My dear Miss Frances,
What a long time it has been since I heard from you last or I wrote. I hope (+ I think you must be I'm sure I would) you are having a nice time. I should think one would love to see all the old ruins + places of note. But I suppose their are a great great many that would not care to look at them. I suppose things look funny + people themselves. The cats are all well except Bridget. She may be all right, but it is my opinion she's not. Last night your mama was standing by the cage looking at them. I came over to where she was standing + she asked me if I knew Bridget was blind. (I did not) Today they think she is all right, but I think if Bridget would open her eyes the way she does at night they would see her eyes were about the color of this paper [referring to the color of the paper shown above] just the way they were last night. The lady that owns the little horse was up yesterday. I ride "Betty" horse-back (Cowboy fashion). Prince is nicely. He has been having a little trouble with his feet - but papa is curing him of that. I believe I wrote a letter to you + your mother thanking you for the very pretty rug you sent me. If not I wish to now. I think I will have an Indians of an pillow instead of a rug. Because if I use it as a mat I will soil it, and it is some thing everybody (East) can't have. Your mother said last night that she would write to you so now I am going up + see if she will enclose this also. Now have a good time + get rested. From your friend Lillian V. Bennett. (Write when you have time).
Although not much is known about Lillian Bennett of West Windham, the letter she wrote to Frances offers great insight into the life of a child in Windham at the turn of the century. Frances, who evidently is traveling in the American southwest, sent Lillian an Indian-made rug, a souvenir unlikely to be found in any other home in Windham. The transcription of what remains of the letter is as follows:
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.