Today was my first day back at work after break, and I finished naming all the scans and transcripts from Chaffey letters book 2. As I was skimming transcripts to make sure they matched the scans and to record the relevant information in Excel, some interesting sentences caught my eye and made me think. For example, the brothers wrote a letter to “Wells and Fargo” about financial matters, and referenced “Proctor and Gamble,” in another. These are brands I come across in life today and it’s fascinating to see them talked about in letters from the late 1800s. It made me ponder how much they must have grown and transformed in the century that exists between myself and the Chaffeys.
The Chaffey brothers also wrote to San Bernadino County about a school district I believe they were trying to establish. I know there’s a Chaffey High School in Ontario now, so again I thought of the lasting presence of what these men wrote about. Furthermore, one letter mentioned that the brothers hoped to have a furniture factory, a drugstore, and a dentist in town soon, foreshadowing the expansion of the inland empire.
In January of 1884, William Henderson wrote to a business partner of the Chaffeys saying “a glorious rain has fallen… everything looks lovely.” Today’s forecast shows rain, too. I look forward to everything looking lovely.