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Reflections on Pioneer Life in Hazel Dell, WA

by Marilla Anderson Gardner; 1934-1935

These memoirs of Marilla Anderson Gardner were transcribed by from Marilla's original handwritten notes.

Comments from Suze:

Marilla only thought she was old when she wrote this. She lived another 20 years, and died in 1954 when I was 14.

This version retains her original spelling (pretty good) punctuation (mostly none) and syntax (archaic) as much as possible. Some words were very difficult to decipher due to the condition of the letter, which is very browned. She saved time by using ampersands wherever one would say "and" and using numerals where modern writers would write out the word. She also seems to have had a problem with composite words like "into" and "upon" and saw words beginning with "a" in the same way. For example, you will find "any where a round" where we would say "anywhere around". Also, there are troubles with a few homonyms. Will "threw" his gun, not "through" it. :-) There are a few highly personal abbreviations, such as "B" for "brother" and one old one, "cts" for cents. She also refers to herself in the third person in the beginning and a couple of other places. She refers to second weddings of herself and her mother where we would refer to a "renewal of vows". (They had only one husband apiece). She more often than not ignored conventional capitalization. I have capitalized Will's name where she did not, in order to differentiate it from the verb form.

One corner is missing on all pages and I have guessed on some of that, using context and traditional family knowledge.

I have also sometimes added extra spaces where I think sentences should end. The "paragraphs" in this version are really just her page breaks. We should be kind and remember she was writing this by hand on poor-quality lined grade-school tablet, in pencil. She seems to have gone back and added a few periods and a very few commas, as an afterthought. I have written further explanatory notes at the end.

If anyone reads the scans of the original letters and thinks I got something in the transcript wrong, or has a better explanation of a term or word, I would like to hear from them by . I do welcome other opinions..

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Updated on 8 May 2007.

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