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

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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