July 26, 1938

c/o C. M. & S. Co. Ltd.

Yellowknife, N. W. T.

July 26, 1938.

Dear Mother:

I am afraid it is ages since I wrote.  It is very bad of me.  You said you were wondering whether it made much difference whether your letters were posted on Monday or Tuesday.  Apparently not anyway as the Tuesday letter arrived on Thursday.  Our taxi man who brings over the mail said today that we were going to have daily mail service through from Edmonton.

I have finished the colour film and sent it to be processed from where it will come direct to you.  There are not as many pictures taken around camp as there should be and none of the mill and I am rather worried as to what the results will be.  The last picture on the roll should be good—if not what you expect!  It is a close up of Premier Hepburn wearing an extremely gaudy shirt.

Hepburn was through here last week (perhaps the papers told you) travelling a Wall Street financial wizard and a Toronto mining magnate in the latters privately owned amphibian plane.

Did you see Edgar Laythe’s article in the Post?  There was not much mention of Yellowknife but he is writing a book on this country I believe.  I saw him in town last week proudly carrying a copy of the Post.  We had a few words with him and he seemed rather worried as in about the first paragraph of the article he had suggested Lac la Biche as Edmonton’s airport which is erroneous.

With him this time had come one of Lifes photographers to take pictures for his book.  He had a Leica and a reflex camera and a photoelectric exposure meter.  While I was there he must have taken about 15 Leica Angle shots at Premier Hepburn.  This didn’t bother Hepburn much and his remonstrances seemed only pretended to me.  Good publicity stuff.

Town building has gone ahead rapidly.  The new hotel is already open though not finished.  It is a two storey affair—quite large but with very small rooms.  It is equipped for electric light.  The new bank building and the H. B. store are also large and two storey.  The air pictures will suggest the size of the town (remember that a similar shot a year ago would have shown possibly two tents).  You will also be able to understand better to what I refer when I speak of the narrows.  In the picture taken from furthest away the main part of town appears to be on an island but actually it is not.  The section to the left (accross [sic] the narrows) is an island and there is an island immediately above the town.  Con camp is off to the right.  Notice the board walk which joins the two sections of town around the rock bluff.  At the apex of the sidewalk and the wharf is the restaurant (do you see the white signboard on its ridge?)

Imp. Oil Co. is putting seven tanks up on one of the islands for oil and gas storage.  These tanks are about 12 feet in diameter so I don’t know how they brought them in without knocking them down first.

I went up to our own mill on Sunday after a very long absence and there were several notable additions.  The refinery with heavily barred windows seems waiting to pour the first gold brick.  And even the office is rapidly taking shape and should be ready in two weeks.  The mill is having its final tuning up and is practically ready to start operating.  It was shut down when I was thru but several tanks were full and the agitators within them were still revolving.  Our electrical supply for the camp comes from the mill power house now and this partially alleviates the radio static down here.

One of the boys in the staff got an electric sanwich toast [sic] and lately we have been having cheese sandwich just before bed.  It is a real treat after the awful cookhouse toast.  We now have to devise a way of smuggling bread from the cookhouse.  A loaf barely lasts two nights.

Last week I spent most of the evenings helping one of our warehouse [sic] build a house for his wife who came in yesterday.  The house is really a tent but it is completely lined with wallboard so it will be warm enough for the winter.  It has two rooms and looks very nice now that it is finished.  I enjoyed doing something with my hands for a change.

Howard Carruthers and a few other Box property officials were here lst week for an overnight visit when the mill first started.

You would not think there was much to burn around here but fires have been very bad this year all around us and one camp near Giant was burnt out.

Page put on one of his breathtaking shows last night.  There was a chap standing on the end of the springboard at the dock.  He was trying to take pictures and if he hadn’t a camera said he would have put him in the lake.  As it was he only dived within about ten feet from him.  He still hoped that the slipstream blast might throw him off balance.

With best love


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