Mary Lang's Letter
Mrs Mary Lang left Scotland with her husband and children in 1914 after they purchased a Ready-Made Farm in Carnamah from the Midland Railway Company. One of her sisters remained in Scotland, four of her brothers and sisters immigrated to the United States and her brother Robert, who this letter was written to, immigrated to Canada. Within a short space of years her family was scattered across three continents. Below are images of her letter along with a full transcript.

June 28, 1931

My dear Robert,

You seemed to be so much in my thoughts last night I made up my mind to write first chance. I hope you are all well, and that things are going well with you. I wrote before but as you took no notice I thought you did not want to be bothered. When Archie mentioned in his letter a few months ago having had a letter from you, I meant to write at once, but the best laid plans "aft gang agley".

We are all well here, working away trying to make the best of things. I see from the papers Canada is feeling the Depression badly too. Although Carnamah is a small place there have been quite a few who have had to walk off their farms with nothing, the others are being carried by the Banks. If there is not a decent price for wheat this year it will be dreadful.

Are your family all in farms? It runs in my mind the girls married farmers. It seems a shame we know so little about you all. Jenny is a farmer's wife, Winnie's husband is a Commission Agent (his father built them a house on the farm, being an only child they wanted him living near), and he goes to business every day in Carnamah. John junr. and May are still on the farm; May's intended is a farmer, but bad times have put off their marriage. Jean you know all about, and Archie I expect is in Scotland for a six months' holiday (his war wound was giving him some trouble, he had to have an operation performed before Christmas so the trip should set him up).

You will have heard of Bob Barr's illness, it seems terrible, he has got back his speech, and can move his legs a little, but his arms are still helpless, it takes a long time to get over a shock, if ever. Aunt Maggie has a hard battle to fight and not too much to do it on, but Jean says she keeps very bright. Matthew lives in B-o-Weir two miles from Houston, he cycles up every day to help. He has a nice little girl two years old.

You might answer my letter soon, and tell me how Aggie and the girls are getting on, and where the boys are. I find time passes very quickly now, I am 68 years old and you I think are ten years older than I am. John is 76 next month; had Jane been spared she would have been the same age, John's birthday is the 10th and hers was the 12th July, that is how I remember.

I was awfully pleased about Archie's marriage, he needed some home life and Elsie is making him a good wife.

While I am writing the rain is battering on the roof and windows, yesterday we had 56 pts, the crops were needing it, and the feed was very backward so this will send it on. We have 400 sheep and over a hundred lambs (the lambing is not finished yet). Two days ago there was ice on the troughs, it was bitterly cold, and we take badly with it, but now the rain has come it is much warmer.

May milks two cows, so we have plenty butter, and of course we keep fowls for home use. We have b'fast at half past six in the morning. May gets up first and gets started, I get up to make the toast, after that between milking, separating, and washing up the time passes very quickly. We have dinner at half-past six. Luncheon is carried out, by the time all the washing up is done we are ready for bed, but there is no doubt it is a fine healthy life.

I will have to stop now as I seem to have run dry.

How many grandchildren have you? We have six, 3 Macs, 2 Sharps, and Winnie's little girl, Betty.

Now write soon, either you or Aggie. I have written the address as plain as I can, so that you will be able to make it out. Grianaig is Gaelic for Greenock.

Love to you all from all.

Your loving sister,
Mary Lang

V i r t u a l  M u s e u m : Virtual Museum

Macpherson  ●  Railway  ●  Farms  ●  War  ●  Schools  ●  Power  ●  Roads  ●  Business  ●  Milk  ●  Tearooms  ●  Post  ●  Books  ●  Toys

Now featuring 10863 Bushranger presented by Act Belong Commit