Keep Building


It is some time since I have written to you and I am anxious to hear from you direct. We are just getting settled in our cottage at Sunnyside, Avondale. It has been a long, tedious process and expensive as well.

Our house has been building by one of the best carpenters in Australia as master workman. We have had two hands to help him. The foundation was laid in August, and all is not completed yet, because Willie must have a place by himself. Our family numbered sixteen. The cook, Mrs. Byron Belden, could not do so much cooking. We had to separate the family. Willie and my family have been one since we have been in these colonies. It was thought best to compose two families.

The first building erected on the premises was a washroom, laundry, and woodshed all combined, to give the carpenters a shelter to work. We counseled together that this should be converted into a dwelling-house for Willie and his family. Their sleeping-room is 12 by 12. This woodshed was floored, the rafters whitewashed, a pantry was partitioned off, and they had a kitchen 12 by 12. Shelves were put in this pantry, and just room left for a stove. A platform eight feet wide was made and iron roof put above it and that leaves a roomy piazza with bags ripped up and nailed on as siding. From this platform is a raised walk even with the entrance to my family tent, which is 15 by 29. There is a curtain made to partition off a room in one end for the children, and the remaining room is for parlor and dining room. They make out. They are fixed quite cozy.

The putting up of houses costs, I think, as much as double as in America where there is lumber to be obtained far superior to the wood in these countries. There is not timber here to make carriages, coaches, wheels, poles to carriages. All have to come from America. The Australian gum trees are of no account to use even for firewood. It absorbs the water and drinks up the moisture in the ground and is not, even when dry, fit for firewood. There is the mahogany wood which can be worked up into furniture, but the working of the wood is a laborious process. We are avoiding using the native wood as much as possible. We depend upon the oak as firewood for the stove. Anything will serve for our fireplaces. The roots of trees make the best wood to burn. We have four fireplaces in our house and we need not buy wood if time should last long, but this we cannot expect.

Every word that we have spoken in regard to this place has been vindicated by the very best results. “The land, properly worked, will give to you its treasures,” was repeated by my Guide again and again. It has done this and now another year we will see something in the fruit line. We hope the peach trees will yield some fruit.

I wish you could look upon Ella May White and Mabel White. They improved much in the climate of Granville, but since coming here there has been filling out and running up tall, so that the little clothing they had is outgrown and far too small for them. The skin is fair, so clear, and the two children are real little workers. Their mother thinks she has a treasure, and it is true. They are so sensible. They are her companions. Ella and Mabel are excellent girls. The Lord loves them and they love the Lord. They are both devoted to me, and I love them very much. But I must not write more now.


I resume my writing again. May Lacey White is a kind, affectionate mother, just what the children need. They love her very much.

2MR 170-172