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Three Months By Car In 1929

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Hi Dave and 32vld,

 

I ran both through the Google Maps site while doing a side by side comparison with the 1928 map to pull the "suggested route" to the roads that existed then and now. I know it isn't the most accurate way of measurement, but 32vld's route came to 135 miles and Dave's came to 148 miles. Dotty's postcard from Hawley, which is the one I'm sharing the transcription of, said they went 150 miles that day. So at this point I'm leaning more to Dave's proposed route which would have taken them through Trumbull, where they stopped at least quickly at Edie's and Ev's house. The route would be shorter than the proposed US6 route all the way even if they doubled back through Bridgeport to pick up US1.

 

Dave, I don't doubt at all that their appearance in newspapers had more to do with what they were wearing to drive and travel. My thesis was limited to 50 pages so I didn't get to work with much by way of newspapers mentioning female motorists, so what I saw was limited to what was included in secondary sources. I'd love to have period examples as I expand everything into a book. Clothing as you can imagine will be a good chunk of what's discussed, but definitely not all. If you ever come across examples in future research, I would be much appreciative if you could pass along the source citations so I can get a copy to read too.

 

I'm going to run the routes through Google Earth as I like that platform for getting pictures much better than their maps website. I'll share both here (likely tomorrow) and will get one on the blog too.

 

Best to all,

Maria

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One of the pleasures of following your blog and posts is that it prompts me to dig through my “archives.” Those familiar with my “archives” recognize them to be stacks and boxes of old travel books, magazines, and maps collected over the past 30 or 40 years, and mostly unorganized. The organization part might make them a “collection,” but it has not happened in the past and has no likelihood of happening before I croak, so I call them an “accumulation.”

 

In the accumulation are a number of old automobile magazines, and in the September 1929 issue of the Syracuse edition of American Motorist (AAA affiliated) I found an article you might enjoy. It describes an auto trip by two “eastern girls” to the Tetons. Having myself taken the road they took at least three times, I enjoyed it just for that alone, but it also contains a wonderful description of how men treated them on the road. It recalled our discussion of a day or two ago.

 

I couldn’t resist seeing what I could find out about the author. Google Books has a snippet. Frances Randolph Weber is cited in 1929 (Themis of Zeta Tau Alpha, V 27, Issue 4) as “for a time the only female columnist in Washington DC” and later as working as a journalist for the AAA.

 

The passage I note is on the third page, first column. (Double click to enlarge)

 

Quite a bit else in the article should be of interest to you and others here. I am providing this from my vast fund of knowledge (The intended humor will be evident after you read the passage. :rolleyes: ;)

)

 

Great fun!!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

 

 

ARTetons1.jpg

 

ARTetons2.jpg

 

ARTetons3.jpg

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Dave,

 

What an awesome article! It hadn't turned up in a year's worth of research while doing my thesis, but I can see a spot for it to go during the expansion, so thank you. It sounds like you have a very fun accumulation of materials as well.

 

Best,

 

Maria

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Hi Dave and 32vld,

 

I ran both through the Google Maps site while doing a side by side comparison with the 1928 map to pull the "suggested route" to the roads that existed then and now. I know it isn't the most accurate way of measurement, but 32vld's route came to 135 miles and Dave's came to 148 miles. Dotty's postcard from Hawley, which is the one I'm sharing the transcription of, said they went 150 miles that day. So at this point I'm leaning more to Dave's proposed route which would have taken them through Trumbull, where they stopped at least quickly at Edie's and Ev's house. The route would be shorter than the proposed US6 route all the way even if they doubled back through Bridgeport to pick up US1.

 

Best to all,

Maria

 

Today I signed up on google and now can save my maps but I still can not get them to post on here.

My first route had you bypassing US 6 until you got to Peekskill, NY. The mileage figure that you got was 135 miles for my route. I got 142 miles.

 

This makes me think that you followed modern day alginments. Google has US 6 going through Bear Mountain State Park. Though if you look at Daves 1928 map US 6 goes north after crossing Bear Mountain Bridge to Highland Falls, NY, on what is now US 9, old NY 218, to NY 218, to US 6 to Haramin, NY. This can be determined when the current alignment and the old alignment are overlaped. You can see as in this case old US 6 has to of been what is now 218.

 

Dollars to doughnuts that what is now US 9W shared the same road bed from the BM bridge to Highland Falls as old NY 218.

 

Also if you follow NY 17 instead of NY 17M you followed the current day road alignment instead of the previous alginment. I can not say NY 17M was the alignment your Gma took in 1929 though it will be very close to it. NY 17 is no where near to where your Gma drove.

 

Also when looking at google maps or any modern map you have to be able to look where the original road went instead of where it goes now. Example look on google map for New Hampton, NY. It shows 17M and 6 going under I 84 then US 6 goes left and back under I 84. There is no sense for US 6 to go that far then cut back.

 

It clearly makes sense that US 6 split from NY 17M and went west on what is now county road 56. Quite often when the state alignment changes a digit from the old route is included in the new county route number.

 

Another thing to consider when trying to retrace Gma's route bridges that were there in 1929 are usually gone now. Example you can still cross from Port Jervis, NY to Milford, PA on the US 6 bridge. However if you tell goole to map the trip in this case and most times it will put you on I 84 and have you take the newer interstate bridge to cross the river. This change will throw off your Gma's mileage.

 

Another area is with time the roads get straightened and this will lower mileage. On US 6 about 3,000' east of PA 434, there appears to be an earlier alignment of US 6. Your eyes must get acustomed to finding these original segments. This one is too small to change the mileage on goolge maps. Though enough of them will throw off you trying to match your Gma's roads to today's roads.

 

Relying on google without having the old maps to compare will make your use of Gma's mileage alone will not be accurate enough to retrace her foot steps. Or should I say tire tracks.

 

Though today I redid the start of my route by going north from Bridgeport on CT 111 to CT 25 north, to US 6 to Newtown and my mileage total is 148 miles for that way.

 

I can see Gma and her friends going that way because 6 miles was not enough of a savings when they most likely going to take US 6 all the way to Chicago, Illinos. Mental comfort of starting out on the right foot from taking US 6 as soon as possible and being Gma first leg of 150 miles is only 2 miles more then 148 miles on google maps.

Edited by 32vld

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In the accumulation are a number of old automobile magazines, and in the September 1929 issue of the Syracuse edition of American Motorist (AAA affiliated) I found an article you might enjoy. It describes an auto trip by two “eastern girls” to the Tetons. Having myself taken the road they took at least three times, I enjoyed it just for that alone, but it also contains a wonderful description of how men treated them on the road. It recalled our discussion of a day or two ago.

 

I couldn’t resist seeing what I could find out about the author. Google Books has a snippet. Frances Randolph Weber is cited in 1929 (Themis of Zeta Tau Alpha, V 27, Issue 4) as “for a time the only female columnist in Washington DC” and later as working as a journalist for the AAA.

 

:rolleyes: ;)

)

 

Great fun!!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

 

 

Dave, I really enjoyed reading that article. Thank you for sharing.

Jeffrey

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Climbing over Teton Pass and dropping down into Jackson Hole is still quite a thrill even today, with a much wider--and paved--highway. Especially during a summer thunderstorm, as we experienced it in June of 09! It even turned into a summer thunderSNOWstorm at the top of the pass.

Edited by mga707

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Jeffery, MGA707,

 

Glad you guys enjoyed it. Funny thing, I have all this "stuff," but it takes someone like Maria to get me to dig through it and read some of it carefully

 

Jeffery, your points are well take regarding the route. I am going to dig a little deeper in the "archives" and try to locate a Mixers Road Guide from the period. They have strip maps showing mileages down to the tenth of a mile, but I don't know if they covered the route the women took.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Jeffery, MGA707,

 

Glad you guys enjoyed it. Funny thing, I have all this "stuff," but it takes someone like Maria to get me to dig through it and read some of it carefully

 

Jeffery, your points are well take regarding the route. I am going to dig a little deeper in the "archives" and try to locate a Mixers Road Guide from the period. They have strip maps showing mileages down to the tenth of a mile, but I don't know if they covered the route the women took.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

Obi wan, what is a Mixers Road Guide?

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Jeffery, Maria

 

Jeffery,

 

I have located a copy of “Mixer's Road Guide and Strip Maps” in the “archives.” It is a 1926 edition and was published by the New England Hotels Publishing Corporation of New York City. It covers, as you might expect, New England, and as far west as Cleveland, and like many guides of the period, down to Florida.

 

Mixers is divided into two sections. The first section contains about 800 strip maps along with mileages and highlights along the route. It also displays the locations of hotels and a few garages and restaurants, all probably members of some New England Hotels organization.

 

The second section is called an “index” but is more a compilation of town descriptions and hotel ads.

 

I note that a couple are available on Ebay at this moment.

 

Maria,

 

I am posting below the strip maps from Mixer's that cover the route I guessed at.

 

 


Mixers didn't publish a strip map for the segment from Milford to Hawley.

 

The mileage from Bridgeport to Danbury via the Turnbull (via Newtown) route is 25.6 miles, that from Danbury to Goshen via the Bear Mt Bridge is 69.6 miles, from Goshen to Port Jervis is 23.5, and from Port Jervis to Milford is 7.2, a total of 125 miles. Adding the 25 miles from Milford to Hawley, using the Rand Mc Nally maps posted earlier, I get 150.9 miles compared to the 150 the young women reported.

 

If it is the route taken, it was a lucky guess. It was a guess and not as logical nor well considered as is Jeffery's discussion.

 

I am however finished with this segment and will post the next segment as soon as I can.

 

Dave

 

Keep the show on the Road!

 

PS Maria,

 

Here is another wild guess....they camped at the Wilsonville Camp on Lake Wallenpaupack. Why this guess? It is right next to US 6 on the lake where you note in the blog that they camped, and it is cited as in operation in 1934 in the Pennsylvania Angler. The lake was developed by dam in 1926, and the campsite was a natural location adjacent to the highway. It might be fun to write the Wilsonville superintendent and see if you can get a firm date for when it was first opened. Just a thought.

 

ARBD.jpg

 

ARDG.jpg

 

ARGPJ.jpg

 

ARPJM.jpg

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Jeffery, Maria

 

Jeffery,

 

I have located a copy of “Mixer's Road Guide and Strip Maps” in the “archives.” It is a 1926 edition and was published by the New England Hotels Publishing Corporation of New York City. It covers, as you might expect, New England, and as far west as Cleveland, and like many guides of the period, down to Florida.

 

Mixers is divided into two sections. The first section contains about 800 strip maps along with mileages and highlights along the route. It also displays the locations of hotels and a few garages and restaurants, all probably members of some New England Hotels organization.

 

The second section is called an “index” but is more a compilation of town descriptions and hotel ads.

 

I note that a couple are available on Ebay at this moment.

 

Maria,

 

I am posting below the strip maps from Mixer's that cover the route I guessed at.

 

ARBD.jpg

 

ARDG.jpg

 

ARGPJ.jpg

 

ARPJM.jpg

 

Mixers didn't publish a strip map for the segment from Milford to Hawley.

 

The mileage from Bridgeport to Danbury via the Turnbull (via Newtown) route is 25.6 miles, that from Danbury to Goshen via the Bear Mt Bridge is 69.6 miles, from Goshen to Port Jervis is 23.5, and from Port Jervis to Milford is 7.2, a total of 125 miles. Adding the 25 miles from Milford to Hawley, using the Rand Mc Nally maps posted earlier, I get 150.9 miles compared to the 150 the young women reported.

 

If it is the route taken, it was a lucky guess. It was a guess and not as logical nor well considered as is Jeffery's discussion.

 

I am however finished with this segment and will post the next segment as soon as I can.

 

Dave

 

Keep the show on the Road!

 

PS Maria,

 

Here is another wild guess....they camped at the Wilsonville Camp on Lake Wallenpaupack. Why this guess? It is right next to US 6 on the lake where note in the blog that they camped, and it is cited as in operation in 1934 in the Pennsylvania Angler. The lake was developed by dam in 1926, and the campsite was a natural location adjacent to the highway. It might be fun to write the Wilsonville superintendent and see if you can get a firm date for when it was first opened. Just a thought.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave, I looked at the Mixer's strip maps and found that US 6N at Mahopac, NY was the original alignment.

 

Also, the Mixer's strip maps showed the original way US 6 went entered and left Goshen, NY.

 

Your Mixer's maps have now changed the road mileage from Bridgeport to Hawley from 148 miles to 149 miles.

 

My total of 149 miles comes from the starting point at the intersection of US 1 and Main Street, Bridgeport.

 

So depending on where in Bridgeport Gma and her two friends left from that last mile can be found to match Gma's 150 mileage for the first leg.

Edited by 32vld

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My goodness, what resources you keep producing, Dave! Those really are awesome. I intend to take your advice on Wilsonville Camp, too.

 

Jeffrey, thank you for the mile measurement with the comparison to the maps Dave provided. I knew Google wouldn't be all that accurate for the reason of road realignments, but hoped it would give me a rough idea of the route. I certainly will need to use paper maps when I go on the trip as I can't tell my Garmin to direct me to go on roads existing prior to 1930.

 

I thank you both for your interest in what I'm doing (everyone else who has checked in here and elsewhere too!). It makes me happy to see people get in to it. :)

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Maria,

 

Here are the Rand McNally 1928 maps for a route between Hawley (Lake Wallenpaupack ) and Erie, on the second day's run. I'm guessing they stayed on US6.

 

A small argument for my guess is that US6 was considered a transcontinental route. And BTW, it has fans today, and I wouldn't be surprised to find a web site. I know American Road has done some stories about the route. I am a charter subscriber (ten years now) and I highly recommend the magazine (and the good people who publish it).

 

I'll post some 1929 strip maps as soon as I get the time. I dug deeper in the “archives” and came up with a 1929 AAA Tour Book with strip maps of the Northeast. I can even imagine that they might even have carried one like it!

 

I know I have some more Pennsylvania map sets but I have only been through about half the boxes. One handicap is that I mostly accumulate stuff from the “auto trails” era which ended (in my view) when the federal (national) numbering system came into being in 1926, and showed up in 1927 maps.

 

And being a westerner, I have more from my area than the east. On the other hand, your project has already introduced me to some fascinating and beautiful roads and sites in the east. I am enjoying the ride! And they are headed west!!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

ARScrantontoErie1.jpg

 

ARScrantontoErie2.jpg

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A small argument for my guess is that US6 was considered a transcontinental route. And BTW, it has fans today, and I wouldn't be surprised to find a web site. I know American Road has done some stories about the route.

 

It does indeed have websites. The U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association tackles the whole country, Pennsylvania's Route 6 has some good single state stuff and there may be others. Grand Old US 6 is a regular alternate issue department in American Road Magazine and this very forum includes a U.S, 6 sub-forum.

 

Maria, it looks like your folks were off of US 6 by Toledo or thereabouts but some of the modern US 6 resources could be useful for the early bits.

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Maria,

 

I am always pleased when Denny "chimes in!" As you will come to know, he is very familiar with all that goes on in the two lane travel world. You will probably bump into him on the road, by design or happenstance, when you take your trip. And unlike me he isn't lazy, so he actually looks up references, and provides links to important sites. What a refreshing concept!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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...I can't tell my Garmin to direct me to go on roads existing prior to 1930.

 

Too true although I've often longed for just such a setting.

 

You can, however, have your Garmin play back the exact route you desire if you want to spend the time and money to do it. It takes time because you have to plot things rather carefully and money because only the higher priced Garmin units can actually do this. I'm usually traveling alone so it's worth it to me to have a pre-programmed emotionless navigator telling me where to turn (or at least where I thought I wanted to turn when I left home). If you think this is something you'd want to do, I'd be happy to discuss it.

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You will probably bump into him on the road, by design or happenstance, when you take your trip.

 

Now, Dave. Don't scare the girl.

 

There are many different types of "laziness" and Dave, Jim, Jeff, and several other forum members do a lot of serious digging through layers of maps and other documentation which us truly lazy members get to benefit from and post pointers to.

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Some of you may have already read that I have always wanted to go coast to coast on US 20 and US 6. I have only been as far west on US 6 as Wellsboro, PA.

 

I do not have old maps. So I have been doing my exploring on google. One of my thoughts was being that US 20 and US 6 both ran so close to the great lakes to Chicago that back in they day they had to of shared the same road bed in many places.

 

Well today thanks to Dave I found out that US 6 went into Eire, PA and did join up with US 20. Today US 6 goes quite a bit south of Erie.

 

 

Maria, are you going to take the current alignments or try to retrace the original alignments that Gma took?

I hope so. To write about what those three girls did in 1929. You have to drive in their tire tracks.

 

The die was cast for your trip in 1929.

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Maria,

 

Now here is something we don't normally find, a photo of a roadbed they drove on, from a book published in the year they did it. The book is the 1929 AAA Northeast Tour Book.

 

The photo of the Bear Mountain Bridge with the road in the foreground is the exact road they were on. You can tell because they approached the bridge from the south east and the small inlet in the distance beyond the bridge comes in from the north west in Google Earth. Ergo the photo shows the actual roadbed where they rolled rubber (in those days tires were still made of rubber). Step back in time and see them marveling at the view as they drove that exact pavement.

 

I'll post some of the strip maps ASAP. In the meantime, suppose that they belonged to the AAA and used the same issue tour book.....a long reach, but not out of the question. Fun imagining.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

BearMtBridge.jpg

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Dave, how cool is that! Do you think AAA would tell me if they were members? Worth a shot at least.

 

Jeffrey, you (and others) might be interested in the Historic US Route 20 Association. They formed last year. Also, I do plan to take original alignments wherever possible for my trip (although I'm going to add a few stops of my own, like Grand Teton National Park when I visit Yellowstone-it's a can't miss for me, but plan to leave the route and pick it back up in the same spot so that I still do the whole route with the occasional deviation loop).

 

Denny and all, I definitely do not think that any of you are lazy.

 

Thanks again.

 

Best to all,

 

Maria

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