January in Oysterville…

Medora Espy, c. 1908

On January 11, 1908, nine-year-old Medora Espy wrote to her mother:
Mama, I wish you could see me.  My cheeks are as red as my sweater.  Skating yesterday, snowballing and sliding today.  It has snowed all day long exsepting [sic[ a little this evening.      The weather here gets worse and worse all the time.  Papa says it will soon be too cold to snow.

The following year, on January 15, 1909, she wrote:
    Dearest Mama,  There was a ship [the French sailing ship Alice] come in last night at three o’clock.  The crew consists of 27 men.  They can’t speak English.  Bradford, Dorothy and I went to see the ship.  The ship is about a mile from Ocean Park.  There was quite a number going from town. We didn’t have any school after (12) twelve o’clock because we wanted to go see the ship.

On Friday, January 29, 1915, Mama wrote to Medora:
Dear Medora,   Some news today, tho maybe you have heard that Nahcotta burned to the ground day before yesterday.  Everything gone.  It started in the old Petit Hotel, spread to Morehead’s store, thence to other hotel across taking depot, post office and Duggans.  Duggans stock insurance had run out on the 16th of this month.  Isn’t it too bad….  

From Medora’s Diary, January 3, 1916:
My seventeenth birthday.  Why I am really becoming a young lady!  I shall live this year cheerfully without any sentimental attachment awaiting my prince, and preparing for him.  If in all the long years he never comes, I have lots to do for others.

Medora’s Diary, August 1914

On January 11, 1916, Medora wrote: Portland, Dearest Mama –  Just a hasty line to let you know I am perfectly safe.  It seems good to be back in a way tho’ I wish you were all here.  The snow is several inches deep and it is bitterly cold, far more so than at the beach.  I wish I had a winter coat.
Exams are near and I have enough to keep me awake nights but last night I retired at seven sleeping twelve hours straight.  Why do I need so much sleep?

From Mama in Oysterville on January 15, 1916:
My dear Medora:  We had not had any weather before you left, compared with this week – It has been fierce!  Papa and I have been worried about your health and comfort.  We were quite relieved to hear that Ruth had let you have scarf and sweater. 

Gravestone – Medor and Albert

From the South Bend Journal, January 21, 1916:
Miss Medora Espy, the 17 year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Espy, of Oysterville, died suddenly on Tuesday, January 18, in Portland, Oregon.  She had retired in apparently the best of health the night before, but could not be aroused from what appeared to be a deep sleep the following morning.  A physician was summoned, but despite all medical aid, she died before noon without having regained consciousness.  The cause of death as diagnosed by physicians was cerebral hemorrhage.  Her parents were immediately notified of her illness and rushed to Portland, but unbeknown to them, on account of the delicate condition of the mother, who for the past few years has been practically an invalid, their errand was only for the purpose of burying their first-born.





One Response to “January in Oysterville…”

  1. Sturges says:

    Thoroughly love your Medora stories. She is an exquisite person.

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