It was the Spring of 1933 when Emily (Squires) Wiggin set off on a trip around the continental United States and Canada. A year earlier, Emily became a widow when her husband Charles died in their home state of California. This trip would take her from the Pacific to the Atlantic and then north through Canada on her return home. The trip would also include a two-day visit in Orillia, Ontario to see how her niece, Mattie (Knox) Latimer was getting along.
Mattie was the oldest child and only daughter of Emily’s older sister Amy (Squires) Knox. Amy and her husband Thomas were solid fixtures in California where Thomas had served for many years as Postmaster and Mayor of Livermore and then as a County Supervisor. Mattie had not remained in California however, moving to Canada soon after marrying Edward Latimer in 1906.
Fortunately, Emily kept a diary of her trip and so we learn directly from her that on Saturday, May 6, 1933, she arrived in Toronto at 7:45 a.m. to a downpour where she was welcomed and greeted by Charlotte (Latimer) Mullett, the sister of Edward Latimer, Charlotte’s daughter Doris Mullett, and Albertine ‘Abby’ Latimer, Edward and Mattie’s eldest child who would accompany Aunt Emily to Orillia for her visit.
After a breakfast of coffee and toast, Aunt Emily and Abby reached Orillia by train around noon where they were met by Abby’s brother Knox Latimer. As Emily described the visit, “After dinner with Mattie and family, who all gave me a warm welcome, we went through a nearby hospital, then Knox took us, Mattie, Tess [Tess was Ellen’s mother Olive Theresa Evelyn (Latimer) Wagner] and me for a ride in a truck to a Park and Statue of Champlain…Hazel and Jack also came over to see me. Had a most enjoyable day.”
It sounds like it was also a tiring day, for in her entry for Sunday, May 7th, Emily starts off with, “Everybody slept late, but all were on hand for dinner. Ed [referring to Mattie’s husband Edward Latimer] not so hilarious today as yesterday.” Following a Sunday afternoon drive around the town of Orillia to see the sites, Emily caught the 7:10 p.m. train back to Toronto where she purchased some post cards and her train ticket to Vancouver. After commenting in her diary that “Albertine was lovely and invaluable,” she “went to bed right away on the train and slept well.”
Finally, my sincere thanks to Ellen’s cousin Pam Marino of Jamestown, California for the previously unseen by us photos and diary pages for which she granted permission for me to share with other family members through this post!