Aprail the 2nd, 1883
dear father & mother I hope when this reaches you that it will find yous all well as this leaves us all well at present the weather is getting warmer now it has been a cold winter all through every one here thinks the Water will be high this year again Nothing seems to firghten people from coming to this country every train comes in there is from three hundred too seven and eight hundred yestarday there was fifteen hundred peaple on the train I am sorry about my mother being so porrly if yous would care to have me go down this summer to see you I would go for a month we had a letter from davidson about his farm we told him if he dont sell it to the fall we will make him an offer for it the one at the lake we would not give anything for McNabs old place we will get our deed for this in the fall for this place if we buy a farm there we will give it to yous to live on and rent your own houses we want not go back to live there if yous had that place of davidsons yous could live easier nor [word illegible] we will pay the cash down for a farm when we buy be on the look out for a place with a good orchard there was one of our nebhors froze to death about three weeks ago he lives three miles from us he went to St Vincent for flower for the family and he got drunk and lost his way his boy come to town to look for him thinking he was in some of the taverns the people turned out to look for him and found him half way froze stiff a sad sight the children goes to school every day they are getting good scholars I hope My Mother is all right by this the Warm weather will do her good write soon yous wount be so buseyA few more letters are written after this one in 1883, the most important feature of which is that the Gambles find out that their mother/grandmother back in Ontario has passed away before anyone can come back to visit her. It is a great shock to the family, and they are very concerned for the older relatives left behind, how they will cope...
St. VincentSoon after this, Mary sends a letter that conveys much general discontent among the early settlers of St. Vincent due to companies meddling in the layout of the town; neighbor Emerson, Manitoba is also mentioned, having its own share of troubles during this time...
October 20, 1883
My dear Maggie I received your kind and welcome letter and was glad to hear that you were getting better.
There was a big fire in St Vincent on tuesday night - a livery stable and 2 other buildings was burned one of the buildings was not insured some people say there was a man burnt but I do not know if it is true they sent some bones to St Paul to get them examined It has been very cold here it snowed and most of the People has not their potatoes out - and the rain wet the stacks and the wheat is very wet we have not thrashed yet - but I think we will soon it is very muddy here just now but not very cold You asked me to tell you who it was that sent the card it was Jane I guess I have told you all the new I saw in the paper about Lizzie Watsons marriage
Be sure and tell me all the new so good by for the present
November 12, 1883
Dear father We received Maggys letter all right and I hope this will find you both well as this leaves us all well at present the wether is nice now the ground is hard frozen too weeks ago we thrashed last week and the grain turned out well we wouled six bushels of wheat and we had a hunred and ten bushels of it the price is very low there is no sale for barly or oats at all people is offring them at twenty cents a bushel the country is full of grain it yealds so well the only trouble there is no market for is there is only one man buying and he can get is for what he likes to offer if another party would buy the railroad company would not give cars to take it away and they are trying ther best to keep other railroads out I thought I would be able to send yous something before this but with paying for our tree claim and keeping such a big family it keeps us busey we had either to pay for it or loose it when we have the deed it will be safe then Next Wednesday is the day the 14 of November and any time after January we can aply for the deed of our homstead we wount have to pay anthing for it the company is going to sell the lots in the new town site in the spring the surveyors has been here for a week they don't carry on any busness in St Vincent it is all done at the transfer the people in St Vincent is thinking of taking an action aginst the company for moving all their buildings they have left St Vincent no worth five cents no body would venture one coller on a lot for when the lots is open for sale at the transfer every one will buy there Emerson is broke down altogether people that owned thousands when we come there first is not worth a doller to day the sherif is selling people out every day They are taxed so heavy that they cant live I think I have told you all the news this time you must write soon and let us know what is going on I think through the winter I will be able to help you we have plenty of everything only money and it is very scarse goo by for the present and be sure you write soon.
Mary Ellen Gamble