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.
... It is nice and cozy in here this morning and thru each window I can see pictures as pretty as any painting. We let the cat stay in at night now. She caught a mouse last night. I have the car covered and it is close by the north window. With the snow it is easy to tell if any one comes around the house and where they come from....
letter to James on October 31, 1932