth. Their oldest boy, Curry, is quite a nurse, and does much of the caring for the baby when he is not in school.

Hope this finds you all well.

With love Mabel