A Letter from a Local Student Nurse 1930s



One of three in our collection belonging to Hazel Mae Schwerdtfeger -Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Hazel Mae Schwerdtfeger was a Carleton Place native who received her nurse’s registration in June of 1935. She eventually became a public nurse in Almonte. After their parents death, sisters Bertha and Hazel, (who never married) lived together in the old family home on Lake Ave West.

Hazel became a registered nurse and the sisters lovingly kept all their mother’s millinery sundries and later donated the collection to the Beckwith and Carleton Place Heritage Museum. A large portion of Hazel’s estate was willed to the Victorian Order of Nurses in Carleton Place, and as a tribute, the former V.O.N. building was named Hazel House with a portrait  of her and her sister hung in the foyer.

Here is a letter she wrote to her father. There is no date on it, but I am assuming it is the 30s as she graduated in 1935. Letter courtesy Wanda Lee Morrison and the Joan Kehoe Collection.


Sister Bertha and Hazel-Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Dear Daddy,

If Dr. McEwen come to Toronto and wishes to put in a good word for me have him see Miss Austin the superintendent as she is fair-minded. Her assistant Miss Collins sometimes takes her place and she is a devil and no one can talk to her. Whatever he said to her would be to no avail as she hates everybody in creation.

He could see Mr. Bower also as well as Miss Austin. That’s if he wishes to put in a good word for me. Either Mr. Bower or Miss Auston would do. I suppose Miss Austin is best as she is the head of nurses.




Schwerdtfeger, Hazel Mae: Memoirs of Reverend J. Samuel Schwerdtfeger : “the Saint of St. Lawrence Seaway,” first pastor of Upper Canada’s first Protestant church, U. E. Loyalist and Lutheran patriarch of America / Hazel Mae Schwerdtfeger. (New York : Carlton Press, 1961)


Before the Schwerdtfeger Sisters – There was Aunt Sophia

So was there Money Hidden in the Schwerdtfeger House?

The Schwerdtfegerisms of Tobacco and Gambling

Bertha Schwerdtfeger — Mother of the Carleton Place Schwerdtfeger Sisters

Another Episode in Spinsterdom–The Armour Sisters of Perth

The Nurses of Carleton Place


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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