University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

White Sulphur Springs: Letter from Elizabeth Noel to her daughter Julia, September 1, 1860

Noel describes the huge amounts of food, style of clothing, people coming and going, and her own health in this letter.

Lewis Family, Papers, Accession #38-418, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.

White Sulphur Springs Sep. 1th
Dear Julia
… I do not know that the water will benefit me this time, it does not have the same affect on me it had before. We shall stay about ten day longer, more on Susan Wrights account than mine but she will not drink the water without a fuss, she certainly is a hard child to manage, read & sleep all day. I thank Louisa for packing my clothes so nicely, but we left out the very thing I have needed so much, the old black rapping, it has been so cold I have to weare the old grey shawl, duster’s are not much worn in the house. Leland has found a great many friends from Miss. … Dr. Roy & lady left here this morning for the Sweet Springs, they went with Brochenbroughs … A great many are leaving every day, but some come in, 1200 eat breakfast here day before yesterday. I was in the parlor one night, it gave me the ache to see so much promenading, & so much finery, old Col Beverly did not promenade.”… “The bell of the place is a Mrs. Vivian from the south, she dresses very fine, but dont wear hoops, there is every kind of dress & ever kind of fashion here, I have not been out but once since we came to hotel, have not tasted any fruit since I left Staunton, eat milk & peaches there, thought that help to make me sick, have not seen any here. I have been all through the kitchen saw them making cake, baking pies, roasting meat toasting coffee on a large scale. They rise their loaf bread in a box as large as our [chip] box, the bowl they made the cake in was as large as a large water tub, they bake five hundred pies a day, kill two beeve, 22 sheep 300 chickens cook 40 bushels of corn make from ninety five to 115 gallons of coffee twice a day besides tea & milk. The coffee for breakfast is poor stuff, but when coffee for diner in very small cups, it is very strong, I drink some every day. I have been down to diner the dessert was [unclear] pudding, Atlantic pudding, apple pie whortleberry pie & coffee. … Tell Louisa all things have changed, but the spring and paridice row, the same old tree stands at the cabin door. … If I had been at home should have staid in bed to day, but cant do it here, have to pay 50 cents for meals sent to your room, when I am sick I dont eat, it is but a short distance from our room to the dining room. …I try not to think any more about home than I can help, hope to get a letter Monday. I wrote to day because I may be sick & cant write, it takes a letter long to go Excuse all mistakes some one is constantly coming in & talking My love to your Father & Louisa
Your affectionate Mother
Elizabeth H. Noel

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