Note to the reader

BERTHA BALLOU (1891-1978) led an exceptional life. This collection of letters will take you from the battlefields of WWI — where her father led an army division — to the art communities of New York, Boston, and Italy — where Bertha trained as a professional painter — to Spokane, WA, where she lived out her days.

Click here to read the correspondence in chronological order (About 80 letters, including news clippings and artworks).


The letters, preserved by Mary Gerard Leffelman Ballou, were scanned in 2015 by Stephen, Cora, and Eliza Ballou. Transcribed by “virtualkathleen” through Edited and posted online by Olivier Ballou.

[Note: Some mundane or irrelevant letters were excluded from the collection. They can be read here.]