“Make allowances for your crazy sweetheart lover for writing such letters, but he knows no better and cannot help it.”

Summer, 1907

Mabel lives just up the street from Chester in Cranston, Rhode Island, but is vacationing with her parents near a lake in New Hampshire. It’s lovely; she goes fishing. Back home, Chester yearns for her. Days feel like weeks. The sight of the hammock that once embraced him and his Darling Dearie reduces him to tears. It’s all he can do to choke down a little supper – and write lovesick letters to his precious Waterlily.

Chester is 22, Mabel is 25, and he’s courting her with all his might.

In 2011, I discovered a stack of Chester’s letters in a cardboard box at the Brimfield Antiques Fair in Massachusetts. And because they’re too good to keep to myself, I launched Chester Loves Mabel. I transcribed the letters (faithful to Chester’s every quirk) and researched some of the people and places he mentions, adding historical and genealogical images wherever possible.

Each letter was published here on the 111th anniversary of its postmark, July 9 to August 12. Take a look. Add your comments. And if you enjoy the blog, share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter #ChesterLovesMabel.

Is Chester madly in love? Or is he losing his mind?

Love does funny things to a person.