From Marjorie Ohls to her friend Carroll Simmons 

Comments: Thanks to the Internet, I recently discovered that Marjorie Ohls also went by the name of Marjorie Chalmers.  After training and working at Eitel Hospital in Minneapolis, Marjorie moved to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where she was instrumental in treating Appalachian citizens who had never had professional medical care before.  You can find more references to her and her remarkable work here.

Lake Minnetonka was a fashionable resort area around the turn of the century.  Streetcars made frequent trips from the Twin Cities to the lake.

"Simmie" was apparently a nickname of Mary's.

Presumably, the Simmons family showed Marjorie the Ramsey Mill ruins on the Vermillion River just outside of Hastings.  Carroll continued the family tradition; his great-niece and nephew have memories of picnicking by the mill with him.  The ruins are still there today, just as picturesque as they were in 1918.

Laddie was the family dog.  I have a picture of Carroll with a farm-dog that dates from around this time, and I'm assuming the dog in the picture is him.

Here is a scan of this letter.

*    *    * 

"Havarist" - Casco Point.
Lake Minnetonka, Minn.
September 5, 1918.

Dear Carroll,

Did you think I never would write? I almost thought so myself, of late, but I've decided to surprize us both. Simmie told me last Sunday, that you were printing your own pictures and having great success at it. I'm very anxious to know how you overcame the difficulty of using lamps, how you fixed the red light, and all about it.

We got some pamphlets on Kodakry that would help but little on the printing, so I didn't even send them. I had intended printing some pictures from the ones we took that memorable Sunday, but I went first to Bald Eagle Lake, and then directly here, which gave me only time to fix the clothes I needed. That's one disadvantage in being a girl.

I gave Simmie the films to send to you before I left the hospital, and I suppose by now, you have printed them. Some are quite good, don't you think so? Especially for so small a Kodak.

Carroll Simmons, ca 1918, with a dog that I assume is Laddie.

We went in to town yesterday and I took three rolls of films to be developed. I hope to get two dozen good pictures, too, for there is not one I care to lose.

We are having a lovely time out here. It's quiet and peaceful, and the scenery is exquisite. I can still say, however, that the loveliest spot I've found in all Minnesota is the valley where stands the old mill.

I shall never forget that lovely place, or the folks who showed it to me. That day was perfect.

So, Carroll, if you value your hair, don't let Laddie chew the evidences of my good time. Send them either to Mary or to me at the hospital, and if I've started home, someone will forward them.

Good luck.

Marjorie Ohls.

P.S. - If you don't answer this - I refuse to send it to you - Remember me to your dear family. Someday, I may see you all. "Olie."

*   *   *

Return to Letters