The following is an excerpt from a letter to William Reid, of Barrasois, N.S., from Rev. Charles W. Swallow. This particular letter caught my attention because of the nice description of the Nappan Methodist Circuit, it’s not often that one is able to catch a glimpse of the personal life of a nineteenth century Methodist minister. A transcription of the letter follows the image.
“I have a nice circuit here, and the work is not hard. My longest drive is three miles from the parsonage, so I can take all my meals at home and have time for a comfortable little rest between all the services. I have three nice churches, with a good organ in each church, and all free from debt. I preach once in each of the churches every Sunday. Two of the churches are quite small, but new, and beautifully furnished inside, and if you would only see them you would get some good ideas about furnishing your new church. We have a nice large parsonage, well furnished, and are as comfortable as one would reasonably wish to be. My people are almost all wealthy farmers, some of them estimated at about forty thousand dollars. We like our people very well, but not any better than our people in the River John Circuit. I had many dear friends in every part of the River John Circuit whom I shall ever remember with the most sincere affection.
We are situated just beside the Government Experimental Farm, indeed we may say that it is all around us, as the parsonage property is a lot that was sold out of the property by the previous owner. The Government is putting up the buildings on the farm now-the buildings are costing about twenty thousand dollars. It is very interesting to see the new kinds of trees, and the new kinds of grains and vegetables, and fruits that are being tried.
We live just beside the railway, so near that the heavy trains make the house tremble when they pass. It is only a twelve minute ride on the cars from here to the town of Amherst.
Mrs. Swallow and myself have both enjoyed excellent health since we came here, the wind doesn’t seem to be so damp and chilly here as it is along the shore.”