Cliff House Project
A Program of Western Neighborhoods Project

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Transcribed by Mary Chitty:


The Baldwin
San Francisco Cal.
August 21st 1896

My dear Son.

I have no letter to answer.  Mail was delayed eight hours I was told last night and I think it cannot have arrived yet to-day for it is now 2.PM. and no letters for me.  I hope you are all well I am well and quite cool.

Yesterday took a ride to the "Cliff House". Saw the ocean and found many changes and improvements (not in the ocean -- but in the land). New bath houses (there was no old one). A new Cliff House on the same site as the old one -- very much larger -- but looks too new in its white and red paint to belong to the picture. 

The ocean and Seal Rocks and the seals themselves look just the same -- but no doubt the latter have been changed many times in six years. But the present occupants of the rocks go through the same aquatic sports and jump on and off the rocks -- same as their ancestors. Barking is exactly the same. 

I suppose by this time your sister has come back to Phila and you and Neppie are having a rest.  I hope you are enjoying good health with it Also that Mrs. Macardell is growing stronger.  Hope to hear from you by the next mail. I have no news.

Our routes I sent to you have changed a little. We are here this week and next -- and on the 31st play in San Jose 1 night. Then to Oakland  just opposite here on the 1st - 2nd and 3rd of September.  4th  Stockton . 5th Fresno.  On the 7th 8th and 9th  Los Angeles.  Then back to Sacramento for the 11th. 12th Marysville. 14th 15 & 16th Portland  Ore, 17  Tacoma Wash. 18th  Victoria B.C. 19  Vancouver B.C. 21 & 22nd Seattle Wash. 25th 26th  Salt Lake City . 28th - Oct 3rd Kansas City Mo. Oct 5th - 10th  St. Louis Mo. We are doing a good business.

Met Rose Coghlan here on Monday night. She has been playing in a stock company here.  This week she is playing in the adjacent towns [?] & with the same Co.

My love and kisses to you your wife and son.  I hope the great heat has left you and you are now enjoying cool pleasant weather. Remember me to all friends. Hope the pictures reached you on Wednesday.

Sorry you did not like them. I may sit for some more here. Have had invitations from two galleries to do so -- but it is such a trouble!  [She did get at least one photograph]

Want to catch the mail which closes at 3:30. It is now 2.30 PM. So by by for this time.  God bless and keep you and yours in good health, happiness & prosperity. Love to my dear children Neppie and Ted.  How glad I would be to see you all.  Hattie wrote me your corn was delicious.  I have only had one delicious ear this season and that was on the train Thursday after leaving Chicago. Love and kisses from your loving Mother


This photo was taken by my great grandfather Albert Nickinson as he arrived back in San Francisco from Honolulu and the Spanish American war in 1898 -- 2 years after his mother EJ Phillips had written the letter about the seals and the new bath house.

-- Mary Chitty,  Sept 7, 2003