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1937 letter describing farm life in western Maine


Benjamin Williams was a farmer in the Farmington area and was 18 or 19 years old when he wrote this letter to Ethel McIntire of York, who he met at a Grange event.

Jan 7, 1937

Dear Ethel,

I was very much surprised to hear from you but I will try to answer a few of your questions.

... I live on a medium size farm. 125 acres of land and thirty head of cattle a few sheep and hens. We make maple syrup and candy every spring.

I belong to Crystal Lake Grange. I am Overseer of my grange, for the third time in 1937.

...I have to do chores about five hours each day and I cut wood the rest of the day. I have a large wood pile started but hope to cut a lot more.

I graduated from high school in 1935 but I took a short course on dairying at the University of Maine and just finished that December 18 last.

In my family there is just father, mother and myself. Dad and I run the farm together. I have wanted to work out but Dad depends on me as much as I did on him when I was small. I love farm life and shall probably always live here.

...We belong to the dairy heard improvement association and the man what tests milk is here tonight.

Sincerely yours,

Benjamin Williams



This letter provided courtesy of Page Farm and Home Museum, Orono.


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HOME: The Story of Maine on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network was made in partnership with the Maine State Museum. Major funding was provided by the  Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency committed to fostering innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning. Additional funding provided by Elsie Viles.
Major funding for previous seasons of  HOME: The Story of Maine was made possible by a grant from Rural Development, a part of the USDA. Special support is provided by The Maine State Museum and Northeast Historic Films.