Homer Hine Stuart Jr.


Sunday, Nov. 21st 1886

My Dearest Maggie,
Yours Oct. 25 & November 2 received on my arrival last Thursday night with Mother. It is a good thing she is as tough as hickory or she never would have stood the trip. She left the city Wednesday by the fast express & was roasted in a hot car until reaching Jax, where not making
connections, she spent the night & Saturday ran to Enterprise & then connecting with Titusville train where I met her a 7 PM. We at once went to the Titus House for supper & then talked until most morning. Sunday in the afternoon we left on the "Goose" sailing all of Sunday night &
until 10 Monday night when we anchored. Tuesday went to the Travelers Rest at St. Lucie for breakfast & dinner leaving late in the afternoon & as the wind was not favorable for the run we remained at a Turtle Camp where mother spent the time in the woods gathering wild orange & lemons two nights in this camp & then we ran to Eden for dinner & made my camp late Thursday night. Mother would not venture to walk the dock nor would she let me carry her ashore but insisted on staying aboard the Goose. My friend Leonard Gardner came to camp with me & we cooked some supper & Friday was spent in unpacking. I think mother will like it here when
she satisfies herself that the place is wholesome but she is at present troubled because of a mist that hangs over some parts of the place where the ground is low. She received every attention by my friend when she stopped on her way here which pleased her greatly & the house is full of
oranges, limes, lemons, pines sent in by thoughtful fellows. Amongst the numerous contributions were flower seed, vegetable seed, Mango trees, Sappansi Plums & a Green Turtle which I have just finished canning. After a dinner of turtle steak & a soup for supper to follow. She has
not been off of the piazza until today when she went to a trade boat to
buy a broom & sauce pan. I think she is pleased with what has been accomplished & I know she is delighted with the house. At present she is in your room. She kicked like a wild Indian at the dinner I gave her & at once sent an order to the store that made my mouth water. She will
write you after she has a little rest but as she thinks everything is in such a state of confusion she will not keep still a moment Mother will write in a day or so.
Aff. Homer


Nov. 24th 1886

My Dearest Maggie,
Mother has been here long enough now for the place to be in some sort of shape. Yet we still use a trunk standing on end for a table in my room & a barrel in mother's. She spends most of her time chasing roaches or driving our Thanksgiving rooster out of the kitchen. Today we
concluded to take a pleasure trip & ran over to Besseys where we ate a water melon. It is a great undertaking to get mother sailing as the dock is not yet all made & she will not let me put her aboard the same as I would a bag of flour or you. Today she got part of the way on the dock &
then of course began to laugh & at last sat down on one of the stringers
unable to go or come. These heavy people are hard to manage, but once aboard the boat are splendid ballast. My shanty (mother always reproves me when I call the place we are living in a shanty) is fast changing its barn like look outside, as I am covering it with some nice weather
boarding from Georgia & it looks as if a barrel of paint would shortly start from New York. Had a letter from George [Gosling] in Chicago. His cousin will not come to Florida. I wrote George would like to buy him out but fear he no longer wishes to sell. I send a picture for Bell, think it would make her less nervous if she went to board in this family. Had an earth quake here yesterday. Three cans of turtle soup exploded. It seems good to have something to eat again. Mother says she intends to live well if the fleas, snakes, roaches, toads, lizards, spiders, sand spurs, ticks, scorpions, wasps, hornets, flies, bats, owls, & hard beds do make her get up at sunrise. They say pitch pine boards are healthy to sleep on. Try one. Am never going to answer any more of your questions. You never answer mine. Presume when this house is turned into a depot you are likely to stop over a train? Am going to eat a fried oyster & turn in for the night. Good night.


Sunday, Nov. 28, 1886

My Dearest Maggie,

It was so cold today that even mother had to give in & as I was arranging the table for supper on the piazza as usual, she came shivering out of her room with all the clothes she brought here on &
said, "Homie I'm afraid it is too cold on the piazza."
"Oh no I can stand it."
"But I can't."
So we dined in the kitchen, helping ourselves from the top of the stove to a crane (Sand Hill) shot this morning. Even mother, who when she went sleigh riding in the North brought a fan, admits that this is a cold place in a "Norther." This morning she was glad enough to have her cup of hot coffee before making the awful dash from bed clothes to warm clothes. But to me it all seems so comfortable at night to lie in, or rather on, a comfortable cot with plenty of blankets & hear the wind blow & not care one particle whether it rains or not. I expect in a short time to be so corpulent will have to get mother to help me in & out the boat. We are getting to be great hunters. Today we had our usual success. We go together & as we talk all the time the game has
ample time to disappear. Mother found a turtle shell & I nothing. As usual the mail did not come down last week. We made a desperate effort to get to the P. O. Mother getting quite wet from the splash of the waves & when she found she would have to be carried ashore, there being no dock at the landing, refused point blank to leave the boat until by brute force I snatched hold of her & once in the river her only choice was to keep quiet or get wet. She finds more to interest her in a
quarter of a mile walk than I would crossing the state & no matter where she goes returns covered with all kinds of stick seeds but, unlike the young lady of Federal Point, never refuses to let me pick them off. I think after this I will pretend not to notice how covered she is & she
may be more careful after a while. One has to use so much tact with a woman. You would be surprised to see the change in the inside of this house. You remember how it was before she came? Well it is quite different now. Could you describe a place better? (Tuesday, Nov.
30) Mother & I are just going to the P. O. We will run the "Goose" against Bessey's new boat the "Rosalind." She is a beauty, was launched yesterday & will clean up the Goose in great shape I presume. If she does it will do the Besseys great credit as the Goose, at present, is the fastest craft for her inches on the river. The weather is awful cold as the Norther still continues but we have such comfortable meals that it makes it much easier to stand the cold. Lots of love, Aff.,Homer


Dec. 7th 1886

My Dearest Maggie,

When I turned in last night it was with fear & trembling for fear the mercury would drop down to where it did last year & about an hour before day light concluding there was no place more uncomfortable that my bed started out & first examined the pineapple patch, no frost, then
looked at the thermometer: 39. A west wind was all that saved me. Smith's place (formerly Allen's) on the West shore of the river had a frost but it did not get up in the pines. Next thing on the docket was to start a fire & as usual had to chop the wood, the first whack with
the axe sent the piece of stick into my face so that when I went to the P. O. (where there was no mail) & they asked me the cause & I said a little misunderstanding with my mother, nothing of any consequence, they believed me knowing there was no one else to have trouble with. A little
before day light I went to Mother's room with a cup of hot coffee, the panacea of all troubles in this country, knocked on the door, only a groan, she was too cold to articulate. I poured the boiling hot coffee down her throat & got her on her feet & into the kitchen where she sat
holding a bottle (old whiskey bottle) of hot water with her feet in the oven while I prepared breakfast. We are not properly provided with blankets & have sent up the river for more which I trust will be here before we have another such night. Mother today, in consequence of her
rough night, has a stiff neck. If it is a warm day tomorrow will take her walking in the sun & hope to limber her up. Just at present she is also suffering from "red bugs." I don't know as you ever had any on you. They are so small it is with great difficulty you can see them & with
some people they are very irritating. She wanted to make a pillow out of pine needles & I brought a dead tree top on the piazza. In a few moments she began to wonder what was the matter. I gave her a slice of salt bacon & told her to go anoint herself. She protested a while but at last
could stand the agony no longer & did as told. Now she is comfortable. She was just beginning to venture off of the piazza a little but today a Gopher Snake that has been lurking about appeared again & now she wants to sleep on top of the house. I do not like to kill the creature for two
reasons. They are perfectly harmless & they keep away venomous snakes & rats. I put up a closet in mother's room for stores & the next day she found a little nest made by a field mouse half way in size between a mouse & rat. The creature had taken the strings off of every one of the
packages in the closet & all the fringe from a stack of gaudy Xmas & birthday cards & lined the nest with silk fringe. I upset every single thing in the room trying to catch him but he got away. If it were not for the cold nights we would have a very comfortable time. Mother takes
such an interest in the little walks & sails we take & finds so many strange plants & creatures I never see. Just now she is eating Cocoa Plums, they grow in abundance on the shore.

Wednesday, Dec. 8th. Woke up this morning with the cracked eye in bad shape so that it prevented my working & I spent most of the time talking scandal with mother while she picked the needles from pine trees for pillows. She woke up feeling very much refreshed & to add to her joy
found the flea that has been troubling her ever since she came was captured. She says tonight that it does not seem possible one little creature could be hungry all the time. We are both of us very fond of Fried Doves & had them for supper tonight. Mother always remonstrates
with me for shooting them, but when cooked & on the table she keeps her end up. Today at supper I entertained her with a full account of my visit to Palmetto Bluff & above all the menu: Soup, Rice Pudding. (I believe that was all) Did I write you that in order to insure my house I
have applied for the agency for the river. It is very doubtful whether I procure it as the Companies do not like to take risks in the woods. Have owing to my absence for the city have tried to have some friends put the matter through for me & this is one of the reasons why I shall not be
surprised to be refused. I never have good luck when I go to a friend for help. Inglis subscribed to the Albany Sunday Press for me & the paper is a great addition. I spent a summer once with the Editor Mr. Rooker & liked him very much. He has a son, a Priest in Rome, Italy.

Thursday, Dec. 9th, thermometer: 71, 8 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 10th
Something rather unusual for us here, a steady rain ever since early last night. A rather comfortable way you will say to spend the day. Mother would read me a chapter of "Mrs. Herndon's Income," & then I would read the next to myself. The book is of particular interest to me being intimately acquainted with the author & familiar with most of the
characters & places described. Inglis sends so many papers now that it is hard work to turn in at the proper time especially as we have a regular lighthouse of a lamp. My room is used as the sitting room so as not to draw mosquitoes into mother's. Mother is disgusted because of no mail. Thermometer: 68, 8 p.m.

December 12th 1886-Sunday
Mother & I gave a little dinner party today. Only the Bessey Bros. were here but we had a good time just the same. Wish you could get hold of a book that has interested me very much "Mrs. Herndon's Income." Would like to know your opinion of it. We have a little cat owl that
comes every night while we are eating supper & sits on a beam over us on the piazza. At breakfast today mother lost all appetite seeing a raccoon walking about in the pineapple patch. The mail is now carried by steam & as the steamer is a very miserable affair presume we will
have more trouble that usual with it. (the mail) So far it has not been very productive. Am expecting one of these days to get a letter answering my questions about what you think of making mother a visit next winter.

Monday Dec 13th 1886
As usual before turning in last night mother called me into her room & while she stood on a chair screaming I chased a harmless little mouse about until he gave up & let me mash his head with a stick. I shut her door tight & went into my room. Such a racket. It seemed as if all the
rats in creation were in the house. Every once in a while frantic screams from Mother's room: "You must get a cat, or trap." At last I got to sleep but only for a little while, I thought all the dishes were being broken & there was a Possum on the table with his idiotic smile.
Of course I had to make the best of it & while mother sat eating her breakfast & saying how delicious the applesauce was & in this climate what a perfect substitute for butter, I agreed with her & to prove it ate some more of the delicate flavored applesauce thinking all the time
of what she would think if I told her the picture of the night before. An Opossum standing in the dish of applesauce & munching the wing of a chicken, his tail resting on the sugar bowl. However it is a bad plan for me to see all the ins & outs of this life. "But the form that seems
delicious, Like the hair is all fictitious False like the feigned affection; False as her bright complexion--The making up in such a case is very much an art. Tonight a house cat walked into the house & has been on the war path ever since, Mother sends love, Good night Mag.
Aff. Homer


Tuesday Dec. 21st 1886

My Dearest Maggie

Mother & I went to the P. O. this AM. where we found your letter Dec 6th & the poem to mother. Have not had a chance to see the poem yet but know it is a good one or you would not have chosen it. The pepper box has not yet arrived. When it comes will keep it on the table to
remind me of the spicy times I had with a hot tempered creature once on the S. S. Tallahassee. I hope it will not be lost in the mail. If it does not come will have to let the Chow-Chow remind me of you. I must have something or never would think of you . Am glad to hear that Bell
is improving. What a time your mother has first with one & then another of her unruly children: mother was saying today she thought Bell would be benefited here & I immediately began to plan where to put her . She once told me she did not like to sleep on the ground floor & I
see no way but to cut the room in half. I mentioned in my last over the hall & have the colored boy a little smaller than at first was proposed. We became so excited over the plan of enclosing the hall & making a room over it that today I sent an order to Titusville for lumber & now hope
we will not be kept in suspense eternally. I have worked myself out of material & go about picking up odds & ends & old scraps to make shelves etc. out of. I do not see my way clear to making a fireplace & think we will have to content ourselves with an open stove imitation of a fire
place. Then I will get two little bits of stoves, One for your & one for Burrs room. These will only be used in our blizzards & most of the time the hall stove will warm the house. Katie sends two awful pictures of the baby. Have you one of her? I have two good ones & will send you one if you have not. She is not as pretty as when only a month old. I should think it would be depressing amongst so many sick people as there are at Mrs. Burrs, Quite a contrast to this place where no one is sick. Mother has said over & over again: "This place is absolutely healthy." It was
quite a surprise to her as she thought she would be troubled with malaria. You must give the place a trial next winter & don't forget your muff. Last night it was so cold we did not pretend to keep warm & today 80. You see if the house had any warming arrangement we would be just as
comfortable as could be. Good night & lots of love. Aff Homer


Wednesday, Dec. 22nd

In the morning Mother & I will sail over to the P. O. where Gardner will be with his boat & take us to his camp & the next day we will sail to Ankona to the party. Just think of the trouble & time it takes to have a little fun here. Mother's wash-woman came today with the clothes, an accumulation of five weeks. She gave mother an invitation to a "Big time" Xmas but previous engagements prevented us from accepting. This big time will consist in getting away with large quantities of bad whiskey & every man, woman, & child will get drunk. Mother received a letter from a N. Y. cousin saying "Come home at once. Do not stay in that place a moment
& may God spare you long enough to get away." He had been reading in the N. Y. Tribune that the Seminoles had on their war paint. All this arose from the little misunderstanding I wrote you of just before mother came.

When I returned from the P. O. last Tuesday after a fruitless trip, Mother was on the end of the dock & I saw in a moment something awful was the matter. While reading in her room she heard a noise & a little box was pushed off her shelf. She looked to see what the matter was &
there was a snake, for a moment she could not move & when she did she moved lively & spent the remainder of the time on the dock until I came & killed the snake. She has never let me build steps to the house for fear they could climb up. Well there was a great time & she concluded
the snake came in a window under which there is a table on which she is starting orange seed. We concluded to always keep the window shut, but today hearing a heart rendering scream I rushed to the house & there was M. & another snake on the piazza. Now I am going to work to make my
windows as soon as possible. Have been working on the house all this week. Ceiling etc. Made a closet in the dining room shaped like a bay window & gradually as it neared completion it looked more & more like a great hogs head & now it looks just like one. I wanted to have a faucet
for a handle to the door & paint a bung-hole but M. will not permit. A baby was born on the river last week: The first white child ever born here. [Alwina Stypmann] Poor baby. Lots of love. I am yours, Homer


Saturday, Dec. 25 1886

On Thursday Mother & I sailed over to the P. O. where Gardner met us & sailed us to his place which is no longer a camp as he has a first rate little house & the nucleus of a pretty place. Mother presented them with a Possum all dressed ready for the oven & a boat before us had just left a Turtle which with preserves sent from home & sundries in the camp made
a way up dinner. We gave Mother the up stairs & with the aid of a ladder she got there through a window. The weather was so bad we could not go to the party but spent two pleasant days in wandering about on the beach & visiting Uncle Joe's place which I consider the most interesting one on the river. Mother got covered with wood ticks & red bugs & although
she had a first rate time was glad enough to get home this afternoon to the comforts of this house. To her it has been a novel way of spending Xmas. I sincerely trust another year will see you perfectly well taking in the sunshine of Indian River. If we could always have the temperature
of today 75 it would suit me to a T. Again we were disappointed in not having the mail come down on Friday. During our absence the cat left.
Good night Maggie

Monday, Dec. 28th
Have just read your poem to Mother, "Spinning." It was sad, but very pretty. Yours was the only card that came & I presume the rest like mine to you will come in later. I saved my card thinking time would be gained by sending it to Titusville, but the Bessey Boys could not get the
"Rosalind" ready in time. perhaps you will receive it by New Years. This was the day for the law suit but owing to mistake of the Justice it will not come off until the 3rd of January. Don't I wish you could be here to breakfast. We are going to have doves a favorite dish of Mother's.
Mother thought she would have nothing to do here but she actually does not find time to write her letters & I do not exactly know what in the world it is that keeps her so awful busy. Life with
her is one round of excitement. One week over the mail & the next because there is none. Yesterday while eating dinner a large mud turtle came walking up to the house & was immediately captured & is now anchored in the river. If you have received all my letters since I have been settled (One a week) you will think by this time that I am improving as a correspondent but it is unsatisfactory to know that letters are occasionally lost. You will appreciate this next winter.
Good night Maggie, lots of love from aff. Homer


December 30th 1886
My Dearest Maggie,
Yesterday I sailed over to the P. O. alone as I expected to have considerable walking to do & as the woods were wet thought mother had better attend to her correspondence. First your two Owls. What more appropriate for me than an owl? As they stand on the dining table one
stuffed with Curry & the other with salt I always think of (now I suppose you are prepared for taffy) Old Governor Morgan as he sat in the Brick Church, 5th Ave. 37th St. Father used to say he was considered very wise & that the reason was he never opened his mouth but looked
like an owl. Mother used to say she thought it a great insult to an owl to compare it with Governor Morgan. Now Maggie I don't know exactly how to take these two owls. Are you making fun of me, or is it your quiet way of teaching me a lesson? When you studied Natural History you will
remember of how the owl ate his dinner? When you dine with us we will remove the salt from the undecorated one & fill him up with red pepper. They are the prettiest articles on the table & about the most useful. My old pepper box was glass & cost 10 , & while speaking of the dining
table & the pleasant things connected with it let me just remark that for supper tonight we had a most delicious Plum Pudding made by Katy in Saginaw. It was way up, enough brandy to prevent its sale in Main[e] & with some wine mother keeps only for cooking it made a royal dish. I
wish you could have had some of it. Not the Pudding, the wine. Also received your letter dated 12/5th. So you are growing fat & will be a winter girl after all? If it is only one pound a week all next year, you will made splendid ballast. But to return to the P. O. From there I
walked up to Bonkers (You know where that is?) & found there would be no law suit, that Lucas wanted to settle without a suit. Am glad that I acted in this matter as it will teach him a lesson. While there we concocted a plan to have a Yacht Race on the St. Lucia of the local
boats & a dinner & grand pow wow at the life saving station in the evening. A boy called today with a large black dog & some Guava plants. Mother took such a fancy to the dog that the poor boy gave, or rather, lent him to mother making her promise she would give him up at any time
for a bear hunt. The dog is now suffering from a long gash in the shoulder he received a few weeks ago while fighting a bear. His master went to the well to get some water & there found a bear drinking & quite unusual for these animals here, he attacked the man who had only a
short distance to go to his camp. The dog hearing the disturbance came to the rescue with the above mentioned result. Mother thought the boy would enjoy his dinner better if she did not come to the table so he & I ate first & when Mother came she found the dog & cat making away with
what was left. She is growing attached to the dog & the cat has again returned.


January 1st 1887

There being no mail yesterday & as it rained all of today I have spent my time in writing a story & as the paper for which I am a regular contributor is in Shanghai China I thought you would not be likely to see the article so I send you my M. S.Will send it next mail. You must
not be surprised at the dreary outlook of the story. When you know that this is just such a day as the one spent at Palmetto Bluff you will see how impossible for an author to do any better. If mother was not with me today I would go out of my head, as it is I am only about half right. I
am an ungrateful wretch for I want the rain very much having just put cotton seed meal on the pines & this wet weather is just the thing to soak it in. So I am glad it rains. It is 1/4 of 5 & so dark I just lit the lamp. I just took up one of my diaries of 1883. There I see that
January 1st I was at Fishkill at a Phantom Party. Went to bed at 4 a.m. Tuesday, Albany, Deleran House, Sold Johnson & O'Riley through Nip Hicky. Wednesday, Troy American House. Thursday, Newburgh, Orange Hotel. Friday went to a reception in New York. Saturday, Philadelphia & so the
diary goes on through the year winding up with Friday, Dec 28th, Jacksonville. Saturday, Dec 29th, Charleston to Washington. Sunday Dec 30 Baltimore Coxsackie Monday Dec 31st Coxsackie, Jan 1st 84 Coxsackie. Jan 1st 1885 I spent on the St. Johns River going to Sanford & Jan. 1st 1886 I think I was here. Now at the commencement of the New Year Eve most of us make lots of new resolves (I don't because I am too old) I suppose you will make a lot this year & break them the same as you did last. I presume you will resolve to sit up straight. I noticed in the
picture taken of your diploma you are bent forward something in this shape Try not to do so any more. I think perhaps if I put it in a crooked frame it will not be so noticeable. I do not call to mind your other faults just now but as they crop out to your notice you will
please correct them. Tuesday Morning am just starting for the P. O. A Norther & awful cold 44. We were both of us almost frozen last night.
Hope to get a mail
Aff. Homer

The Goose

The Goose is for sale. $250 buys her, she is 21 ft. long, 9 ft 6 in. beam & draws 18 inches. Built by the Bessey Bros. & warranted sound. With the exception of the Rosalind she is the fastest craft on the East or West Coast of the American Continent (Maine alone has 3000 miles of
sea coast) She has never been beaten by any boat, in any part of the world with the above exception. She has not a worm-hole or cock-roach in her & at the price asked is literally a present to the purchaser. Why is she sold at this minimum price? She is only a year old, round bottom, &
hard wood timbers, & has beaten from Rockledge to Waveland in two days! The reason is this. For almost three years the owner has waited upon the foreign population of this section of the country ( Mail population of St. Lucia River, Foreign 6 American 3) lending his boats for weeks at a time, going for the mail in all kinds of weather, wading ashore with German newspapers & sides of bacon until these people have come to consider it an established rule that blow which way it will little attentions will be paid them. The occasional "thank you" which he received while standing up to his waist in water satisfied him & he would have kept the Goose another three years if only for this purpose had it not been for the fact the Tuesday March 25th in a blinding rain
storm & strong wind, being without any ballast & caught napping the Goose deliberately turned her keel up to the zenith leaving her occupant the choice of perishing in the cold nights wind, or feeding the gators in attempting to swim ashore. Kind providence favored him in sending a
non describable craft to his assistance in which he contrived to make the land ( & right here let me mention that the man who was upset, did not write this article & knows nothing of it & never will unless he chances to see it in this paper. You see there is no malice evinced but
only a round about way of procuring an ad without paying.) The next day these three Americans before mentioned worked straining every muscle to get the Goose righted & not a particle of aid was offered by any of these foreigners who looked on with dutch indifference. Even the
Seminole Indians when a boat upset last winter came to the assistance of the unfortunate, even refusing compensation. When we look to the wild savages as an example it is time to sell out. That is what I am doing. The Goose is for sale & I am going to a land where the next time I
capsize it will be from a load of hay. Bank bills, negotiable paper, agricultural implements & ticket NORTH taken.

Goose, Waveland, Dade Co. Fla.


January 13th 1887

My Dearest Maggie,
Mother & I are still in darkness & worse than all the mail for some four trips has not seen so we do not know when we will receive oil & letters. Last Tuesday I thought she would go distracted when I returned without any. I had such a delightful call. Went to Mt. Elizabeth to see the
Darlings on business & took dinner. Now they have some five or six young white headed children & for dinner we had bread & a great pan of white gravy made from flour & pork fat. One of these interesting little creatures got the dish under the table & when found was covered from
head to foot & either to put a stop to the dinner or out of pure motherly pride Mrs. D. held the child up for us all to admire. When I returned I brought mother two cook melons which we have since tried to persuade the hens to eat. A bag of lemons one cat some red peppers &
cactus apples. The wind is south & the weather warmer today. I enclosed a room on the back piazza to be used for dining purposes. It looks more like a big bird cage than any thing else being made of lath & not yet covered with mosquito net. The Goose is on dry land, drying preparatory
to painting etc. & as tomorrow is mail day & the Besseys not at home I don't see how we will get any. Monday 16th. Yours with answer at last received. All sighs. Am glad to know because one has to arrange so far ahead in this country. Can tell you one thing & that is you will not
miss much by not coming. Am going to start up the river in the morning for a week or so, so good night with love Aff. Homer

Monday, Jan. 31st 1887

My Dearest Maggie,
Last Saturday word was sent me to get the Bessey Bros & start at once for the beach where there was a wreck going to pieces. I sailed over & started the Besseys off then returned
& made a tremendous Jack Pot of venison & potatoes & with crackers & tea & mother's cot in the Goose she & I left the Bungalow at sundown arriving at the House of Refuge on the
beach about 10 that evening. Early in the morning a party of nine of us left M at the Station & started up the beach a half mile where the Sloop Outing of New York was ashore. We worked on her all day & part of this morning & got her far enough up the beach ridge to be out of danger. She is the property of the Gardner Bros being given to them by the master for transportation to
Rockledge. She was sent out by the magazine Outing from New York on a trip around the world. They expected to be three years on the trip but in making the run from St. Augustine
to Nassau was caught in a heavy Norther & all her stays parted & she sprang a leak making it necessary to beach her. In the breakers she swamped & the captain & other man jumped
overboard & swam ashore. She is a pretty little thing 28 ft. long & came from Roundout on the Hudson. Of course there was no cargo. A few girls pictures & some groceries was all.
The Gardners sold her for $75 on the spot. She cost $750. These fellows were only allowed $1.25 per day expenses on this trip & I do not think they cared to continue much longer even
if they had had better luck. Tomorrow I think after going to the P. O. I will devote the rest of the day to Sunday as last & the Sunday before I worked hard all day & now feel as if I would like to sit down for twenty four hours.


Sunday Feb. 13th

Finding this old letter assures me that it must be two weeks since I have written. While mother remained at Ankona I took a trip to Titusville for more lumber & on my return found her
in a state of wildest excitement. Inglis has a verdict in his favor at the Court of Appeals placing him in the first rank of the Junior Bar & giving him some not to be despised
"dust." He writes he will make Katie a visit & then come here for a few weeks. This is a great feather in Inglis' cap. If I can get the letter from M will send it to you. Much to my
surprise I received notice of being appointed road Commissioner for Eden District. As there is not a single road in the district do not know what my duties will be. Last Friday M & I went to a party at Waveland & it was just dawning when we returned. M thought it a novel way to be
taken ashore on my back. I trust before you reach the river there will be other ways of locomotion as I infer from your letters you must be very fat. Am inclined to be encouraged
at the looks of the place as everything is growing well. When the wind blows 75 m per hour here we call it a gale. Presume in Colorado it would hardly be a fair sailing breeze.
If you are growing too fat better do as our president of whom you are so fond, (notice enclosure) Will send you the paper with my article provided they print it. This is the first
Sunday in over a month that I have not had work & I find it quite comfortable making it a day of rest.
Good night & lots of love.


March 18th 1887

Dearest Maggie,
What would you think of spending all day on your way from the P. O? Such was my luck today & were it not that I was afraid Mother would be anxious I should not have attempted to get home. As it was, everything in the boat was soaked & I rounded up to the dock just at sundown. But
was well repaid for the days work as we received a mail & in it yours of the 7th. Also one from Inglis in which he states he will not be able to leave before the 22nd & perhaps, not at all. I shall be very much disappointed if he does not make me a visit as this will be his last chance for years to come. Also a letter from Cousin Sam Goodrich in which he mentions a call from a Mr. Sheldon of Vermont with whom M. & I spent some pleasant days at the St. Lucia Hotel. M. gave him a letter of introduction to Inglis & Sam. The letter mailed in Enterprise I presume
was one I gave to some person bound North. For a long time we sent letters this way when we could for the mail was not to be depended upon. The woods all about here have been on fire for
several weeks & the air is like a thick fog. Yesterday for a change we had a violent hail storm with the usual quantity of wind. The house is constantly being made stronger & stronger & I hope the time is not far distant when I will no longer fear these heavy winds. I presume I am
unnecessarily nervous on this point as all who examine it say it is plenty strong enough. I send you another of my valuable newspaper articles. Perhaps you will better understand the point when I mention that there is a family of 27 by the name of Hogg moved into the settlement. Don't you like Stockton? You do not mention anything about your mother's throat so I take it for granted she is not troubled any more. I hope this is the case. It is bad enough to have a mother always
on the point of choking to death & it only makes matters worse to keep in view a mother in law whose condition is the same. I have suggested to my mother she take her nourishment in the same way that Katie's little Margaret does. Mother remonstrates. You better try & persuade your
mother. Mother says, "Tell her I want so much to write her a letter, that I have so much to say but have got to wait until I have a great deal of time, which I never have here," The fact is she is busy from morning until night & you have no idea what a comfort & help she is to me. She travels about in a boat as if she was a young girl & if it were not for the fleas would be very comfortable but they torment the very life out of her. Glad they do not bite you.


The Bungalow, May 10 1887

My Dearest Maggie,
This is a lonesome place now. I wish I was in Athens. Am writing this in Mother's room. Everything is just as she left it & I find myself walking about on tip toe as if afraid of awakening her. Yet there
is something ridiculous about the place after all. The sun has just gone down & on the wire door are countless numbers of horse flies trying to get to my light. Articles of furniture are few, a little tin bath tub turned bottom side up in the middle of the floor. A chest full of old papers & business letters, Mother's cot standing on end in a corner & the table at which I am writing. I see she has left it furnished ready for use with your picture framed & no matter which way I turn it I can't
make you look at me. I shall not go to Ohio. Mother must go to Coxsackie & presume by this time you & she have talked Florida thoroughly. She was game to the last returning all the way to Titusville in the Goose. Not many of her age that could stand a trip like that. She & Inglis had a
good time going up Inglis shooting at every living creature on the way except people. May 12th During a thunder-storm I have been in the house sorting over some papers Inglis sent down. Old letters long since forgotten. How they ever came to be saved is more that I know. They go
way back to the time when I was sixteen & 14. I was a better correspondent in those days. Perhaps there was something to write about? In those day I should have laughed at the idea of spending days at a time alone. I sometimes think now that perhaps I am out of my mind is
the reason I do it. You know there are only about three people in a thousand who are in their right mind. Tomorrow I break the spell by going to the P. O. & from there to "Crusoe City" after banana plants perhaps to be away two or three days. This is wild dissipation & it
makes me tired to think of it especially when I consider the plants deep down in the soil & the work to get them out. As my cooking is going on & it is about time for more wood I must wind up. But let me tell the dish that is cooking. It is an experiment & from the looks think it will
Pan out well. In a little iron pot the following articles in this order: bacon, rabbit, Irish potatoes, squash, string-beans, parsley, red-pepper, black-pepper, salt, water. It is a bungalow stew.
My love to all your family & lots & lots to you.
I am aff. Homer