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21st Birthday in Morin Heights

March 1920

Nell tells the story of how she came to celebrate her 21st birthday in Morin Heights away from family and friends.

The "Aunt" who cooked for the girls, the other girl who was recuperating, Nell, "Uncle" Abe and seated, unknown woman (family member?) in Morin Heights, March 1920.

Clouding of the Lungs

I didn't have any problems. The only thing I had was too much work and too much fun. When I was 21, I had to go away because I had the clouding of my lungs.

I was working at that time down on St. James St. It was at Johns-Manville. It was before they got where they are today. I was working and also going out at night on parties, dates and things. The building that we were in - it was an old, old building. If you wanted to go to the toilet it was down in the basement and it was all water down there. It was really an old, dirty building.

I think maybe I caught cold and didn't take care of it, because I mean, I was too busy having a good time.

So I went to the doctor and he told me that I'd have to give up smoking. I said I never smoked and he said, "You can tell your mother that but you can't tell me."

I said, "I don't care but I don't smoke." 

He said, "I'll have to get you to get away then. You've got to get away and get rid of that infection in your lungs." 

Recuperating in Morin Heights

So I went up to Morin Heights and I was up there for a month when I was 21. I had my 21st birthday by myself up there.

That's Uncle Abe. That's when I was 21 when I was up in Morin Heights recuperating and he was in the house that I stayed in. But there were two of us recuperating there. And the minister was there that was sweet on me.

"Uncle Abe" and Nell, March 1920


Interior of the Anglican Church in Morin Heights, March 1920


It was near the church there. Just a house. But they were very good to me. They brought a porridge up to my bed. They weren't even a married couple. It was an Uncle and an Aunt that lived together. It's an old family house and she did the cooking.

The other girl who was not well.


This church photo was taken around the same time as the others in this set. It is not the Anglican church in Morin Heights but may have been nearby. Abt. 1920


The Curate and Nell

While I was there I met the curate who came out to preach on the Sunday. So he and I went around together.  But he wouldn't let me go into the houses because it was when they had a flu epidemic. That's one reason the doctor sent me away too. He didn't want me in town when the flu epidemic was on. It wasn't pneumonia. 

But he came to see me after when I got home but I was never cut out to be a minister's wife and I knew it. It's nice to have company when you're away from home like that and it's nice to have somebody interested in you, even though you're not that much interested in making a deal of it.

"Uncle Abe" is on the left.  One of the other two men is the curate who was "sweet on" Nell and the other man is unknown. Which of the men is the curate? Who was the other man?


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