Christmas Eve at a Lumber Camp

Posted by | December 15, 2016

Often during the winter evenings and on Sundays some of the woodsmen would drop in on Mr. Smith to discuss some problem concerning their work, or perhaps something of a personal nature for which they felt a need for help. Here, they knew, they had a sympathetic friend whom they could trust, and one capable of many things.

One such visitor was a young man from Virginia. Upon answering his knock at the door, the superintendent invited him in, and offered him a chair. Shyly the young man began:

“Mr. Smith, I want to send a letter to my mother, and with it send some money I have earned here. She will be needing it now. One of the men told me today that you would help me. You see I cannot write, and I thought maybe you would write the letter for me. I would like you to tell her that I am well; that this is a good camp where I have a warm bed to sleep in and plenty of food. Good food every day like we have at home on Christmas, sometimes. Please tell her, too, that I sat in your office while you wrote the letter for me.”

“My mother was a high-born lady, my dad once told me, but after she ran away and married my dad, her parents disowned her. My dad was a good man, and when I was a half-grown boy he went away to work in the woods as I have done now. He went up on Little Black and there he got lost in a snowstorm and the man who brought him home told us… ‘He died from exposure.’

“Maybe this letter will keep Mom from worrying too much about me.”

author: Frances Irene Smith Hart, 1894-1979
daughter of Superintendent
Danford Blair Smith
Davis, WV


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