Mary Frances Griffin

Mary Frances Griffin, 1914. Photo provided by David Hammer.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the Huron County Museum shares a few images showing excerpts from letters recently donated to the Huron County Archives. The letters beautifully speak to life in rural Huron County in the early 1900s and share a glimpse into young love.

Sixteen letters in total were donated to the Museum’s archival collection, all written by a young Ashfield Township man named Joe during the years of 1913 through 1917 to Mary Frances Griffin. The correspondence between Joe and Mary took place after she had moved to Chicago after a time spent living in the Kingsbridge area. The letters were eventually passed down to her grandson, David Hammer, of Palatine, Illinois, who kindly donated them to the Museum.

In donating the letters, David wrote the following about his grandmother: “When Mary’s father, Timothy Griffin, died in Marquette, Michigan, Mary was sent to live with her aunts and uncles in Kingsbridge [Huron County]. She lived there from 1910 to 1912 and in the following years returned many times during the summer. Sundays she went to church. Weekdays she did chores, working in the garden, helping with cooking and cleaning. On Saturday nights the big excitement was to go dancing with friends and come home late. And always the question: Who was getting serious with whom? The possibilities were endless!”

Excerpt from a letter sent to Mary Frances Griffin

Excerpt from a letter to Mary Frances Griffin