Chicago, June 26, 1877.
Messrs. Editors: - After the severe storm of yesterday, the sunlight which bathes the earth is indeed welcome. The contrast of the warm sultry atmosphere of this city, with the cool bracing air of the lakes is very marked; yet when we saw the almost midnight blackness which enshrouded the city yesterday, at noon day, and the tall trees bending before the blast, while the air was filled with flying branches, we were devoutly thankful for a place on terra firma, even amid the dire confusion. The morning paper brings accounts of casualties by sea and land; cars lifted from the track, ships driven from moorings and dashing wildly about the harbor, etc.
The last day were upon the lakes the captain remarked that the barometer was very low, and a storm must be raging somewhere, yet the waters over which we were sailing were placid as a mirror. From Mackinaw, where my last letter left us, we had a pleasant sail, stopping only at Point Ignace and arriving at Milwaukee early Sabbath morning. We went on shore, and were glad to observe the almost Sabbath quiet. At least the stores were mostly closed, and crowds were hurrying in every direction with Bibles and Prayer Books in hand.
We walked as far as Spring street and glanced over the handsome M.E. church of which we had often heard, then hastened back to the boat. One passenger was still ashore, and for twenty minutes the boat waited, the engine puffing forth its impatience, till the tardy passenger made his appearance. Some pretty quick time was made after he came in sight, for even our patient captain does not enjoy waiting with a full head of steam on, for the dilatoriness of one man. Under way at last and our first stop was at Pine River, Charlevoix, is a pretty little village, new but promising.
When the mouth of Pine River shall be navigable by dredging, Round Lake on which is situation, will make a splendid harbor. It opens into Pine lake, 15 miles in length. We took several passengers on board here, a young mother with three beautiful children the eldest four years old. These were to land at the next point, Frankfort, but the lake was too rough to permit our boat to touch the dock. After repeated calls from our trumpet tongued steamer, a tug steams slowly out of the harbor. The seas run mountains high, the little boat rocks like a shell and is often hidden from sight, but she conquers at last, and comes alongside with her quick angry snort.
Now as the waves lift her nearer one after another of the golden haired little ones is safely passed into her cabin, the sea uttering a protest each time, separating the boats so widely it seems impossible they shall all be transferred. Another swell, and strong arms assist the young mother to spring aboard and we go on our way with a feeling of relief. Gradually the angry waters subside into a glassy stillness. It is Sabbath on the waters.
On the east side along, the sandy wooded shores of Michigan are visible, ships with their sails full spread, steamers with the black smoke curling against the sky, the beautiful sky which rests like God's blessing over all. For the angry clouds are gone, the lurid threatenings of the morning, have proved false, and we float into the harbor safely with our hearts filled with the peaceful beauty of our lake Sabbath.
For miles above Chicago the shore is lined with beautiful residences. A fine building the Marine Hospital lifts itself grandly amid the trees, and the spires of Evanston are visible. Early in the day we passed Racine a beautiful picture indeed.