Price: $2,455.99

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Book Condition: Good

On offer is an outstanding travel journal written by a young girl in California, in the early years of the 20th century. This well-written journal measures 9.25 inches by 7.5 inches and contains 60 pages. It is 60% complete. The cover and pages are in good condition and the handwriting is legible and quite easy to read. Also included is a black and white photograph, a map/itinerary and a number of newspaper clippings - all in very good condition. The author is Zola Grace Strawser, a 14 year old school girl. Born in 1895, she grew up in Los Angeles where her father Bert was a successful businessman. She had 3 sisters - Nellie, Merle and Bertie. Casual research has not discovered any additional biographical information. In July of 1909, she left on a long train trip from Los Angeles to the Worlds Fair in Seattle. Along the way, she makes stops in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City amongst other places. She is a keen observer and her descriptions are detailed and well-written. "The train slowly pulled out of the Salt Lake City Station and our long, hoped for journey began. Nellie, Merle, Bertie, Papa and Daisy Clark were there to say "goodbye." Daisy Clark gave us our first box of candy and also a beautiful bunch of carnations. The ride to Pomona was not so interesting as we made so many trips to San Bernardino before. Our next stop was Ontario. From Ontario you have a very beautiful view of the mountains, which is very interesting. We next passed through Riverside and Coulton and arrived in San Bernardino 12:12. Between Los Angeles and San Bernardino can be seen orange trees and mountains, while from San Bernardino is a vast stretch of desert. We then went to lunch and from the window you could see right down between the mountains on which were some snow. I saw an automobile filled with men and for a long time had great fun waving back and forth. They at last got ahead of us. We had to go so slow up a high incline ... the rest of the landscape was desert, desert, desert. ..." [July 8]. In Salt Lake City, she visited a number of sites: "... we saw all the important buildings, the temple, tabernacle, the Lion House, Bee Hive grave of Brigham Young and the "Eagle Gate" [July 9]. She goes out to visit Saltair - an amusement park and resort built at the south end of Great Salt Lake. At one time, Saltair was the largest and most popular family resort west of New York. Today, it is abandoned, a victim of shrinking water and the ravages of a changing climate. Each day's entry is accompanied by a small pen and ink drawing representing some remark in the entry. She writes an excellent description of a wedding accompanied by a drawing of wedding bells and music notes (and the inscription "No Wedding Bells For Me.): "THE WEDDING: Talk about your presents, you ought to have seen Bessie's. Cut glass, china, silverware, well it was enough to make anyone wish it was them getting married. She also received four chairs, three tables, bedding and linen. The few people assembled to see her married arrived about half past seven. Bessie, who was naturally nervous, broke right down and cried but as soon as the ceremony was over she was as happy as a lark, and was receiving many congratulations. Well, while we are waiting for the guests to arrive, I will describe the appearance of the house. The rooms were all decorated in carnations, roses, ferns, palms and small trees. On the electric lights were twined smilax and over the globes were different color flower shades. The long porch was made beautiful with small green palms and at the father end a Hawaiian orchestra played the whole evening. The yard, which was very large, was strung with lanterns of all manner and shapes. There was a wall of canvas all around so as to keep intruders out. The guests have now arrived and the air was sweet with lavender and violet perfume. Ladies with low neck chiffon dresses; with white satin evening coats; ladies with the tight fitting empire, ladies in simple white, ladies in red, pink, blue and every imaginable color. In the evening lunch was served and while the bride and groom were eating they threw handfuls of rice at them. Of course their dinner was spoilt and they had to get more dinner. About an hour after the bride and groom were missed and the whole party set out to look for them. The bride was found and the girls, who were quite rough, drew her across the bed, and a hat pin stuck in her and hurt her. Mrs. Brook fought them and Bessie got free again and escaped in the crowd and hid in the cellar. She was so scared and sick that she could hardly stand. She then slipped in the back bedroom and changed her wedding dress for her brother's clothes. There she slipped in the automobile barn until the crowd had gone around the front and slipped over the fence and went in the house next door and mingled with the crowd who did not know her dressed as a boy. Cora, the girl next door, put on a long black coat and put something over her head. Her brother was waiting in a buggy outside. With one jump, Cora was in the buggy and was driving away as fast as possible. The whole party thought it was Bessie and Vic and started after the buggy. Cora's brother had heart trouble, and when they were about a block away he fainted and Cora had to drive home with her brother in her arms. When she reached home she fainted and they had an awful time. Of course the crowd found it was not the bride and groom. The bride and groom left for the canyon 20 min. to one. While all the excitement was going on the groom was next door asleep." [July 14]. After a number of adventures, she continues her trip to Seattle and the World's Fair: "In the morning Irene, mother and I went to the fairgrounds. I can't very describe how they look, only by showing you postcards. They have an imitation geyser, which goes up and down all the time. "The Cascades" are simply beautiful. You can stand at the top and look right over the falls and the geyser and see Mt. Rainier. The buildings are all white and the flowers are beautiful. In the evening we went to a show and saw the smallest woman in the world, "Princess Checita" [July 31]. We again went to the fair and visited many buildings. Our feet were just covered with blisters from all the walking up the hills. Mama isn't feeling well. She is lonesome for papa. [Aug 1}, "As this was to be our last day at the fair, we visited all the buildings we had not seen before. In the government building were articles from the "Dead Letter Office." Skulls, snakes, a pig's tail, money, jewelry, a bustle, the hair of a woman who had been scalped, guns, swords and all manners of weapons, beads, small funny statues, locks of hair, old books and dirty table covers, pencils and everything imaginable. We had a nice time at the fair and had our pictures taken several times."[Aug 6]. Before they return to Los Angeles, they travel up to Portland on August 8th and on the 9th take a boat trip up the Columbia River all the way to The Dalles. There are two brochures included from this trip and two pages of wonderful descriptions. On Aug 11th, they board their train for their return trip. She arrived back in San Francisco on Aug 12th and met her father the next day: "... In the evening, we took dinner at the Cafe Bismark [a German-influenced restaurant in San Francisco in the 1900s. It was called "the largest and finest café in the city."], and then went to the Orpheum [a long-vanished vaudeville theatre]. After the theatre we met papa on his way to Chicago. [Aug 13]. Her trip ends when she reaches home on Aug 17th. Following her account of the trip are 4 pages with some notes made in 1910 and 1911. "Nellie and I gave a masquerade party" [Dec 3, 1910], "Merle, Bertie and Mother and I start for Catalina to spend the month."[Aug 3, 1911]. A historian looking at the early history of California would find this journal simply rich in local detail. The descriptions are excellent and her keen eye misses nothing. There are interesting observations about the towns she visits and the people she encounters. It is clear that she comes from a well-to-do family and this would be an interesting contrast to the majority of people living in California at this time.; Manuscript; 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, EARLY 20TH CENTURY, 1900S, PROGRESSIVE ERA, UNITED STATES, CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, ZOLA GRACE STRAWSER; BERT STRAWSER; ACME LAUNDRY; SAN BERNARDINO; SEATTLE WORLD FAIR 1909, BISMARK CAFE; ORPHEUM THEATRE, DEAD LETTER OFFICE (DLO), TRAVEL JOURNALS, TRAVEL BY RAIL, EXPOSITIONS, FAIRS, TRAIN JOURNEYS, TRAIN TRIPS, WEDDING CEREMONIES, BLACK AND WHITE, PHOTOS, MAPS, DRAWINGS, SOCIAL HISTORY, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL



Illustrator: Illustrated by /

Categories: 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Diary, All, Books and Manuscripts General Overview,


Book Condition: Good

Seller ID: 0008050

Keywords: Keywords: History Of Early 20th Century 1900S Progressive Era United States CALIFORNIA Los Angeles Zola Grace Strawser; Bert Strawser; Acme Laundry; San Bernardino; Seattle World Fair 1909 Bismark Cafe; Orpheum Theatre