In her 80s, Martha Linsley bought a small typewriter from Montgomery Ward, taught herself to type, and began to transcribe the hundreds of letters she, her children, and her husband James wrote to one another from June, 1932 to August, 1934.
Their correspondence may very well comprise the most extensive written insight into the day-to-day lives of a family dealing with the challenges of the Great Depression.
James lived in Minneapolis while Martha, Ruth and John set up housekeeping in a tiny cabin on a farm near Nevis, Minnesota. With no running water or electricity, the cabin remained uninsulated through two Minnesota winters. They wrote to each other almost daily.
Their dream of farming was never realized, but they were all transformed by the experience. And over 75 years later, there is an odd resonance to their struggles and concerns, and possibly a lesson in the way they often found comfort and entertainment in the simplest of things.
Roll-over for Mini-Bios:
Our 4-generation family team is working to make this available. We continue to add chapters, letters, photos and recipes as they are ready for the website. This is a glimpse into the lives of real parents and children living an adventure under extraordinary conditions.
Please sign up below for news and updates on the project and publication of our book.
... These people are hard to understand, they always make so many wise cracks about city folks a good deal like you do. It seems so silly. Each one knows best about their own way of living and working, why run the other fellow down because he doesn't know someone else's job as well as his own? I don't pretend to know much about farming but I do hope the garden and chickens etc. turn out well and that will speak louder than words....
letter to James on January 24, 1933