student diary (1900-05): detailed text
home page for a little history.com1874 The Mounted Police Tame the Wild Westthe Metis half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellionthe Native half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion1900-05 Diary of a student and young teacher1908-1920 homesteading experiences and lifestyle1920's farm and community lifestyle1954-56 diary of a boy, before the effects of televisionthe future: extending human limitations through technology (eg. computers and inline skating), presenting history with applets, a family recreation program, etc.


Part 1: The School Years

detailed version (June 1900-05)




Some excerpts from Violet's diary entries were published
in the the University of New Brunswick's Spring
1993 edition of Alumni News under MEMORY LANE.
(UNB is located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada)

Photos and postcards from Violet's collection
are labeled Vi#wehistm []
All rights reserved.

edited by Brian M. Brown
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
originally posted February 24, 1999
and transfered to
on January 10, 2001.




Violet's father responded to the Canadian cry for missionaries and came from the Isle of Man to eastern Canada in the late 1870s. He married and in 1880 they had a baby girl they named Violet, and a few years later they had another that they named Mabel.

When Violet was six years old, her mother died while giving birth to Oliver. Violet explains in her 1955 writings: "We had housekeepers for about ten years. One of them, Miss Charlotte Stewart, was a real mother to us. She took care of Oliver during this long illness, and loved him as if he were her own. [But, Oliver died at the age of three.] She [Miss Charlotte Stewart] died of cancer of the breast soon after she left us. When we moved to Alberton and I was fifteen, Aunt Maggie came to live with us."


click to enlarge (19 kb)

This is Oliver.

So after the age of six, Violet had to adjust to the lose of her mother, to the experience of being raised in a single parent family, and to moves to a strange town every three years. These experiences probably molded her personality and gave her strong lifelong beliefs. She took life seriously, worked hard, had a desire to help others, was very religious (like her father), and felt a strong need to have a home. These things lasted a lifetime.

Her diary indicates that as she developed and changed as a young woman, her efforts focused more on the intellectual and spiritual than on the emotional.

Violet's sister, Mabel was only four when her mother died, so it is not surprising that Mabel had mental problems which later became serious. Mabel spent most of her adult life in a mental institute. She died in 1955.




Violet, Mabel, and father - 67 kb
click to enlarge (67 kb)

Photo of Violet's family: Mabel, their father, and Violet (bottom right).



[Violet makes the first entries in her diary when she

is 20 years old and living at home in Alberton, P.E.I.   Soon

she is teaching at Carrollís Crossing, New Brunswick.]



Alberton,   Thursday June 7. 1900   I came home form P. W. [Prince of Whales] College Monday. . . .   Mr. Keilly asked me among other things what I am going to do with myself now. That is more than I know. I have decided not to teach here anyway.

Went to Mission Band and League. . . .  

I wonder if I shall ever write the last page of this book? If so, I wonder where I will be then? God only knows.



Alberton station 76 kb
click to enlarge (76 kb)

The Alberton train station.
Violet received this photo later in life as part of a 4 page Christmas Greeting booklet.

Saturday. June 30, 1900. I played [organ] in League last Wednesday, for the first time before an Alberton audience. . . . We arranged in the meeting that she should sing it as a solo. . . . We did very well till the last verse, when she sang a note too fast, and I went to skip a note to catch up, but I skipped two, and then we had to skip the rest of the line. It must have sounded funny.

Tuesday, July 3, 1900. Last evening there was a party at Mr. Wilkinson's, and we had a fine time. We played charades with 6 on each side. Our side went out first and we took restoration. They had to give it up. They took misunderstood. We almost had to give up. They teased us about having so many school teachers on our side. At last I thought of it. When we got home Mabel told me she had it in half the time, but would not speak out. Just like her.

Carroll's Crossing, N.B.:
Oct. 17, 1900.
After many ups and downs, I am at last in charge of a school of my own. Last Friday I found out that Miss. Mersereau wanted a substitute and I agreed to take the place. I left yesterday morning . . . .

Friday, Oct. 19. My first dayís teaching is over. I had not very many adventures. I let the fire out in the morning, and forgot to put the windows up during physical exercises and recess. Will have any amount of room for improvement if I teach for the next hundred years. Had 14 scholars present. 25 enrolled.

Sunday, Nov. 25. Today has been one of the most eventful days since I came here. A fortnight ago today I invited the children who do not go to the Church of England S.S. [Sunday School] to come here in the afternoon. They came and some others with them. . . . . I tried to teach them about the Rich Man and Lazarus. . . .   I went to Mr. Carrollís this evening to have a sing. They told me that Mrs. Patrick OíDonnell is dying so I went right up there, and found her very miserable. I read to her a good deal.

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1900. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes went to Fredericton and Mr. H. came home drunk. The train men dumped him on the siding, and he was there some time before we knew it. Miss Gilts, the girl Mrs. H. left in charge, and I went down and brought him home. When we got here, we found the house full of company. We got a fire in the parlor and got the company in there. Mr. H. had a bottle of whisky with him, and I ran down the hill with it and broke it against the fence. He was cross when they first told him, but he is glad now. He feels very much ashamed of himself this morning.

Friday, Nov. 30, 1900. Yesterday was one of the most exciting days of my life. At school at recess a man came along with a dog and set him and Bingo fighting. I asked him to part them and he refused. Then I made the children go in and take their places. Several of them were crying. Then I went out and told him that if the dogs must fight they were not to do it on the school grounds. After a while he left.

Dec. 5, 1900. On Sunday the man who set the dogs fighting came and apologized to me. Someone told him that I intended taking it to law, and I was determined to do so, but of course gave it up when he apologized. He seemed very sorry for it. I went there last evening, and had a good sing over it.

May 4, 1901. About three weeks ago Aunt Maggie and I decided to go to England this summer. We left home last night at midnight. Papa and Mabel are going to keep house themselves.



Vacation On The British Isles

[In May of 1901, Violet
took a 4 month vacation
with Aunt Maggie to the
Isle of Man and England.]




White Star Line ship in Montreal 67 kb
click to enlarge (67 kb)

A White Star Line ship in Montreal.
From Violet's collection of post cards.
This ship is probably similar to
the one they travelled on.

Isle of Man:

June 6, 1901 (Thursday) On Thursday the crowning of the May Queen took place. That part of it was very good, but they had wire-walkers, and a trick-cyclist afterwards. I thought their performances very vulgar. It was got up by the Congregational Church. In the evening we went to the Fair.

June 17. The next day they had the Tea party. I went down with Ethel, and helped to cut bread and butter. We had a nice time on the field afterward till about eight oíclock, which was the time the girl had set to give a young man an introduction to me. It leaked out that he was a disreputable character, so I refused to have the introduction. We spent the rest of the evening trying to keep out of his way. The girls would not come home. However, I escaped the introduction . . . .

We went to Peel that day (on the west side of the island). We walked through the town and did some shopping, then ate a lunch behind Peel Castle. . . . When we came down Mr. Pinfield took us through the Chapel, then took us in to tea. They were very kind indeed to us. My hair was like a "bewitched barley stack," after our walk on the mountain, and he made the greatest fun of it. I laughed so much on the way to the station that Aunt M. said people would say I had a glass too much. We had to walk two miles after we got off the train, with 2 half stones of potatoes, and a lot of other things to carry . . . .

In the afternoon and evening we went to the Primitive Anniversary, which was held on a mountain side. The view from there was beautiful. There were stages erected for the children, and seats made of boards for the audience. They had an organ and two violins.


Douglas (on the east side of the island):

Wednesday, June 26. On Saturday we came to Derby Square. Uncle William and Lillie met us at the Station, and brought us up in a cab. Willie is at Belfast taking Exams . . . . I am enjoying my visit very much, but am beginning to long for regular work again.

On Sunday morning Lillie and I went to Salsbury Street to hear Uncle William. He preached a good sermon on "The Lord require(th all) that which is past." [William later became a Member of the Manx Parliament] I went to S.S. [Sunday School] in the afternoon and taught a class of little boys . . . .

On Saturday afternoon I went with Lillie to the Tennis Club. It was her turn to give tea, and I helped her . . . .

In the afternoon Ethel and I walked to Latchford to an Anniversary. Uncle Fred gave the address. It was on "Flowers, and the lessons they teach us" and was very good.


William and 
family 57 kb
click to enlarge (57 kb)

This is a portait of William
and his family.
My dictionary states that during the
reign of Edward Vll from 1901 to 1910, the Edwardian styles of the United Kingdom were generally regarded as opulent, ornate, and overrefined. So William's family isn't the only one wearing this style of hat.



[In July, on their way to London, they went through
Manchester, a city that is quite close to Blackpool
and Buxton, the source of the two images below.]

image from Blackpool  -  126 kb
click to enlarge (126 kb)

This is an image from Blackpool, just
north of Manchester on the north-west
coast of England.
photo from Violet's collection

3 on a walk 
at Buxton in 1914  -  67 kb
click to enlarge (67 kb)

This photo was taken 13 years after Violet's
vacation at Buxton, near Manchester. It was
labled: "Easter Monday, 1914 at Buxton."
photo from Violet's collection

We came to Manchester this morning, and took the 11 A.M. Midland Railway excursion to London . . . .

London. Wednesday, July 24. We went first to St. Pauls. It has many monuments . . . . Some of these are in the Crypt, a chapel under the Cathedral. . . . We took a buss to the Towers but it went so slowly that we could have walked as fast. I was thoroughly disappointed in the Tower. The Jewel House was closed for cleaning. There were rooms filled with armour. We saw where Lady Jane Grey and Anne Bolyn were executed. We crossed the Tower Bridge, walked some distance and returned by London Bridge. Then we walked . . . to Westminster Abby where we were in time for service. The singing was grand . . . . We then went to Hyde Park . . . .

July 25, Thursday,

We took the steamer Cardinal Wolesley to Hampton Court. We had about two hours there. The picture gallery is beautiful. We met nice people on the boat. There were boats on the river fitted up as dwelling houses. We saw people having their tea in rowboats under the trees . . . .


a house boat 
image received at Christmas -  89 kb
click to enlarge (89 kb)

This is a small unlabeled card which
states: A bright Christmas be thine.
image from Violet's collection

Friday, July 26. About 3 o'clock yesterday we started for the British Museum. We saw mummies, the Magna Charta, and the Testament that Lady Jane Gray used on the scaffold, with her handwriting on the margin. We walked down to Trafalgar Square . . . .



Tuesday July 30. Yesterday Arthur and I went for a row in the afternoon. I tried rowing with the two oars, and we soon brought up on a rock. In the evening we went to hear Mr. Waugh lecture on "Some lessons from my wonderings."

a 2 inch X 1 inch 
photo of Douglas
 103 kb
click to enlarge to 5" X 10" (103 kb)

This was a 1" X 2" photo of Douglas.
from Violet's collection

Saturday Aug. 3. On Friday Lillie, Arthur, and I went for a ride, but I got a poor bike, so we stayed out only an hour & a half. My dress caught in the pedals.

Tuesday, Aug. 6. On Sunday morning Herbie and I went to Kirk Bradden . . . . There were 10,000 people the Sunday before, and I suppose there were as many last Sunday. I was disappointed in the singing, for such a crowd.

Monday, Aug. 12. We went for a walk, and Ethel & I had a donkey ride. We got quite a shaking. On Saturday morning we started to walk to the top of Greber. Arthur, Ethel and I went. We reached the top at 11:30, ate our lunch, and walked a mile across the top, and down the other side. It was quite misty, so we had not a good view. At times we were quite above the clouds. We started to roll down, but it made us dizzy. Then we tried running hand in hand, but some of us fell. We got a feed of blueberries on top. We went through the Plantations coming down, and when we were almost through it, we saw the sign "Trespassers will be prosecuted." . . . We walked back to St. John's and took the train for home. We walked at least 10 miles.

Tuesday Aug. 13. In the afternoon Ethel, Lillie, Willie, Arthur & I walked to Port Soderick, and Aunts Maggie, Annie, & Alice and Edith and Herbie went by train. We had our tea there, and were on a kind of slide. We slipped down a wire, holding on to handles. Willie and I got into a dispute about a fish pond. He wanted us to try it for chocolates, and held out that it was gambling. Ethel sided with me, so the others would not go. Willie said some things about "religious scruples" and "hoped we would keep it up" but I am sure he did not mean them. We all, except the boys, came home by train.

Wednesday, Aug.14. Yesterday we went to Snaefel. It was a beautiful morning when we left Douglas, but when we got to the top of Snaefel the mountain was covered with mist so that we could see only a few yards around us. We sat down and ate our lunch.

Then went to the very top, though the wind was blowing so that we could scarcely stand. We found a plank over a pile of stones and we used it for a tilt; Aunt Maggie lost her purse. The paper that we had the sandwiches rapped in guided us to the place where we had eaten our lunch and there we found the purse.

When we got back to Laxey we went to the waterwheel, and I went to the top. Then we went to the Laxey Gardens. Some young men came along with a camera. I do not know whether they took a snap shot or not. We sat in a shelter for about an hour playing a game. then we came home.


Great Wheel on Isle of Man - 74 kb
click to enlarge (74 kb)

Great Wheel at Laxey, located north of Douglas on the Isle of Man.
From Violet's collection of post cards.

Friday, Aug. 16. Yesterday afternoon Ethel, Ernest, Arthur, and I went for a ride as far as St. Johnís and had a very nice time. I went to Westwood to tea. In the evening we had our photos taken. Willie and Ernest were both trying to make us laugh. Willie was saying, "Itís a good job we have only to die once." "This is as bad as betting married," "Now, look at me as if you were telling me how much you love me." etc. We went for a walk after that.


Heading home by boat:

On August 23, they went to Liverpool . . . . We came on to Nusnidian at noon yesterday . . . on the boat . . . .

On Sunday there was service in the Saloon . . . . In the evening we had service in our cabin. Some Steerage passengers came in. We had singing after the service. We have three clergymen in our crowd. . . . .

We had a tug of war yesterday and another today. Today there were ten of us against ten of the First Cabin ladies, and they won. We have skipping, and various games. We saw whales and icebergs today.

Thursday, Aug. 29. A beautiful day. We sighted land today. Labrador, and are going through the straights of Belle Isle. There are a great many icebergs around us. . . . . We were very glad to get home . . . .




Normal School

at Fredericton (1901 - 1902)


Thursday, Oct. 10, 1901. I came in to Normal last Monday, and am boarding with Mrs. Judson Burden . . . .


 Fredericton , N.B., 
Westmoreland Street 73 kb
click to enlarge (73 kb)

Westmoreland Street in
Fredericton, N.B.
from Violet's collection of post cards.

Friday, Oct. 11. Aunt M. and I went to Church in the evening.   The Baptist Minister, Mr. McDonald, led the Devotional Exercises.   He gave a splendid Bible Reading on "Individual Work."   Dr. Clarke from Ohio gave the first address on "Some Things that have been lost from the S.S. Wagon."   They were the Bible, Reverence, Memorizing Scripture, Evangelization.   Rev. Mr. Freeman, a Baptist Minister gave a fine address on Spirituality.   He said the Spiritual life was not to be cultivated by mutilating the physical, but by revitalizing the Spiritual. . . .

A Consecration Service brought the Convention to a close.   Thoughts from the Bible reading.   Individual work was Christ's Method.   It is the most successful method.   It is a method we can all use.   The essential qualifications are a pure heart and clean life, an experimental knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Monday, Oct. 18. There was a Love feast in the Church yesterday morning. Mrs. Coulter taught our class. How that woman's religion shines through her face. After the evening service several of us girls went under the care of Mr. Todd, to the Darky service. I will never forget it. I expected to see a company of Christians gathered for a prayer or class meeting led by one of themselves, but I found that most of them were not Christians, and that it is a kind of Mission conducted by a white man. Some Darkies caused a disturbance and the leader broke off in his address and gave them the terrors of the judment. The singing was splendid and the room was nice and clean. There was one old Darkie whose face was wrinkled with age. He said that for sixty years or more he had been following Jesus. I thought he was beautiful. I judged from what the speakers said that the Darkies stay away from Jesus from fear of the sneers of their companions.

Thursday, Oct 31. Beatrice, Belle, Gertie, and Anna have gone to their socials tonight. Such a time as we had getting them ready. One is decked out with my watch and chain and bracelet, another with my gold broach, another with my cat pin and side combs.

Dr. Torrene filled my front tooth with gold, and a back one last Saturday. I had to work a question in Algebra on the board today for the first time.

Thursday, Nov. 15. We got our marks this week. I made 71 in Reading, 70 in Professional Theory, 67 in Grammar, 61 in Algebra. I am well pleased with them, as I had only a fortnight to prepare for them.

The smallpox is in St. John, is causing great anxiety here. Mr. Mullin advised us all to be vaccinated. I am waiting to see how things will turn. There is Diphtheria in Town too.

Nov. 18. We went to the Salvation Army after church. I heard that two of our Normal boys were drunk on Saturday night, but hope it is not true . . . .

On Monday evening Edna and I went to the Mission Circle at Mrs. Byron Coulthardís. They had a special program of solos, and a debate, then a social time, finishing up with ice cream and cake.

Thursday, Nov. 28. Edna James and I were vaccinated last evening. I kept clear of it as long as I could, but when I heard that we could not go home at Christmas without being vaccinated I thought I would have it over. It did not hurt at all. . . . I was out driving this afternoon with Guy Burten. I forgot about my arm, and hope I have not taken cold. There is lovely sleighing, and it is a beautiful day.

Tuesday, Dec. 10. I was not out to prayer meeting last Friday, because I was suffering from vaccination. . . . Edna was sick from vaccination.

Fredericton, Mon. Jan. 6, 1902. I arrived in Fredericton once more, after being home for the holiday. . . . On Christmas day we had service in the morning. We had a Christmas dinner Tuesday. I got a fur collar, a pair of mits, a picture, a photo from Eva, two white aprons, a calendar, & serveral cards. Miss Dobson brought us a box of candy. We had a Watchnight service on New Year's Eve. It was very dull in Bathurst. I could not help thinking of the jolly times we used to have in Alberton at Christmas, parties, invitations out to tea, etc. . . . We had a tiresome journey over today. We had such a time to make Papa "get a wiggle on" to get us to the station in time. If the train had not been late, we might easily have been left.

Jan. 11, 1902. We have got to work again, and hard work it is. I am disgusted with myself in Geometry. We have a very large class now, about sixty. . . .   I went to the Union meeting last night. It was on "The Family, School, and Colleges." Rev. Mr. McDonald. Pres. was the chief speaker. Some Mr. Adams spoke and among other things said that if he had his way he would put every male out of the Normal School. He believes that female teachers are so much better.

Jan. 24, 1902. We had a grand Prayer meeting tonight. Mr. Colder spoke, and I never remember hearing him do so well. I am filled with longings for the Spirit-filled life that a few people seem to possess, and I feel sure that I will have it some day, but why not now? Another longing. - If my mind was only as active, if I could only think always like I can under pressure of Exams, how much more useful I could be. It seems to me that these two things go together. If I could only say and realize the truth of this: "Oh, wondrous bliss, Oh joy sublime. Iíve Jesus with me all the time."

Jan. 29/02. I was down in the Model School the last two mornings.

Jan. 31, 1902. Today was Mr. Mullinís last day in Normal School. We gathered in the Assembly Hall with the Instructors on the platform. Some of the boys went down to carry Mr. Mullin up, but they walked into the Hall with him in front of them looking as dignified as possible. Mr. Lord read a speech, Mr. Branscombe presented Mr. Mullin with a gold headed cane. As soon as the speech was over, we still stood and sang "Farewell Teacher". Then Mr. Mullin gave a grand reply. Then we sang "Auld Lang Syne". Mr. Creed spoke, then Mr. Britain got up and said, "Mr. Mullin, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Normal School, the last day has come." then sat down. Mr. Inch, Miss Clarke, & Prof. Cadwalder spoke. We sang "Auld Lang Syne" again.

The boys asked Mr. Mullin to sit down, and as soon as he did they picked him up, chair and all, and carried him around. Someone carried the cane in front of him, and they shouted the school cry. "Heís a jolly good fellow." When he was going home they formed two rows and he marched through them. We are all very sorry to see him go.

Feb. 5. Yesterday Mr. Mullin came in to the opening. That set a good many of us crying again . . . . He shook hands with each one. He wished me good luck, I muttered something about wishing him the same, and cleared out of the room. . . .

Feb. 14. /02 We went to see him off yesterday. He stood on the platform of the train and we gathered around him and sang, "God be with you till we meet again" and "Auld Lang Syne". The boys gave three cheers for Mr. Mullin. He proposed three cheers for Normal School and for U.N.B. When the train left we watched him as long as we could see him. His daughter went with him. We came back from the station feeling as if we were returning from a funeral.

Feb. 16, 1902. I stayed in from Church tonight because I feel tired, and seven services on a Sunday is more than I can very well manage. . . . I do not suppose I can do it again or the other girls will be trying it too. . . . It seems hard to be always thinking of the effect of our actions on others, but then "Even Christ pleased not Himself," so I suppose if I intend to follow Him I cannot expect to please myself.

March 13/02 Yesterday afternoon Belle & I went over to Miss Kyle's to tea & had a pleasant time. They had other company. We came back in time for me to go to the Social for the students in the Methodist Church. We had a jolly time there. Dr. Chapman made a few remarks at first. He said something like this: "Now we want you all to be very sociable this evening, to come close together, and have a good time, and if any of you wish to come closer together than you can this evening, you all know what a minister can do for you." This caused quite a laugh. Mr. Colter came along and talked to us then he went and brought two young men, College students, & introduced them to us. One of them, Mr. Howe, is from Stanley, & knew Papa when we were on the Nashwaak Circuit. There was coffee and cake passed around. There was no regular program, but they had some music.

April 12. Last Tuesday we got our marks for Easter Exams, I made 85 in Reading, 68 in Science, 70 in Professional Theory, 71 in Mathematics, and 94 in Literature. My Literature was the highest mark made in the Junior division of the class . . . . When I went up to see my mark Mr. Creed said "This is the 94 paper." And the class applauded . . . .

I have my teaching and Model School over too. I taught "Limonite" to Grade Vlll. They all say I did very well. It was the last hour of the day & just after Recess, so the children were tired & restless; the steam was escaping from the radiator; some of the Observers were whispering; so everything was against me. Mr. Brittain was amused with the way I stuck to it. He said I improved very much as the lesson proceeded, & got, held the attention well.

June 17, 1902. The wonderful final is over at last.

June 26/02. We had a very good time coming home from F'ton. At Chatham Junction we spent most of the time outside. Belle got up upon a stand & gave us the Physical Exercises. We had also an open air concert. . . . We were all over to St. Luke's Hall to hear a young Persian Dr. lecture. It was splendid.


Saturday, Aug. 1 [1902]. My marks came to hand this morning. I made 94 in Practical Mathematics, which gives me a Superior Licence . . . . We had Mission Band today, and I led.




Teaching Near Bathurst, New Brunswick


Nov. 4, 1902. At last the question has been settled as to whether I should go to U.N.B. or Mt. Allison, and I am safe in Fí [redric] ton on 3rd. year work with the Gloucester County Scholarship.

town of Bathurst 125 kb
click to
enlarge (125 kb)

This is Water Street in Bathurst
[From a postcard Violet received in 1908.]
The telephone pole sized circle that you see
in the distance is the postal stamp.

. . . . dreariest period of my life yet. The cause of it all is that school. I have found it unmanageable and have been driven to have one girl expelled. It may have been the best thing I could have done, but I will always feel that I have injured that girl. Our public Exam was quite a success. We had a good program.

The school was trimmed with boughs, and a Christmas tree. The children brought cards and pretty things to trim it with. One boy brought a dead rat which he was determined to tie on it.




Third Year, University of New Brunswick

at Fredericton (1903 - 1904)


July 16, 1903. I am clear of that old school at last, and am very glad . . . . The Wednesday before that was our first Debate. Subject: "Resolved that old bachelors are more use in the world than old maids." . . . . I spoke (very briefly) on negative . . . .

Saturday. Nov. 28, 1903 I went to prayermeeting with Mr. & Mrs. Colter. They had moose meat for tea, which was dilicious. The Wed. before that was our first debate. Subj. "Resolved that old bachelors are more use in the world than old maids." Ina Merseresn affirmative, Hattie Irvin negative. I spoke (very briefly) on negative. . . . Yesterday was a skating holiday. I spent it "skating" through Physics, Psychology, etc. . . . .

F'ton, Jan 8, 1904. The exams were the last week of the term. I made 1st. division in Latin, Greek, English, Physics, and Chemistry. 2nd. In Economics and Psychology. On Christmas Eve I went with Papa to New Bandon to a Christmas Tree. The tree was pretty, & a good program was given by the Sunday School. On the way home the sleigh upset, and I got my nose cut, but not seriously. Christmas was very quiet. We had church in the morning, and Papa drove us to the Praise Service in the evening.

New Years Eve Aunt Maggie & I went over the river. We called at all the houses by the way & stayed at John Miller's to tea, and got a drive home with them to the Watchnight service.

Jan. 17, 1904. Mr. Fraser, one of my classmates, died at the hospital last night of Typhoid Fever.

Jan. 20, 1904. Monday was a holiday on account of Mr. Fraser's funeral. The boys and Professors marched to the Station. Mr. Hill brought me a letter from home, that was up at College for me. Yesterday morning Hattie and I went to P.N.S. Opening Exercises.

Aunt Maggie 19 kb
click to enlarge (19 kb)

This is Aunt Maggie.

Jan. 26, 1904. Last Friday we had a meeting to decide about the Annual Conversazione. Someone moved that there be a big ball. Someone moved an amendment, that there be a Con. Without dancing. I voted for that, but through some misunderstanding I did not vote against the motion. I hardly know yet how it happened . . . . I was completely rattled over it. However about 60 voted against the Ball. It was the next day that I found out what I did or rather what I did not do, and I moaned and groaned about half that night over it, which of course did not improve matters any. I prayed about it too that morning. . . . Of course the motion was carried, and the Ball will come off next month . . . .

I went to the Burns Anniversary last evening with Lizzie McNair and Ethel Armstrong. It was splendid. We had to take a seat 3rd from the back and could not see, so we stood up while Mr. Barkerís Scotch girl was reciting, and a man told us to sit down. I seem to be getting into one scrape after another lately.

Feb. 15, 1904. Yesterday was Decision Day in Sunday School. Six of my boys were there and five of them decided for Christ. I feel sure they understood what they were doing. I asked the other if he could tell me what was keeping him back, and he said he was afraid he would tease his little brother. I talked to him for a while, and hope he will yet be won. I wish the others had been there. I went to see three of them last week, and all three cannot come for want of clothes to wear . . . .

Sat. Feb. 27, 1904. . . . I led the affirmative at Debate last Monday and Jessie Weyman led the negative and won 21 to 13 points. Subject: Resolved that coeducation is a benefit to U.N.B." I thoroughly enjoyed it and was not so nervous as I feared I would be.

Friday March 18/04. . . . . I went to Home Department Social at the Parsonage on Monday night, to College to Dr. Hannayís lecture on "How Britannia Rules the Waves" on Tuesday night, to Inaís to write a Latin exercise on Wed. night, debate last night, and prayer meeting tonight. I think that is pretty good for one week.

March 21, 1904. I nearly starved this afternoon, and have decided to eat my dinner after this, after trying the new plan for three days.

I read my paper on Abnormal imagination today and Dr. Riley said it was good.

. . . . Last night was a memorable night. About 2:15 A.M. there was a severe earthquake. The house rocked, doors rattled, . . . Bella McEwen said she did not know what it was . . .. she was afraid to move for fear she would "set it up again". Some people who woke in a hurry thought there were burglars in their houses and grasped revolvers, etc. Edith Davis got up and looked at the graveyard to see if the dead were rising from their graves. She was sure the judgment day had come.

April 26, 1904. . . . . After debate most of us started to go out. Martha and we met a crowd of College boys going from a lecture at U.N.B. One of them joined us and went home with Martha. Some of the girls sang as we went along the street, and attracted more attention than they intended to. They are quite mortified about it now. I was ashamed to be in the crowd, though I did not help to swell the chorus.

May 2, 1904. Last Friday evening we had election of officers at Y.W.C.A. and I was unanimously elected President. I feel it is a great responsibility, but I am glad of the privilege of doing the work for the year. May God grant that I shall be faithful.

June 1, 1904. I wrote our last exam yesterday . . . . I was weighed yesterday and lost about 6 lbs. Since a little before Easter, and now weigh 116 . . . .

Aug 13, 1904. I arrived safely in Bathurst . . . . I found Aunt Maggie quite ill when I got home. She took Rheumatism in February, and has had it ever since. She was not able to do anything all through the packing house cleaning, and unpacking. Papa and Mabel . . . came by the Express. Our case came by a later freight. Mabel brought "Honey" with her in a box with slats nailed across it.

Sept. 10/04. The great sorrow of my life came upon me. [Violetís father had a major disagreement with the church, so he had decided to take up homesteading in Western Canada.] When I heard of it, my back got weak, I took dysentery, and my digestion seemed to stop, but thank God my mind was not overcome. Aunt Maggie left the next night Aug. 25, for England, and what a blessing she went just when she did.

The first Sunday there was no service as announced. Mabel went to Church of England in the evening, and I stayed home.

Sept. 20. We heard from Papa yesterday. He has secured a good piece of land 35 miles from Regina. [Saskatchewan]


[From 1955 writings: I wrote to Dr. Scott . . . I had been in his classes in Physics and Chemistry for a year. I stated my problem . . . . He replied, suggesting that we live with them . . . . we [Violet's sister Mabel and herself] did it between us, and both received room and board.]

On Thursday, Sept. 3, we left Harcourt. Mr. Wathen and Mr. Lutes came and nailed up the boxes for us. Blanch W. went in with us and we fixed up the rooms and locked the house. We went with her and had supper, and they came to the station. I do not think anyone could feel more lonely and desolate than we did when we got on the Express that night and I felt that we had no home in the whole wide world.




Fourth Year, University of New Brunswick

at Fredericton (1904 - 1905)


. . . . We like being here at Dr. Scotts . . . . I am learning a good deal about housework. Last Sat. Mrs. Smith, the Janitorís wife, and Mabel and I cleaned the kitchen, walls and all. Mabel lights the fire, I get breadfast. I have only one lecture on Tuesdays and Thursdays . . . .

Oct. 18. . . . . Last Friday night we succeeded in organizing a Y.W.C.A. amongst the Normalites. Miss. Lucas was there, and was a great help.

Dec. 19, 1904. Another anniversary of my unlucky birthday has arrived. I do not feel like writing resolutions, but since I am alive, I shall try to make the best of life while it lasts. Our Exams finished on the 15 th. I have been busy trying to sell Y.W.C.A. calendars.

March 8, 1905. I am sorry I did not write about Christmas before. We had a very pleasant time, and got serveral presents. Of course it was the most homesick Christmas we ever spent. Miss Perley was here to dinner so we were very busy most of the day. I had grippe for five or six weeks this term, and felt very miserable, but could do my work all the time, except study.

Hattie died on Feb. 6 and I miss her so. Many of the girls are very nice, but none are companions for me as Hattie was. Sometimes I envy her when I think of starting out to teach again . . . . She was such a strong and noble character . . . .

I went to a book party at Dr. Bailley and had a fine time. I represented "The Traveller," wore my hat, carried my coat, valise and timetable, and had a Toronto street car ticket pinned on my waist . . . Then we had charades. About 11 they started a dance, and I departed . . . .

May 11, 1905. Yesterday our class met and we each planted a tree on the College grounds. I planted one for Hattie.

May 15, 1905. In the evening we had our farewell meeting of the Debating Society. Subject: "Resolved that the cow is more beneficial to mankind than the horse." The affirmative won. I was on the winning side. The debate was very animated and interesting. Leaders, Clara Orr and Iris Fish. Then came the prophecies. They sent me to India as a Missionary but, oh horrors, they married me to a Hindoo . . . .

May 21, 1905. This afternoon we had the Seniors Farewell in Y.W.C.A. There was only Tillie and I to say "Farewell." Tillie spoke splendidly. In speaking of the changefulness of life etc. I spoke on the words "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever, then of the opportunities of the College girl, "Behold, I set before you an open door."

May 31, 1905. Yesterday afternoon was the Seniors Farewell banquet. There were only a dozen of us girls there. We would have had tea under the trees, but it was a windy afternoon, the ground was damp, so we had tea and the farewell speeches on the verandah. Then we went in the house and sang College songs.

I have graduated in 1st. Division after all. I made 1st. in Greek, Latin, and English, and 2nd. In Philosophy and Physics.

Violet's grad photo  -  10 kb
click to enlarge (10 kb)

Violet's graduation photo.


. . . . This evening Mabel and I went to the C.P.R. Station and found out for sure that there are cooking stoves on the excursion train.



In a publication called

The University Monthly

under "Biographical" they printed the following:

The Class of '05.

The following is a list of the '05 graduates [I am only including the one graduate from that list]. In bidding them farewell in this manner we wish them all a prosperous journey through life and hope they will continue their zeal to the Alma Mater, of which they are such creditable members.

Miss Violet Goldsmith.

Miss Goldsmith was a graduate of Prince of Wales College, P.E.I. She entered the University in her Junior year. She was a diligent and painstaking student, graduating in first division and was a delight to the Professors on account of her punctuality. She was a pillar of the Y.W C.A. and a leading light in the Delta Rio, from both of which Societies she will be greatly missed. Miss Goldsmith has gone to the wild and woolly west where she has undertaken the arduous task of imparting her knowledge to the youth of Stockholm, Sask. No doubt her influence for good will be felt even more there than it was in her short stay at the U.N.B.





DETAILED ACCOUNT of Diary and Memoirs

To Part 1: full school diary (64 kb).

To Part 2: Saskatchewan teaching, marriage, and overall summary (21 kb).

To Part 3: moving to Alberta and their homesteading experiences (49 kb).



to:     home page for a little


Since May 24, 2002 [counter].