Recipe Box of LettersFor Christmas this year (2016), my sister sent me an old recipe box stuffed with letters to my father in the 1940’s and 1950’s. One of the first ones I pulled out, on December 25, described my grandmother’s Christmas in 1954. She lived in Niagara Falls Ontario, the community where she, and later my father, grew up. Most of the people she mentions are her siblings and their offspring. The depiction of her holiday celebration is fascinating and intimate.

There are several people mentioned by first name. I’ve included an addendum that explains who they all are at the end of this article.  – Sue R.

Jan. 14, ‘55

Dear Peggy and Hal,

          January is running along at such a pace that if I do not soon write this letter I shall be in disgrace. That is almost poetry, but not intended for that.

          I want to thank you for that lovely file. I have begun by taking my cottage papers from the other files and put them together in the new one. I shall fix the others by degrees.

          We had a very nice Christmas as usual. Christmas Eve we all went to Horace’s. Dorothy has a new accordion, much better than her other one, and she and Stan Haist, Jo’s brother-in-law, with his trombone, played Carols and all popular songs and everybody sang, jigged and acted crazy in general. Jo had a buffet supper set up on the dining room table and you ate whenever you felt the urge. We went home about one P.M., or rather A.M. We returned there about 8:30 next morning. You see as we grow a little older, the hour becomes a little later. Some of us want to keep the old time, but we are voted down. We opened our things there, and also finished the supper we had not finished the night before. We went home about eleven. At four we went to Ben’s for dinner. We all contribute to this now so that it will be less work for Bess. I have dessert. In the evening we put on a concert. I told them a sill “Just Mary” story. Jo, who has not much music in her, had practiced for a week to chord on a uke while Dorothy played the piano. It wasn’t bad and she was so serious about it. Later in the evening we ate again, then went home about eleven.

          The Tuesday after Christmas we all went to St. Catharines to June’s apartment for coffee cake and sandwiches. Wednesday we Aunts were invited to Louise’s for afternoon tea. New Year’s Eve we were at Dewey’s like last year. New Year’s afternoon I had open house again. I also had invited Mrs. Will and Evelyn, Edith and Leon, Mrs. Farmer and Clarebel.

          Are you interested in what I received? Bess gave me canasta cards, rack and table cover. Olive a table-lamp, Margaret – money. Horace & Jo a Mexican table-cloth. Dewey’s a night-gown. Bill & Dorothy a hand-woven scarf. Horbie a pair of Angora gloves, June a gingham luncheon set for the cottage, Louise pearl beads, Hal a subscription to Maclean’s. A pair of pictures (numbers) to paint from Margaret and Lyle. Nylon stockings from Uncle John. Black Angora gloves from Frank and Laurel. A plant in a pretty dish from Jean. I think that is it, except, of course, my box from Dearborn.

          Uncle John has been in the hospital for about a week. They had to tap him for fluid. He is better again and will be home this Saturday, I think. He told them he was not staying in the hospital any longer than necessary, that he was still the boss.

          Robert Cowil and wife are home living with his Dad. Robert looks like a funny old man. I do not know what he works at. I have not heard anything about him but saw him down town one day before Christmas and I was not sure it was he.

          I see Lyn, just to wave to quite often.

          Did I tell you Hal’s adopted son had something wrong with its throat. It choked all the time and could not swallow very well. The specialist here said it was tonsils and they would have to wait until he was two, to operate. In Toronto, at Christmas, Hal called in a Dr. suggested by the Honsbergers. His oesophagus is closed in the middle. They take him to the Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto every week to have it stretched. He improved at once. It will take some time to be quite better.

Love Mother


People mentioned in Jan. 1955 Christmas letter

Hal and Peggy

Hal; Harry Molyneux King (jr) (1912-1996) son, my father Peggy; Marjorie Melville McLeod (Cameron) King (1909-1998) daughter-in-law, my mother

King; Jessie Logan about 1953

Mother; Jessie McKenzie (Logan) King (1881-1956) step-mother to Hal.

Logan siblings and family in the letter;

Horace Caulkins Logan; brother (1892 -1975) m. Ethel Blew ( -1936) m. Jessie Leone Rice (-1983) possibly “Jo

Bill; William Harold Logan; nephew (1922-alive) m. Helen Elizabeth Margaret Deyell
Dorothy Logan; niece (1924-)
June Caulkins Logan; niece (1931-) m. Archie Craig Jamieson
Horbie; Horace Caulkins Logan Jr.; nephew (1933-) m. Jeanne Watkins

Bessie Burns Logan; sister (1879-1963)
Harold Fearn Logan; brother (1894-1952) m. Jeanne Scott (-1977)

Jeanne Louise; niece (1925-1995) m. Lorne Biggs
Harold Alexander Logan, AKA HAL; nephew (1923-) m. Dorothy Honsberger (-1989)

Emma Sabrina Logan; sister (1890-1982) m. Philip Andrew Dewey

Margaret Fearn Dewey; niece (-1970) m. Lyle MacKay

Olive Louisa Logan; sister (1886-1970)
Margaret; sister (1887-1971)


Stan Haist, “Jo’s brother-in-law”; “Jo” possibly is Horace Logan’s second wife.
Mrs. Will and Evelyn, Frank and Laurel, Robert Cowie; unknown
Edith & Leon; very close friends
Mrs. Farmer & Claribel; very close friends.
Uncle John; unknown, not a known Logan, King or Nichols (Hal King’s birth mother’s family)
Lynn; Hagelheimer, my father’s childhood best friend