Saturday, August 10, 2013

The most fun surprise!!!

I got a package yesterday...but didn't notice it tucked into my office until this morning.  It was from Suki, who had written to me that she was sending this package of postcards from her brothers collection.


It's more than postcards really. It's a postcard journal of a trip out west of a Mrs. Stearn and Miss C.W. Batcheller.  Don't you wonder what their relationship was? Aunt and Niece?  Old lady and companion?  Sisters? How I would love to know!   I'll show you at the end of this post how I know their names. (and my ideas on their relationship...don't get excited, it's pretty tame!)

This is one of the first cards with (I assume) Carrie Wood Batcheller's writing.

Mrs. Milly George Stearns is our "matron"

Miss Carrie Wood Batcheller is our younger lady.

( How about Mrs. Truxtun Beale with her maid - hoity-toity!)

Carrie and Milly went thru the Panama Canal to get to Los Angeles.  I think this was fairly adventurous for the time. The Panama Canal opened January 7th, 1914 - just one year before these two went thru on the Kroonland.

Then they arrived in LA and started sightseeing in the Automobile as written below.

I like to think that this is a photo of the two ladies, with companions that they met on the trail to Mt. Lowe

Typical 1915 view of LA street scenes?

Then it appears that they went to San Diego after two weeks (and four days) in LA.  There is no note about how they got there, I love to think of them driving down the coast.

Note the Steamship on the horizon.

This Hotel looks the same today as it did in 1915. 

It appears that they went to the Panama-California exposition of 1915  which was such a successful expo that it was extended thru 1917.  The point of the expo was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and to "put San Diego on the map" especially after the "wall street panic of 1907".

I guess it worked!

Then they started traveling up the coast. I don't know exactly how, I'm assuming they didn't drive, but who knows.

There are a few Santa Barbara photos and postcards.  The usual serene views, with few people and fewer cars.

They made it to San Francisco - this hint of GG park is for Robin, who loves that park. 

They apparently took a ferry to Oakland where they visited a beautiful hotel "situated in the midst of most unattractive surroundings"

From San Francisco they boarded a Railway to travel to Oregon, Lake Louise, Banff and then thru Toronto and Montreal home to Boston.

I know their names from their return itinerary - from San Francisco way back to Boston via western cities and scenic destinations.  6 weeks of travel back...for $247.20

To me it's so much fun to read these little stories, and think about who these people where, what they did and how they got about.  They left home on May 22, 1915 and got back to Boston on September 1st, 1915.  Three and 1/2 months of traveling - who could do that now?  Then again, 6 weeks of that was on a boat out to the coast and another 5 weeks back by train, with sightseeing along the way.

I have found out - thru quick research - that Carrie Wood B was born in 1867 and was a Music Teacher in Providence, RI.  Maybe she had the summer off from school to travel.  She went to France in 1924, I'm not sure for how long...that's for another story.  A census when she was 15 has her listed as "step-daughter".  I can't find anything on Milly - so I'm making up the story that Milly was a widow, with Carrie her daughter.  Milly was widowed, and Carrie had to teach music to help support her mother. Milly herself did dressmaking.  Later on in life, Milly married George Stearns, who was a successful shop owner who could afford to send his wife and stepdaughter for a jaunt out to the West Coast.

This was such a delightful present - thank you Suki - I love it!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

How interesting. It will entertain you time and again. So very nice of Suki.

kj said...

this is just awesome. i devoured every word and every postcard and everything. what a sweet gift.

one huge circle, we are.


soulbrush said...

This is a treasure and could easily become an heirloom. What an amazing gift to get and I know you are just the right person to absolutely treasure it forever. WOW!

sukipoet said...

I'm so glad you enjoy the album, Mim. And have created these delightful stories and also discovered who created the book!

I forgot you often go to San Diego.

It is good to think of the album in the hands of someone who appreciates it!

Teri Casper said...

Wow, what a fantastic collection of memories! So wonderful of Suki.

Lynn Cohen said...

We loved it too! I just read the whole thing to my husband as we are on the road to a friends party 2 hrs away.
He has done similar research on this kind of finds before so I knew he'd enjoy this and he did. Being from California all the sites were very familiar to us up and down our coast even most of the cross country trip! Thanks for sharing! Nice of Suki to gift this to you!!

studio lolo said...

Wow!!!! What a super gift! I'm sure I've stood in front of the same redwoods in Santa Cruz. I used to visit that forest often.

I like the way your mind works with the stories ;)

Happy Birthay soon!


Cris, Oregon Artist said...

What a wonderful gift. One of my Dads older brothers was born at the Hotel Del Coronado around that time or maybe earlier while my Grandfather was a Chef there. I recognize some of the other places too from living in CA most of my life. I wonder if they didn't take the train to San Diego as there is one that goes there. Fun post. I will have to reread this again.

Lori ann said...

how awesome mim! what a thoughtful gift, i am glad too something so special is in the hands of someone (you) who will treasure it :)

Robin said...

I am echoing everyone - a wonderful (and most generous) gift from Suki...but then, she gave it to the perfect person! I adore your *Storied History* of these two very adventurous ladies...(especially in those days..)..that took courage and confidence!

I'm glad Teri saw this - as I thought of her and her DH visiting the Hotel Del Coronado (last year?)

Adore the *Portals of the Past* in GG Park....thankfully, it looks much the same....lovely to read their journal, look at the post cards..the *beautiful hotel in Oakland* made me smile...THAT HAS CHANGED...

No matter, it was fascinating to read and look... a perfect gift for you!

Happy Birthday!


♥ Robin ♥

Amanda said...

that is very cool.....i love old postcards and having this whole album is a real look into another time and era of travel. the coronado hotel looks the same nowadays!