Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 65 > Page 41 - Venie's Letters to Her Dad, 1898

Page 41 - Venie's Letters to Her Dad, 1898

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1 (1273 reads)
 

Venie's Letters to Her Dad, 1898 Venie was Catherine La- venia Isabell Armstrong. She wrote these letters from the family farm at Sydney Forks, to her fa? ther who was working away. As an introduction to Ve? nie's letters to her dad, we have Lennie Arm? strong MacMillan's brief history of the Howie- Armstrong Family, writ? ten in the 1950s. Lennie (Venie's sister) wrote: Alex Howie, my grandfather, was a farmer at Sydney- River. Mrs. Alex Howie was a Black- ett. Their first house was a log "cabban." Catherine Howie, my mother, was the youngest of the above man and woman. My grandmother had "pulled-molasses candy" coloured hair like mine when I was young. Colin, my son, only one of our children to inherit the same. Grandmother was considered a "Mother-in- Israel" type of woman. Caught all the ba? bies around, good at other nursing too. Could weave, smart with her hands and her mind. Strict in her religion, a firm Methodist. Grandfather was a good provider, and was looked up to in the community. He bought a great amount of land. Educated his four boys, but not his four girls. At that time a family paid so much for each child that attended school. (This was before the Free School Act of 1864.) My mother Catherine was the youngest. She was also very religious, but also liked a Emily and Lavenia (Venie) good time. She was considered not very strong. She married Robert Armstrong, my father. He lived in Gabaroose, and was a shoe maker by trade. She met him while visiting her brother and his wife. The Rev. John Howie, stationed at Gabaroose, a fishing village not far around the shore from Louisbourg. At one time Grandmother nursed all the family when they had smallpox. She would shake the sheets into the big fireplace, and the scabs would crackle. No marks were left on any of them. She had tied their hands so they couldn't scratch. Robert Armstrong was the youngest son of a family of 12 children. His father and mother were also smart folks. Grandfather Armstrong was magistrate for the surround? ing district. Grandmother Armstrong caught all the babies in the Gabaroose district. The only case she ever lost (we hear) was her own daughter. That was a serious case. W, J. DOOLEY FUNERAL SERVICE LTD. • Peter V. Walsh • Joseph A. Walsh * Daniel P. Campbell 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney, N.S. Telephone: (902) 794-3418 • Over a Century of Service • TAMA WALK ON THE EXPLORE 'Bjq Esslem Counties Regional library 390 Murray Street. P.O. Bag 2500 Mulgrave, N.S. BOE 2G0 (902) 747-2597 FAX (902) 747-2500 Your Public Library has] c'f to explore the natura Bird Watching Animal & Marine Life Ecology Nature Tours & Hiking WILD SIDE. . . NOVASCOTM'S WMEimSS I everything you need history of Nova Scotia: Wild Flowers k Herbs Rocks & Minerals Trees k Woodlands . . . and much more!
Cape Breton's Magazine
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