This morning I opened my iPad to check my email and my FB messages and a couple of significant things popped out.
First I saw a notice about a rally being held Sunday in my small city to protest the COVID “hoax”. I shook my head, read a few words, and wondered how a pandemic (Pan is Greek for world; that means this is happening ALL OVER THE WORLD.) could actually be a hoax. That would be some stupendous organizing, wouldn’t it?
I went on to check my FB news and views from people I like, love, respect, and want to keep in my list of friends.
A friend shared his poignant words in a YouTube video interpretation of his own poem. Randy Pryce, that was so, so meaningful. Thank you.
One of my lovely sisters, Joyce, passed along an email that I’ve reprinted below.
REMEMBRANCE DAY NOVEMBER 11TH
Port Rowan, Ontario was put on the map by this extraordinary teacher from Valley Heights High School back in 2005
On September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at Valley Heights High School in Port Rowan, Ontario , did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks. ‘Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?’
She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.’
They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.’ ‘No,’ she said.
‘Maybe it’s our behaviour.’ She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behaviour.’
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.
The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom. Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.’
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.
Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.’
By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW.
Year after wonderful year, the Remembrance Day theme prompts words and music that all show we do still remember. Since November 11, 1919, the first Remembrance Day, people the world over have celebrated the coming of that peace. That hasn’t always meant that peace perseveres but it does show the underlying wishes of ordinary people. We don’t want war. We don’t want our sons and daughters, wives and husbands facing the bullets of hate in a hail of gunfire.
We, the people, want to live in harmony with our neighbours, secure in the preservation of our peaceful world. I hope that all of those who think of fomenting hatred and of acting with hate in their hearts will stop. And be the golden rays of shining sun that can cover our world so that Remembrance Days will finally fade out because no one remembers a world without peace, harmony and happiness for all.
I have a new book coming out soon, The Loyalist’s Daughter, the prequel to my Loyalist trilogy. More on that soon. For now, here is the lovely cover.
I’ve started putting it up on Goodreads; you can see the synopsis there. I’m working on getting this cover up there, too!
Let me add to Spock’s words in Star Trek Enterprise: “Live long, live well and prosper in peace.”
Last Sunday my husband and I decided to drive to a favorite spot just to see if and how the St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market might be open. We really just wanted a drive up through Mennonite country where some of my ancestors lived. After we checked out the market–yes, it was open but in a diminished sort of way–we drove further northeast to a place that is a remarkable piece of Ontario history–the West Montrose Covered Bridge.
It is a one-lane bridge spanning the Grand River and has signs on either end warning cars to yield; it’s the last remaining covered bridge in Ontario. You have to be polite and take your turn to get across as it’s just one lane.
We had to ask the two couples who had settled for a chat in front of this sign to move so that we could read it (in this time of Covid, you see), but they were most cooperative.
For those who love historical romance I’ve put The Loyalist’s Wife into this Giveaway! (even though my book is really historical fiction.) You’ll love it! Check out all the books included at the link access icon below.
Contest is from June 8-June 17.
Another contest I’ve entered with The Man Behind the Marathons: How Ron Calhoun Helped Terry Fox and Other Heroes Make Millions for Charity is the Inspirational and Non-Fiction contest run by BookSweeps from
June 21-July 1.
There will be beautiful graphics coming soon but I wanted to give you an early heads-up. Watch my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for more info on June 21. Meanwhile enjoy your reading!
I hardly know where to start. Tuesday night I spoke at the awesome Beachville Historical Society about the book above. Featured prominently on the cover is Ron Calhoun because he volunteered his whole life to help others. He was The Man Behind the Marathons.
Most famous of the 5 walks/runs across Canada where he made his mark behind the scenes is, of course, Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. Ron was the man who came up with that winning title. Jesse’s Journey with John Davidson and his son, Jesse, was very popular in and around London where their two Journeys across Ontario and Canada helped raise money to fight Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Ron lent his considerable talents to both the first and the second of those Journeys. The book also tells about Ken McColm and Steve Fonyo. Imagine a blind man with diabetes and another one-legged youth walking across this vast country, again to raise money to help others.
In the banner above is also a picture of me presenting Ron with his very own copy of the finished book. We did that in his apartment in Byron (London) Ontario with Ron Cougler taking the photo. I’m not sure which of us, Ron Calhoun or me, was happiest that day. It was a few days before the first launch in London on June 24th, Ron’s 86th birthday. That was the best gift I ever gave anyone! And look closely to see Ron’s framed print of Cliff Kearns’ rendering of Terry Fox. Cliff gave me permissions to use that image on the cover of the book. Such a warm and thoughtful person.
The book was the culmination of 2 years of work on my part and innumerable interviews and meetings between Ron and me. He was a joy to work with, always a gentleman, never wanting to denigrate anyone (even when they definitely deserved it!), and sharing the many boxes of documents, mementos and photos he had collected over the many years of volunteering all across the world.
Last Friday we got the call in the wee small hours of February 7th that Ron Calhoun had passed away.
Since then I’ve mostly carried on with my life even though a very great friend is no longer in it. I told the people I needed to tell, I wrote a Facebook entry and I wondered how I should change my talk on the coming Tuesday. For I’ve become the person who wrote a book about someone who is gone. It’s a strange responsibility but I take comfort in the fact that I worked very closely with Ron about my ideas for the structure of the book. He gave me input all along the way and thanked me numerous times for the two years work I did. That was just Ron. He always made you feel that your contribution was fantastic. [Watch for audio and video recordings that I did with Ron.]
When I asked Ron what he most wanted out of life, he told me he wanted to leave the world a better place. Well, that he did. Tributes have been pouring in to the special FB page his daughter, Lori, set up, each one a testament to Ron’s caring and giving nature. A list of many of his accomplishments I had to include at the back of the book even though creative non-fiction doesn’t usually have that.
Ron’s funeral is next Monday. A good part of my family and Ron’s huge extended family–actual relatives or not–will definitely be there to send off this hero in fine style.
Fulfilling my dreams of becoming an author has made me notice Remembrance Day so much more keenly than ever before. I still remember marching in my cadet uniform, lining up in rows of black and white costumed girls followed by our khaki male classmates as we filled the halls facing our cenataph in the front hall of our large school. We listened to the Last Post, heard John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields, stood still for the minister’s message, and listened as our principal, Mr. Ferguson, talked of his paper boy who never came back from the war.
While I stood in the deathly silent halls at Woodstock Collegiate I thought of my Uncle Frank, my mother’s brother, who joined the Perth regiment but never came home from the war. I knew he was buried in Italy where a German bomb had hit his foxhole.
I remember thinking of Uncle Frank–who died before I was born–and I still feel the tears that slipped down my cheeks as I moved inside my young mind and imagined his life with his wife and baby daughter–cut off right as it was beginning–and the utter waste of it all.
Two of my Dad’s brothers also served but they came back and, at that time, I thought they were none the worse for it. I didn’t associate them with the horrors of World War II. Now I recognize the signs that both of them suffered PTSD although it was not named then.
My Dad never went to war. He served his country by milking Holsteins, raising crops and feeding Canada. He even worked in a munitions machine shop for one winter but decided he could do more by growing food at home. I wonder today if he was ostracized by people because he was not serving overseas but he never spoke of it. Another of the questions I’d like to ask him if he were here.
The past few days I’ve been reminded often of the sacrifices made by everyone who went through the war. I finished reading Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Times: Canadian Women of WWII and, though it was a bit of a slog, I persevered because the stories of those women and their contributions to the War came alive for me. (I wrote a review on Goodreads.) My husband and I watched The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society on Monday and got another taste of the effects of the War on so many. (The link is to the trailer.)
A talented friend of mine, musician and recording artist Jack London, was invited to go to Vimy Ridge in 2017 for the famous battle’s 100th anniversary. He performed a number of songs including his own composition Highway of Heroes at the celebrations in France. This song is inspired by the strip of highway 401 from CFB Trenton where planes brought in fallen soldiers from the war in Afghanistan and along which those fallen soldiers traveled to Toronto before being released to families for burial.
On November 11th I was once again pleased to see the ceremony in Ottawa, our nation’s capital. I was delighted that not only the men who served in 1939-1945 but also the women and the First Nations peoples and the black people and those of all colours, races and backgrounds–all who served were recognized and represented. Canada is working on righting those old wrongs.
And so I return to my writing life and how it has made me notice more. I watch people’s faces. I listen to their unspoken words and I search behind their smiles and their frowns for the underpainting of their lives. We are all the products of what has gone before. For this Remembrance Day and for always, I hope that our memories can help shape our present and our future.
For Stories of More People Making a Difference, Click on Images
In the latter part of August, my husband and I took a trip to Gananoque, Ontario to see a performance at the theatre there. My sister was one of the actors; hence, our trip to that lovely part of Ontario. On the way, we detoured through Prince Edward County and boarded the Glenora ferry, pictured below.
The ferry goes about every 15 minutes in the summer so our wait was not too long, even though lots of cars were lined up. We filled in the time enjoying the waterfront.
Many sailboats and other craft used the waterway which we had to cross to get to Adolphustown on the road to Kingston, Ontario.
This is Loyalist country and I got to see a U.E.L. cemetery along the way. Here is the Loyalist flag flying above the cemetery which is enclosed by a beautiful metal fence. In the distance you can see the stones of many of the Loyalists buried there. The stones have been cemented into a long monument as a way of preserving this history.
A few of the stones stand on their own.
Here’s a closer view of the fence and of the stones.
I was intrigued by the wording on this sign telling of the coming of the Loyalists to the Kingston area. For my Loyalist trilogy I started the first book in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War that precipitated the flight to Canada of those loyal to Britain, from what had been the Thirteen Colonies and became the United States.
Here is another view of the monument and stones.
Many of the women in those times died early from childbirth and several of the stones showed how young these women were.
The stone below tells the story of a mother dying, presumably in birthing the child who died two months later.
This stone memorializes a “much loved wife”. She lived to be 51 so presumably either didn’t have children or survived that ordeal.
This stone reminds us that though a multitude of stones remain across our land, many markers made of wood have disappeared over the years.
The Frontenac, the first steamship on Lake Ontario, was built near Kingston in the early 1800’s. The sign below and the Canadian Encyclopedia shed light on the ship’s history. I was intrigued to learn that the population of Upper Canada was too small for the ship to make much money and it was about to be scrapped when an arsonist burned it.
This, too, is part of our early Ontario history and the plaque below is near the Loyalist cemetery.
Preserving our Ontario history has become very important to me. Whenever I find efforts to do just that I am thrilled. Those who came before us would be pleased, too.
For my take on the Loyalists, try my Loyalist Trilogy, linked below.
In August my husband and I happened to be in Grand Bend, Ontario, so named because of the large bend in Lake Huron right where Grand Bend is located. We had a couple of hours before our theatre event so tried a new restaurant, The Schoolhouse Restaurant. It was really good.
The old school kitch was cute, too, especially this framed list of rules for teachers in 1915. Note that this is from a West Virginia Board of Education:
I’m sure our rules here in Ontario were just as restrictive. The most interesting thing to me is the fact that all of the teachers must have been men unless the males wore dresses!
Isn’t history fun?
I certainly have fun writing my historical novels!
For historical fiction about an earlier time period, try my Loyalist trilogy!
I found Dorothy Turcotte’s book, Legacy: The Nelles Story: Pioneers, Loyalists, Founding Families, very intriguing not only because I’ve written myself about this time period but because of the method she uses to tell the Nelles story. (Amazon listings) She uses first person for the 4 Nelles characters (each with his own section) and that allows her to show what each might have been thinking and doing throughout a turbulent time in Ontario’s history.
She talked a lot about Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) and the close relationship between the settlers and the Mohawks and other tribes, as did I in my Loyalist trilogy. Brant was a very close friend of Robert Nelles and often used the path running by the Nelles home to visit, even if he arrived in the middle of the night. He would simply slip inside and sleep before the fire until the family woke in the morning. I learned even more about both the native peoples and the times in this short book that is for sale at the manor in Grimsby Ontario.
When I met Linda and Barry Coutts, the couple who renovated the Nelles Manor in Grimsby, I was most intrigued by their knowledge of our history and by their personal quest to bring the manor and its former inhabitants’ stories to light. Well done!
For historical fiction about the time period, try the Loyalist trilogy!
For those of us who love a good story, especially one of which we loyalists are a part, join me in reliving Part III of this story first printed in the Loyalist Trails magazine that lands in my InBox every Sunday. Thanks, Loyalist Trails and UELAC!
The “Very Clever” Loyalist Wife: Part Three
Reprinted with the permission of author and copyright holder Stephen Davidson UE
At 46 years of age, Margaret Jefferson Hutchinson was a widow and a refugee. Her husband and three of their sons had died during the course of the American Revolution. Nine years after emigrating from Yorkshire, England to New Jersey, Margaret and her three surviving children were among the thousands of loyalists who fled the United States to seek sanctuary in Nova Scotia.
After arriving in Annapolis Royal in October of 1783, the four Hutchinsons made their home in nearby Cornwallis. It was here that the family began to attend St. John Anglican Church and it was here that Margaret met the newly arrived pastor, the Rev. John Wiswell.
Born in Boston, Wiswell had been sent to Cornwallis to succeed the Rev. Jacob Bailey, the Church of England missionary who became the clergyman for the Anglicans of Annapolis Royal. The 52 year-old Wiswell had only been in Cornwallis since August of 1783, arriving just two months ahead of Margaret and her children.
Accepting the position in Cornwallis would prove to be a turning point in the life of John Wiswell. The Anglican minister, a father of two sons, had been a widower for the past eight years. A man who had known better times and circumstances, Wiswell was now all alone in a refugee settlement in the wilds of Nova Scotia.
No one thought to record what drew Margaret Hutchinson and John Wiswell to one another. Was it the common experience of losing a spouse? Suffering as a loyalist refugee? Or was it the very practical need to provide a stable home for children traumatized by war? Whatever their reasons, Margaret and John were married less than five months after their first meeting. The Rev. Jacob Bailey, the man who had preceded Wiswell in serving the Anglicans of Cornwallis, married the couple on Monday, February 23rd.
It is Bailey who described Margaret as “very clever” and “sensible and . . . prudent in the management of family affairs…” — a woman with “the gleanings of a very ample estate“. The new Mrs. Wiswell brought a “dowry” to her marriage. She had the monies from the sale of a house in New York and the promised inheritance of her late husband’s personal estate.
In July of 1786, Margaret sought compensation for John Hutchinson’s wartime losses when the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL) convened in Halifax. In addition to the personal testimony of Thomas Millidge, New Jersey’s former surveyor general, Margaret had “certificates” verifying her late husband’s loyalty from Brook Watson the former British commissary general in New York City, General Courtlandt Skinner of the New Jersey Volunteers, Chief Justice William Smith of New York and David Ogden, a loyalist judge of New Jersey’s supreme court.
Francis Hutchinson, now a young man of twenty-two, also testified on his mother’s behalf. What is puzzling about both the testimonies of Margaret and Francis is that they each only referred to the death of two Hutchinson brothers where other documents speak of the wartime deaths of three brothers: William, Major and Ralph. Why would Margaret and Francis fail to mention all three?
The RCLSAL commissioner did not immediately make a decision on Margaret’s appeal as he needed to see John Hutchinson’s will. Over a year later, when the compensation board met in Montreal, the RCLSAL finally obtained the loyalist’s will from his New York City lawyer and made its decision to compensate the loyalist widow.
With the completion of the last bit of unfinished business from the American Revolution, Margaret Wiswell could now focus on her new role as the wife of an Anglican minister and watch her children as they became contributing members of Nova Scotia society.
On December 9, 1789, Margaret attended the wedding of her only surviving son, Francis, and Bathsheba Ruggles. Like the groom, the bride was also the child of a loyalist– and the granddaughter of General Timothy Ruggles, one of Massachusetts’ most noteworthy loyalists. Over the next ten years the young Hutchinson couple would have six children. Bathsheba died in February of 1800. A year later Francis married a widow named Fanny Lowden Nixon. In 1815, Francis died in a drowning accident — the same cause of death as his father John and brother Major more than 35 years earlier.
Margaret Hutchinson, just 19 years old when her family sailed for Nova Scotia, married James Allison on November 8, 1792. The couple would have eight children over the next 19 years.
Ann Hutchinson, Margaret’s youngest daughter, married Henry Burbidge in February of 1798 when she was 26. It is not known if this couple had children. Ann died sometime before 1831.
What is amazing to consider is that despite the difficult times she had endured as the wife of a loyalist, Margaret Hutchinson Wiswell lived to see all of her grandchildren. Sadly, she also attended the funerals of all of her children as well as her second husband, John Wiswell. The “very clever” loyalist wife took her last breath on Friday, August 6, 1830 in the refugee settlement that had been her home for the last forty-seven years. Margaret Jefferson Hutchinson Wiswell died at the age of 93.
But this is just half of a loyalist love story. Learn more about the Rev. John Wiswell, Margaret Hutchinson’s second husband, in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at email@example.com
Click on the Loyalist Trilogy books below for great historical stories with satisfying endings:
For those of us who love a good story, especially one of which we loyalists are a part, join me in reliving Part II of this story first printed in the Loyalist Trails magazine that lands in my InBox every Sunday. Thanks, Loyalist Trails and UELAC!
The “Very Clever” Loyalist Wife: Part Two
reprinted with the permission of author and copyright holder Stephen Davidson UE
The loss of her son William and the family’s New Jersey estate in the summer of 1780 must have been overwhelming for Margaret Hutchinson who only four years earlier had arrived in the New World filled with dreams of prosperity and happiness. Tragedy struck again when her son Ralph “died within British lines”. The story passed down through the family is that he was thrown from his horse while serving with the New Jersey Volunteers. At some point in the war, the Hutchinson’s third son —Major — drowned while with the same loyalist regiment.
Having lost three sons, Margaret and her husband John made arrangements for Francis, their seventeen year-old boy, to board with a farmer in Pennsylvania as they waited for the expected victory of the king’s army. The family acquired a farm four and a half miles north of New York City on the road to Kingsbridge (now in the northwest Bronx).
Mourning the death three sons and the separation from a fourth, Margaret then had to come to terms with the unwanted but necessary absence of her husband John in the fall of 1781. Historical records do not say whether his motivation was to seek out compensation for his wartime losses or to make arrangements for his family’s return to England, but Hutchinson had been making careful preparations for a transatlantic journey.
On November 15th, John drew up a will, seeing to it that his extensive property in New Jersey would be divided among his remaining family members: Margaret, Francis, his daughter Margaret, and Ann. As his wife Margaret would also receive all of his personal estate. Major Thomas Millidge, a fellow New Jersey loyalist, was one of the executors listed in Hutchinson’s will. Having settled his family and his affairs as best he could, John Hutchinson then boarded a ship for England. It would be the last time he would see his family and his newly adopted country.
At some point in 1782, Margaret Hutchinson learned the devastating news that she had become a widow. Word reached New York that during its passage to England, John Hutchinson’s ship had filled with water and sunk. John had drowned in the shipwreck.
As she waited for the defeat of the patriot forces, Margaret arranged to have Francis, her remaining son, leave Pennsylvania and join her in New York. And then came the stunning news of the defeat of the General Cornwallis’ army at the Battle of Yorktown. For all intents and purposes, the war that had taken Margaret’s three sons and husband was over. Returning to Hanover Township was an impossibility for the loyalist family. But where would Margaret and her three children go?
By August of 1783, the forty-six year old widow made her decision. With the help of Samuel Brownejohn, a New York City loyalist, she sold the farm on the Kingsbridge Road and prepared to join the thousands of loyalist refugees who sought sanctuary in what remained of British North America. Having the proceeds of the sale of her house as her only financial resources, Margaret left the United States of America on a ship bound for Annapolis Royal on Nova Scotia’s western shore. Twenty year-old Francis, 19 year-old Margaret, and 11 year–old Ann sailed with their mother.
Major Thomas Millidge, a family friend and an executor of John Hutchinson’s will, sailed on the brig Nancy, and so it is very likely that Margaret and her children were also passengers on this vessel. Among the other ships in the fall evacuation fleet were the Michael, the Robert and Elizabeth, the Betsey, the Lehigh, the Cato, the Skuldham, and the Hope. The voyage could not have been an easy one. Three ships in the fleet, the Joseph, the William and the Henry made it as far as the Bay of Fundy where they encountered hurricane winds that drove them south to Bermuda. The three sailing ships did not arrive in Nova Scotia until May 1784.
The Rev. Jacob Bailey, an Anglican minister and fellow refugee who would come to befriend Margaret Hutchinson, was a witness to the 2,500 loyalists who flooded into Annapolis Royal in 1783. He commented on the desperate housing shortages that saw the local church, courthouse and stores crowded with refugees. Bailey noted, “Hundreds of people of education and refinement have no shelter whatever”.
Margaret and her three children eventually settled in Cornwallis, a community 13 km outside of Annapolis Royal. And now what would this “very clever” loyalist widow do?
The establishment of St. John Anglican Church in the refugee settlement would signal the beginning of the next chapter in Margaret’s life. Her new congregation had called upon a minister that many of them had known when they lived in Falmouth, Massachusetts (modern Portland, Maine).
The story of Margaret Hutchinson and the Rev. John Wiswell, a loyalist widower from Massachusetts, will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Stephen for allowing me to reprint part II of his excellent story. We had a great flurry of emails back and forth when I contacted him. Seems we have a lot in common!
Click on the Loyalist Trilogy books below for great historical stories with satisfying endings:
In November of 2017 I was lucky enough to notice that the Elsie Perrin Williams estate called Windermere in northwest London was going to be open to the public and many of the rooms furnished temporarily as they would have been in her time. Immediately I put it on my calendar and my husband and I had a lovely tour there shortly afterwards.
We first noticed this unusual name when we attended university in London. Both of us wondered if this woman’s name meant she was related to my husband’s mother whose name was Jane Perrin Williams. By the time we made the connection Jane had passed away; we were not able to ask her about the similarities. We do know, however, that Jane was related to an owner of the Grand Trunk Railway and the Williams Fly Spray people but we’ve never delved into those intriguing fragments of knowledge. I suppose it is conceivable that the two were related just because of the circles those business owners would have traveled in.
On our visit to the estate we learned more about Elsie and her husband, Hadley, and the person who stayed with Elsie until she, too, died, and to whom Elsie gave a sizable bequest. The website gives a clear account of some of the history. The property was left to the city of London along with enough money to maintain it but some shenanigans on the part of London politicians meant that the money was siphoned off for the building of the new public library in downtown London. The Williams estate fell into disrepair after the death of its caretaker.
My husband’s family history has another chapter to it which I learned when he received a small inheritance from his mother’s grandfather. The family owned apartment buildings in New York City which gradually fell into disrepair as over the years crooked lawyers sucked as much money out of the estate as they could. My husband’s uncle was high up in Chesebrough-Ponds and took frequent trips to New York where he succeeded in wresting the properties away from the unscrupulous lawyers and the small inheritance was divided up. The family story is that these buildings were tenement dwellings by the time the lawyers were ousted but I don’t know details.
And still today we wonder if Elsie Perrin Williams was any relation. Perhaps one day when we find a few hours of leisure time we’ll look into this. Meanwhile Elsie’s estate is there to look at and to book for occasions. If you want to read more about the estate and the people here is a link to an article about the book, Elsie’s Estate, written by Susan Bentley.
Click on the Loyalist Trilogy books below for great historical stories with satisfying endings: