1940 Millie Sutherland Letter to the Folks

I was out at another antique shop on the weekend and they were letters and old photos more strewn as props and decor. This was the only letter I could find with an actual letter in the envelope still



Sent by

R.M. Sutherland postmarked May 23, 1940

Addressed 1025 Powell St, San Francisco, Ca .

I always love to look on Googlemaps for original structures, and then it just fills in more of the story of imagining the very person sitting inside this place writing a letter or living life. It appears this building is still standing, so take a look and just imagine 1940 in this building


Hand Typed letter Sent to

Mrs. and Mr Walter Sutherland

2414 Prescott St

Seattle, Wa

They are titled as “Folksies” in the letter.

From looking up census records. The family is

Walter Alexander Sutherland – Father

Mai Bartan Sutherland – Mother

3 daughters in the home in the 1930 census

Helen C. Sutherland (mentioned in the letter and her husband George)

Mildred R. Sutherland (This would be Millie from the letter)

Dorothy Mai Sutherland

The letter reads

“Dearest Folksies….

Mom..I got your frantic letters about Honolulu..and it looks like theres nothing for you to worry about for awhile… as the deal we were trying to whip up for me to go half fare isnt panning out very fast. Anyway… Im probably not going to go at all now.. and if I do it wont be for several months. In the mean time…Im going to try to come home for a week or two.

I have a Mother’s Day present, believe it or not… and in true Millie fashion havent mailed it yet… so its going out with this letter.

Bill just got back from Honolulu.. and says things look very war like over there. We were going to go over… or rather I was going to go over to meet him there but he doesnt want to stay now as its practically a war base at this point.

I hope you wont think Im crazy for not telling you this before… but it was a little hard to do because I havent told anyone…especially around Sears as it might affect my job,,, theyre getting quite stuffy about married people working. I married Bill before he went to Honolulu..and although I know you didnt like the idea so very much..I waited all this time to see if it would be the sensible thing to do. We knew each other for over a year..and I knew he was the only boy I could ever be happy with..everything carefully considered. I know you would agree with me if you knew him. I think he is up to all the standards we hold for ourselves. The only thing I feel badly about is not telling you at the time…but it is so hard to write these things and I was hoping I might be able to come home and tell you myself….

I am still working at Sears… and I definitely dont want Burr and the people there to know Im married…as I find its very hard for married women to get jobs any place these days. So for that reason…it might be good if you wouldnt tell Helen and George. Then they can come to Frisco..I can explain to them the situation and they wont say anything…but until then, I dont think Ill let them know. Dorry doesnt know either, but Ill write her right away.

Bill is going to stay here now…and I think things will work out perfectly, at least until Roosevelt decides to send all our beautiful boys to war.

Write me right away, all my love, Millie

On the back of the Envelope is this stamp “The Yanks are Not Coming! ”



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