What I found in a Bethlehem attic a few months ago was a series of 1930’s era letters received by a young girl while attending a week or 2 of camp. Though the camp was still in Connecticut, it was a world away by available transportation.
Instead of being the secret thoughts of a young teen, they are instead a crazy quilt of details revealed by the people around her in a small town in a much simpler America. (click on the image, or scroll for transcription below)
My Dear young friend; Knowing folks like to receive letters, cards, etc., while at camp I thought I would send you a little letter.
I’m sorry to hear of your misfortune, but trust nothing serious will come from it, also (un readable) the poison is late better(?)
Aunt Ima has “Hives” which are causing her much annoyance nights, not much in the daytime. We are having a lovely day for a change and it surely is welcome especially to the farmers who have been trying to harvest their grain, in between rain storms.
Uncle Matt cut his oats this afternoon (over a hill from here.) The A.M. he and Anthony were down to south land mowing. Dave and Bobo were there too, were playing in the deep hay. Bobo out of sight. Uncle Matt was running machine along did not see dog until he yelped then he found machine had cut his leg off. I believe. Mr. Manger’s chauffeur went over and shot him and poor Bobo is no more.
We all felt pretty badly and especially Uncle Matt who was the unfortunate person to do it though Mrs Kelsey felt that he would have been hit sooner or later for he would run in front of dklfjsl and machines of all kinds, and they could not teach him not to.
Hope this will find you having a good time generally.
Jean is expecting to go to camp up in New Hampshire first 2 weeks in August, which will soon be here.
I will bid you a “Good Afternoon” and am your friend, Mrs. Adams
Forgot to say Aunt Ima and I went down with car took a wooden box, put Bobo in it in a nice white bag put some flowers in with it and they gave him quite a decent burial while Dave stood and howled. Ima thought that seemed strange.
As she seemed to be a friend of the family, it appears at least that the dogs was not the campers and maybe belonged to the this Aunt. Between the hives and blasé attitude of dog-icide it’s a wonder that the camper would want to come home.
Dad writes the best letter and seems to wrap things up in a much better package:
From the letters it seemed that a couple of weeks at camp for this young person was more of a challenge for her relatives to keep their own spirits up than it was for her to be away. However, I only have half the story, as there are no letters saved from her to the people back home – guess I’ll have to keep looking.