An interesting collection arrived at the Sherburne
History Center in recent weeks. A wonderful
collection of letters from George Bostrom to his family members living here in
Sherburne County. Particularly
interesting, the bulk these letters came from France during World War One. George’s letters document the different
training camps and finally his stations “somewhere in France”. The letters begin in 1918 and continue
through 1920. In letters to his family
George documents everything from experiencing bombings at the front, to the
price of chocolate. Also interesting, he
provides the exchange rate from American dollars to French francs. From his letters we know, a 12-ounce
chocolate bars cost anywhere from thirty cents to sixty cents.
|Letterhead from the Knights of Columbus.
George Bostrom used this, as well as letterhead
provided by the YMCA, to write letters home
In a letter written the day before the Armistice,
George provides a sense of life in the Army and the excitement about the coming
end of the war:
I am now in the third camp since landing
here. It is also the best one I’ve been
in on this side of the water. One of the things contributing to this is that we
have no guard duty, K.P., or detail work.
Today the papers tell us that the Kaiser
has abdicated and the long-looked for revolution has begun in Germany. Naturally this is news that must bring joy to
people in all the allied nations, or it cannot but be an indication that the
end of the war is not far away.
This collection may provide fascinating details as we fully
examine it for information about the first war “to end all wars.” As we can examine these letters more, we will
provide greater details about George Bostrom and his service to the United