A YOUNG VICTORIAN GIRL - JO RARE WEST TO EAST TO WEST COAST TRAVEL DIARY BY JO AND HER THREE SISTERS
On The Road America USA 1908 Hard Cover Good+ No Jacket Manuscript
On offer is a really wonderful diary of a young Victorian woman during the year of 1908 as she travels aboard a train from the West to the East coast and then back to the West coast again. As the diary starts out she is leaving her home in California on January 7th and spends most of 1908 traveling with her three sisters and parents. In fact Jo does most of the writing but there are also many times when her sisters write. Jo gets sick at one point then the sisters take over writing and they talk about family being sick and some are quarantined. Her entries are descriptively written telling all about the sights and sounds along the way. In fact the first two entries really capture what this journal is all about. On the cover page is written; "Best wishes always to Jo from Marie, A line or two will quite suffice for the every day of life. Jot down things of interest while you think of it, lest you should forget." Then on January 1st Jo writes a small summary of what you can expect in the pages following: "This little book shall mostly tell of my trip to the dear "east" among people I know and love. I hope it will remind me of "feelings" more then of special events, of the things that are really living." The diary measures about 4 ¼" x 6 ¾" and is a "page a day" type diary which gives you lots of handwritten entries. She starts on January 7th and ends on August 7th and writes every day between those dates with most of the entries taking up the entire page. One could easily quote everyday as she has a wonderful way of writing. Here are some snippets: "The family rose early and we three girls walked to the train. I always feel unhappy enough when the time comes to say good-bye. Wallie rode as far as Napa with me and we saw a beautiful sunrise……Sidney and I were up in time for Los Angles things looked familiar. Rush was at the train but I could not tell him how glad I was to seem him, or how forlorn I was when he left. Such a feeling as the dingy tourist car gave me but Mr. Schnell he was fine. Kept the upper berth and talked to me through Banning, my first disappointment. We spent the evening in the observation car and saw Yuma…..Today we found the country varied everglades and swamps, cotton, rice, lumber and sugar cane with cabins and Negroes. Mrs. DuBoss and I enjoyed the most gorgeous Texan sunset and we and the Warrums stopped at San Antonio. Saw the Alamo the narrow streets and enjoyed the sight of a southern city. Coffee and sandwiches on revolving stools…..We were up early and had a poor breakfast, then I went to meet the Warrums. We took the "St. Charles" ride and the "Canal Belt" ride then out to Lake______. Had dinner at Fabecker's and then went to the wharf where we stayed and stayed. …..The sun was so warm that the eves dripped and the icicles melted. In the evening Roy and I went to see the people roller skate, caps and furs and ice skates look like the winters of old and the jingle bells gives me a queer longing. Wonder if I'll get a ride….We went to the concert that evening where I saw a good many friends. Mr. Hawthorne had already "squeezed my hand"……12:30 am, behold a figure with bare feet and bushy hair dressed in bathrobe, going up a stairway. Also three wet and most excited girls. Scenes in the sitting room in the morning told the tale…..I sat with Aunt Ella and made a few button holes but came home to supper, she was so tired from washing. Uncle Jim sold the blacks…..Such a beautiful day! People were able to wear white dresses and new hats and every one seemed to be having a ride in the afternoon. I was mostly new but my hide and Aunt Nell looked so well in her white suit….Drove across Still Water Bridge. Saw tobacco beds covered with cloth and the fields ready for the little plants and we saw tobacco barns. O these beautiful hills! And the wild flowers are appearing. Came home through the old historic town of Deerfield. The houses are old with barns attached. One had 1698 on the chimney. It was too cold for comfort but we'll remember the ride….My new dress promises to fade. Sadness…..Were up early for our Westfield trip. The weather was some doubtful. The lively high school girls were so entertaining and the trolley ride was entirely beautiful but long. Mountains and streams everywhere. Orchards in white bloom, onion fields being weeded on the knee and tobacco fields, level and clean as well as beautiful clean, clean homes. Saw the logs on the river at Holyoke and the lumber yards and dams in the Connecticut with trees growing down to the water's edge…..About a dozen Poles left for the old country on our train-tears….Were horribly hot when we went to bed but found morning damp and cold and we brought no warm garments. He took us on an auto sight seeing trip all historic Boston was shown to us from the huge car driven with such skill though the narrow winding streets…..(she then goes on for the next couple of pages describing Boston)…Sailed down Narragansett Bay to Newport with Norma. It takes two hours. The shores were very green and the weather and the weather very fine. We took the ten mile shore drive and saw many great "cottages". Ate lunch on the beach in sight of the "cliffs". Returned by electric cars up the island of Rhode Island, across to mainland by ferry to Bristol and thence by electric train to Providence through Warren and Barrington…..Shall not forget the view from Washington Monument. We're tired but have had a fine day. Band played "Abide with me" and the bell was tolled as we sailed past Mt. V. It and the tomb gave a very solemn feeling…..Mrs. Sheffield and I had a delightful day, Mts., glaciers, snow rivers and torrents, also Jack from England and Mr. Seattle. Had a good storm at Glacier. Many got off at Banff but more got on. Wish it was full moon. I have a book that tells it all so won't attempt to write if the scenery but I've never seen the like before and shalln't soon forget the wonder of it…..I went fishing down to the forks of the Skykomish. Fished without success for an hour then sat down and told stories awhile. It proved to be my first experience through the jungles. It's too deep to explain but worth your while to take the trip…..We went up to Lena's (Index Washington). She has such a fine cozy spot on the river. After dinner we went up the train into the big timber and wonderful ferns. Sat in the shade of the house and I told about the East…..The day passed quickly and very pleasantly. Read Hesper and sat on the upper deck. Mr. Allen, purser, and offers to send a wireless…." This diary goes on and on and you really get a great feeling of what it's like traveling during the Victorian era. She mentions tons of names, some of which are; John Warner, Bowie, Doyl, Gardiner, Hawthorne, Hirschy, Charley Ware, Robinson, Ed Childs, Hittabrand, Grossman, Upper, Hershaw, Rowbottom, Scheiffer, Morrison, Hopkins, Wilson, Packingham, Bertha Fox, Maggie Franceway, Katherine Brando, McGee, Whitaker, Dr. Love, Letha Watts, Dickerson and more. Places mentioned are; Washington D.C., Lancaster PA, Buffalo, Oberlin, St. Paul, Glacier, Banff, Mission Junction, Everett, Snomish, Index, Startup, Seattle, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, El Paso, San Antonio, New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, Granville, Tonica Minonk, Rotterdam, Conway, Westfield, Holyoke, Claremont, Cambridge, Mt. Auburn, Wesley, Providence, Newport, Nantucket, Narragansett, and much much more.