D.R. Martin is a friend and an exceedingly talented writer. He’s writing a historical mystery series set in Duluth around the turn of the last century. He ran across a memoir of a woman in the 1870’s who was evidently traveling to a governess’ post in Manitoba. I wish i had known about this memoir when I wrote the gothic, Witch Tree Inn (unfortunately, a somewhat forgettable book)!
Anyway, read D.R.’s intro and Mary FitzGibbon’s memoir–fascinating! Thank you, D.R.!
As part of the research for my ongoing Mary MacDougall historical mystery series, I came across a memoir by Mary FitzGibbon called A Trip to Manitoba. It was published in 1880, and can be downloaded as a free e-book from Project Gutenberg. It’s the young woman’s account of her arduous journey to Manitoba in the mid-1870s, to work as a governess for a contractor on the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Along the way from Toronto to Manitoba, she stopped in Duluth–the hometown of Mary MacDougall and yours truly. Here’s her Pre-Yelp review of Duluth, c. 1876:
“Duluth, situated on the rocky north, or Minnesota, shore of the extreme western end of Lake Superior—otherwise St. Louis Bay—was apparently planned in expectation of its one day becoming the principal centre of commerce between America and Canada—in short, the great capital of the lakes. Everything is on a large scale. The streets are…
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