100 Letters of Love
From Cobh to Knocknalomon


Belle, Nancy, and Sheila arrive in Queenstown (Cobh), County Cork, Ireland May 4, 1922, ending an eight-day TransAtlantic voyage.  The city of Cobh, pronounced “cove,” is on the eastern side of Cork Harbour. Cobh was renamed Queenstown in 1849 to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria, but the city reverted to its original name in 1922, after Ireland became free of British rule in 1921.

 
Monday, May 8, 1922
My dear Hub,
My first letter from Ireland, I do hope it finds you well and happy and that the bandages will be off your fingers (don't laugh) when this reaches you.  I cannot imagine we are so far apart, but I try not to think about it, for when I got here, I wished I were back with you.  Well we got on to the tender at 1:45 p.m., ready since 10 a.m.  I was certainly in luck when Mr. Beal brought in Miss Ward from the Cunard office.  She had come out on the tender and she was quite a help to me even though the stewards helped me on with everything.  My bedroom steward took Sheila down the plank for me (some old plank) so we got to Queenstown in 15 minutes.  Fortunate enough it was dry.  Next performance, the Customs officers and Miss Ward had mentioned me already so they never opened one package my keys I did not use.  They ok'd every one.  When they got through asked was that all I said yes.  I guess he says a pile of tobacco and cigars.  If so leave some up at the office and Miss Ward will give us some and I had said to her could not I tip them and she says no, never mind.  But they were quite strict with some people.  They charged one man 1£ duty for a few cigars and a pound of tobacco and so on.  Too bad I did not bring my phonogram.  So I was in such a hurry I did not get them any cigars but when I write Miss Ward I will put in 10 shillings and have her get some don't you think that will be all right as we might need them again.  Then when I get through, I met Mike at the gate.  He had just come they had sent him a wire from the office when the Scythia  was due so he did not come down Wednesday, it was best not and money saved and Mother did not care to come.  Being that I got through so quick we got the 3:30 train out of Queenstown on to Cork.  Left there at 5 p.m. another stop at Mallow and arrived in Rathmore at 7 p.m.  As our train pulled in to Millstreet station, I said to Mike, "there is a woman on the platform.  Looks like Mother."  And he says "No, but she may be in Rathmore to meet us."  And so she was had got at Millstreet but we were in different carriages how funny so D. Cahill drove us up in his motor in about 10 minutes for 10 shillings.  Very reasonable the whole five of us.   The weather has been so cool, I feared the children would take cold but they did not.  The air is grand, beats the Catskills.  I see such a change in them already today is very warm such a change I would not ask it any hotter.  I had the children out at 9 a.m.  It means so much just step out the door and they get the beautiful sunshine the air.  It was so warm they did not need any sweaters.  And Nancy and I put on socks.  I have a good coat of freckles after the day.  Mike and Mother are out and thier (sic) is a little girl, Kathleen, comes after school such a sweet little girl of 13.  She has taken Nancy and Sheila back the road to Sandys now to pick flowers.  The strooler (sic) is very useful.  It is 7 p.m. now, eight by railroad time and is not dark here until near 10.   Such long evenings well I just fed the hens and ducks and we have lots of young chicks.  Can't eat the new laid eggs and Mother trying to fill me with them.  They got to be two days old anyhow.  The duck eggs I can't eat.  We have 20 each morning.  How I wish I could send you some.  Well now I must change the subject.  Thompson, my table steward, I think will call on you one evening after the 19th.  He is well-acquainted with New York.  If you don't want to answer the bell for him, all right.  But I asked him if he would take a bottle of whiskey some time and he said yes.  Sure I said he would call up next time when in port so I didn't want to say no.  He said he could get you a bottle of the good stuff off the ship any time as he knows the bartender their (sic) and get it at cost price so you will deserve it and have one but you can pay and dont feel under any compliment to him as I paid him well but he was so nice to me and the children he gave them everything.  Nancy gave him 20 trips a meal.  I think Sheila only wanted to grab that roll as he will tell you about so I gave him 30S leaving that was 2£ 10S in all but he well earned it and I never missed it.  Don't let on I told you.  Anna meets him as she would be anxious to hear all about us.  Why don't you drop him a card to the ship what night to call as you will be home evenings that week until Sunday.  I hope you get this on time.  Well my dear I will be anxious to get your first letter which I think may come Wednesday.  I arrived here with 25£ not so bad but I have spent 5 already and now I expect to go to Killarney to morrow (sic) for a mattress and crib so I expect to be near broke when I get through but we have everything in the house.  Plain food fresh milk and eggs and butter.  I have had no fresh meat since I arrived and don't care if I never saw it so I will now close with lots of love from your dear wife and lovely kiddies.  Nancy has got so good kisses from us all.  I will write you again by Saturday.
Lovingly, Belle
 
 [P. S.]  Tuesday received your loving letter so happy and mailing this by the Post mark will write for Saturday.

General map of Ireland after partitioning in 1921 into Republic of Ireland
(having Dominion status) and Northern Ireland.
Map of County Cork, Ireland.  Bella and her daughters arrive at the port city of Cobh (lower right).  Her brother, Mike meets them and they travel by train to Rathmore (upper left) by way of Cork, Mallow, and Millstreet Station, a total distance of about 90 kilometers (57 miles).  Knocknalomon (not on map) is between Rathmore and Millstreet south of the high way that connects these two towns.  Killarney is 20 km. west of Rathmore, in County Kerry.
 
A small ship or boat that carries passengers, provisions, etc., to and from a larger one close to shore. 

Michael Murphy is Belle's brother.
 


The First Few Days (Letters 3 and 4)

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