The Cattle in the Stall by Nina Moore Jamieson

Christmas 1932, Adelaide received a volume of sketches and poems by Nina Moore Jamieson called The Cattle in the Stall. The volume of poems was printed and sold shortly after Jamieson passed away after a battle with breast cancer.

The Cattle in the Stall - sketch

Born in Belfast, Ireland to Canadian parents, Nina Moore (1885-1932) grew up in the country towns of Cookstown and Dundas, Ontario while her father William Francis Moore rose from teacher to school inspector. After graduating from Hamilton (Ontario) Model School, Nina studied domestic science and then taught in rural Ontario before acquiring formal training from the Winnipeg Normal School. She returned to Ontario, married farmer Norman Jamieson in 1907, and had four children. Encouraged by her mother Georgette Robinson whom Nina described as the “strongest factor in my life”, and by her husband, Nina began to contribute poems and sketches to the MAIL AND EMPIRE during the First World War, and soon became a regular columnist when her work caught the eye of the editor. Busy with her children, writing, and the farm, Nina also lectured to Women’s Institutes and the I.O.D.E. She was a member of staff of the Ontario Department of Agriculture. Nina also contributed work to the Toronto Star Weekly and a variety of various farm journals. In the foreward of The Cattle in the Stall it says that Nina, “won her way through her writings not only into the hearts of her readers of all classes, but into the ranks of Canadian literature”

The Cattle in the Stall - sketch image

I am sure that Adelaide found the tales that Nina wrote about reminded her of her youth growing up on the farm in Brougham, Ontario. The topics, the arrival of highways, the harness shop, the running of sap, making soap, and the cycle of growing wheat was something many in 1932 we able to relate with, as Ontario grew and changed. The following musing is an example of Jamieson’s writing, “Any observant person who travels about Ontario must be struck with the variety in marking boundaries—in other words, with our fences. The story of the land is written in them. They speak plainly of the struggles and privations and labours of those who set them up. They tell, sometimes pathetically, of those almost forgotten, almost Herculean conflicts of man and nature, in order that our province might be what it is today.” From The Romances of Fences

The Cattle in the Stall came to be a volume of Nina Moore Jamieson’s work when after she passed away, and her friends gathered pieces she had written and pulled them together for publication for sale, December 1932, the year Adelaide acquired the volume. Was Adelaide a fan of NMJ’s work in the papers? Did they know one another from the Home and School Movement or perhaps work among the United Church of Canada? I cannot comment on that as of today, but we do know that Adelaide was a fan, and read the stories that sit upon the Parkwood shelves.